Story for the day: Lord and Commander, Dobhin Reghan
This is a small piece from one of the books about Commander Dobhin. He, Alasdair and Boudicca have quite a history with one another. Here is his second appearance.
Commander Dobhin was standing at the far end of one of the tables attempted with civility not to be noticed. He wished to be greeted by none of the nobility and as he had expected no one he admired to be at the celebration, he hid in a corner prepared to spend the evening looking into the bottom of his wine glass staring at everything with loathing when he saw the commander in the opposing corner beside the small elven woman. He sighed in relief and thanked the gods for the commander’s appearance and though he did not know Kai Linaa, if she stood with Boudicca MacDaede she could only be someone far more agreeable than the Frewyn nobility. He hastened toward her with commanding strides, hiding his face from any hellos that might assail him as he passed, and when he reached her recess in the corner of the room, he implored her to stand in front of him, blocking his path so that no one would seek his company.
“I will not ask how you came to be here. I will only be thankful that you did,” Dobhin said warmly.
“I thought you would be at this travesty,” the commander laughed, handing him another glass of wine from the table beside her.
Dobhin switched his empty glass with the one he was offered and raised it toward his benefactor before sipping from it. “When there is a gathering of lords, I am always expected to come,” he said in disgust. “I am equally expected to hate it, however.”
“The responsibilities of being gentry are bottomless,” the commander simpered. “It’s your fault for being born the son of a marquis. How is your father?”
“That is favourable.”
“When I do not wish to inherit an estate I have no interest in running it is. I’m here in place of him. He is off in Farriage conducting business and therefore I must play the good son Lord Dobhin Reghan for the evening.”
“You were never one to obey your father’s wishes,” the commander said, eyeing the tall commander with a wary glance.
“No, but I am to go to Gallei in a few days to begin recruiting for the new regiments over the mountains and I wanted to have one last laugh at the Frewyn nobility I so adore before I am to laugh at the Galleisian equivalents.”
“I am told there is much to be derided in our new borders,” the commander smirked.
“Brennin must have told you about the knights,” Dobhin said with an expectant grin. “If you haven’t already seen them, they are an exhibit not to be believed.”
The commander’s eyes sparkled. “What? You mean plate armour and lances are not enough to turn you into a squealing child? I am astonished, Dobhin. I thought you would have loved the rules of chivalry, celibacy and the Galleisian Church commanding your every move.”
“The notions of loyalty and gallantry I can abide, but abstinence moderated by the Church I cannot. Besides, my family already owns more land and has more money than any knight could ever open to be given by the Church. Even when Brennin wanted to promote me for all the work I did restoring the armed forces along the western border I had to decline it because the rank of Sir would have been a demotion from Lord.”
“What a misfortune,” the commander said, feigning a swoon. “You’re far too rich for the peasantry you so adore.”
“And far too intelligent for the futility rampant in the noble houses.”
The commander folded her arms and remarked the errant lord with a complacent smile. “A wonder you and my mate do not get along.”
“Probably because I am the only man other than Brennin to have touched your breasts and lived.” Dobhin sipped from his glass and raised his brows suggestively toward Kai Linaa, who was listening to the odd lord and remarking his handsome features with quiet reverence. He winked at her, finished his wine, and reached over for another glass. “I do hope you and your beast will be joining me in Gallei soon because I expect to find everyone as dejected and colourless as the landscape.”
“I am so pleased my company is an endless delight to you,” the commander snickered, shaking her head.
Dobhin raised his new glass to the commander and cheered, “To delightful company: just as derisive but not as bitter as mine.”
The commander agreed to his toast, recalling their particular past together of misplaced remarks and sweet condolences, and she admitted that though the lord was sometimes overly malicious and uninformed in his aspersions, she enjoyed his candor and ability to incur hatred from everyone wherever he went. He was wicked and frightfully handsome, repelling every woman who sought his attention, as he knew they were after his estate rather than paying him the compliment of his good looks. His person was callous but only from a sense of enjoyment to taunt, not from one of any real malice, and it was when he showed his affability beneath his harsh impression that the commander introduced him to Kai Linaa.
Dobhin’s expression grew favoured and he stood with his feet together, one hand behind his back, and bowed as he took Kai Linaa’s hand and kissed it. He raised his eyes to remark his object’s blushing features and surmised that she was not accustomed to the cordiality lords and ladies were expected to show, which he found most agreeable in her. He rubbed his thumb over the back of her hand to remove the imprint his smiling lips left behind and fleered at her immediate need to hide her crimsoning cheeks with her hands.
Although Kai Linaa was used to having many Frewyn women gawk at her mate with keen partiality, she was not used to others remarking her with any of the same sentiment. She knew this must be Dobhin’s authority. He was taught how to make a woman weak during his days as young lord and she must surrender to his powers of silent persuasion. He was incredibly tall, lean in form and becoming in face, his hair a shadow outlined on his head and his smile as beguiling as his perfect stature. He was a result of his lordly breeding and his years of arduous training in the armed forces, marked by the numerous silver rings adorning his ears. His black leather armour stretched taut across his square shoulders and molded over his wiry frame. His violet commander’s mantle trailed to his calves and gave him a regal air that must be recognized. Kai Linaa was used to seeing only perfection in her mate but while Unghaahi was the image of faultlessness on many accounts, she was forced to acknowledge that Dobhin was the unexceptionable example of beauty she had ever seen in a Frewyn male. She did not mean to regard him with wide and glittering stares. She meant to have composure on front of the Lord, but the penetrating look in his light brown eyes ruined any endeavor at self-governance. She could only titter in beset humiliation and murmur a hello in reply to his kiss on the hand.
Dobhin gave the commander a sly look. Now that his corpulent and detestable wife was happily deceased, he was at liberty to try his luck in the field excluding the Frewyn gentry. The woman before him was foreign, which made her instantly likeable, short and delicate, which would make her diverting when prone, pretty and shapely, which would make her advantageous as a partner, and she was timid, something he was so desirous of finding in a woman. Her jeweled fingers spoke of her mild affluence, which would please his father, her oddly coloured hair and eyes told him of her rarity. She would be a fine conquest and his eyes traveled to where his hands would not at present.