Story of the day: Drinking with Farmers
Drinking with Farmers
While Sheamas walked with Otenohi to the temple, Kai Linaa expressed the wish to meet the butcher’s two eldest brothers. Sheamas had spoken little of the twins, but as everything was interesting to Kai Linaa, she must see them and know them more intimately. She was warned, however, against the meeting by the commander, who promised that the twins’ unpolished and brutish characters might be more offense than Kai Linaa’s sweet temper could bear, but when Kai Linaa reminded her that she was living in Otenohi’s company for the past few years, all reservations were swept aside and her wish to meet the twins was granted. She was also apprised of their expressive features, coarse language, uneducated speech and candor, but every attribute Kai Linaa became privy to made her only more intrigued with the two farmers. She was told that despite all their faults, they were the kindliest and most jovial men of the fields, blessed with the traditional Tyferrim gift of sarcasm, but these praises could not excite her interests more than they already had been roused and she begged to meet them immediately. Her wishes were granted and the commander promised to take her to the Wayward Traveler where they were currently enjoying another drink in their father’s honour. She was warned of their propensity to be drunk when they were not hard at work and Kai Linaa had done. She must know them, and more notably, she must draw them.
With great alacrity and exhilaration, Kai Linaa leapt toward her room in the guest quarter to retrieve her drawing implements. She grabbed her chalks and her parchments and flew toward the door only to find herself on the ground after colliding with her mate as he was entering their apartment. He asked her if she was well and what it was that excited her, and when she told him of the two distant relations she was meeting, she begged him to join their small party.
Unghaahi was partially opposed to the meeting, not because of their insalubrious guests but because of where they were meeting. Though the Wayward Traveler was a favourite establishment of everyone in the keep, Unghaahi could not endorse the article the tavern sold. He knew his mate would not be tempted to have one of their drinks but eating their fried fare and dulcet cakes would be an obstacle she would easily surmount. He had promised his time to his brothers to train before their leave but he resolved that saving his mate from a deleterious meal was more imperative than seeing to his own health. He promised he would join her in a few minutes and entreated her not to eat anything that would damage her wellbeing until he would arrive to inspect the provisions himself. He went to the yard to have a small training session with Rautu and Leraa and Kai Linaa hurried toward the main gate where the commander was waiting.
The short walk from the castle to the tavern was filled with chatter on Kai Linaa’s side. She could not wait to see the professed uncouth and unseemly farmers from Tyferrim and could talk of nothing else. She made a flurry of inquires about their work in the fields, about the farmstead that had been in the Donnegal family for nearly two-hundred years, but when she was told of the twins’ musical talents, of the rolling green meadows and animals amidst the endless pastures, Kai Linaa fancied herself enamored with the two farmers and their place in the romantic Frewyn countryside. She made many affected sighs as they came to the window of the tavern, and when she saw two well-built, heavy-stomached men reclining in their chairs with several drinks adoring their table, she could be under no mistake as to who these lounging creatures were. She hopped in excitement and began forming ideas of how to draw them as they entered the tavern.
The commander appeared first, giving rise to many cheers and raises of glasses from the twins, but when Kai Linaa appeared behind her, the two farmers were silent. Their eyes widened and they raised their brows to one another in happy suspicion. The commander had been too good to them to bring them so stunning a creature. They proclaimed her sense of Tyferrim hospitality had overcome her well-bred manners and bringing them one so exquisite to share was more than they deserved. Kai Linaa blushed at the eager farmers’ assertions and the commander squelched the chief of their eagerness with claims that Kai Linaa was here to meet them, not to bed them. They awed in disappointment and gave each other chary looks, hoping to contrive a way to share the elf between them eventually. They patted the chair between them, goading Kai Linaa to sit with wicked smiles and keen glints in their eyes.
“I believe if you sit too close to them, they shall demand that you sit in their laps,” the commander warned Kai Linaa whilst eyeing the farmers.
“Sure, our laps are more comfortable,” Adaoire said, placing his pipe at the end of his mouth.
“Aye, and warmer than these here chairs,” Aiden added, patting his thighs.
The commander laughed at their candor and shook her head. “I daresay that if Kai Linaa sat upon either one of you, she would be met with something just as hard as the fittings of the room.”
“Aye, girl,” Adaoire growled. “We’re big men, and that there is a small one.”
“You know how we feel about the small ones. We like our full girls sure enough, but this one here is a real pretty one.”
The twins gave Kai Linaa depraved looks and patted the empty seat situated between themselves once more.
Kai Linaa was enthralled with the farmers: their vile language, their ill-bred manners, their soil-ridden hands, their unaffected comportment. They were far too terrible and therefore irresistible. She must sit beside them, and sit beside them she did to make a study of their features and bodies for her sketchpad. They were about to place a hand on her thighs when the commander gave her condolences for their losing their arms should their fingers even graze her skin. Kai Linaa giggled and told the twins of her rather immense and polite mate, but the commander was careful to remind the farmers of a Haanta male’s sense of possessiveness toward their chosen women.
The farmers were inclined to discount the admonition, but once they heard that the Den Asaan’s older and decidedly more colossal brother was her mate, the twins sighed in defeat and did their utmost to keep their hands to themselves. They made a few sharp remarks on the subject of the Haanta stealing all the good women in the world, and the twins clinked their glasses together, eyeing the commander and Kai Linaa with knowing glances. They offered two of their many drinks on the table to the women, which were politely declined, and began to make civil inquires as to what Kai Linaa did besides look handsome. They observed the drawing articles in her hands and assumed she was an artist, but before she could profess herself as one, they caught glimpses of the scars around her wrists. The farmers frowned at one another, supposing that the elf was once a slave, perhaps even one of those from Lucentia who were illicitly sold to Thellis by corrupt traders. They said nothing of their equal assumption, disgusted with such an odious business, certain that if it were true Kai Linaa should not wish to be reminded of it, and they advanced the conversation by making ardent demands to see her art. She seemed reticent to show them any pictures she deemed unworthy of viewing, but the twins would not be denied their request. Their interest was ingenuous and she reluctantly laid out her most recent works for them to appraise. They proclaimed that as farmers they knew little in the way of art that did not go beyond making a fine hedgerow but added that though they were uneducated, they were sagacious enough to determine excellent skill when perceiving it. They lauded each piece as it was shown to them and brushed aside her comments claiming that she was hardly worthy of such commendation.
"Aye, let’s see you make one of those fancy pictures of us, small one," Aiden said in a forthcoming tone.
"Sure, we're important,” Adaoire affirmed. “Shea has one." He pointed to the image of Sheamas and the commander standing beside one another and feigned his disappointment with an overwrought pout.
Kai Linaa’s cheeks flushed. She was full of excuses of how she could not possible be expected to perform well while others were there to judge her work. All her qualms on drawing in front of others were attacked with profuse arguments from the twins, claiming that she was being coy with them. She would refuse, they would prevail, and finally Kai Linaa was forced to consider their request.
“A drink or two’ll soften you, small one,” Adaoire said, pushing a drink almost as large as Kai Linaa in front of her.
Kai Linaa thanked him for his offer but said she must decline on account of her mate coming to join them. She did not wish them to misunderstand her refusal and explained that her mate was Den Amhadhri of Sanhedhran: a champion of their nation, supreme commander of their trade island, lead negotiator, advisor to the Hassan Omaa Obhantaa Leraa, and expert in bodily conditioning.
“Sure, that’s all,” Adaoire scoffed. “Is he one of the Gods too?”
Kai Linaa laughed and asked them if they would like to judge for themselves. She flipped to the end of her parchment pad and laid out before them a plethora of images depicting her mate.
The twins sat up from their slumped positions and pored over the illustrations one by one.
“That’s never him,” Aiden exclaimed, puffing on his pipe in astonishment.
Kai Linaa laughed shyly and said it was. She looked to the commander to confirm her allegation and she responded with a positive nod.
“Gods bless you, small one,” Adaoire swore, scratching the sandy hair tucked beneath his hat. “If this here picture is the real difference in size between you two, I dunno how you do it.”
The commander gave the twins a wry smirk. “Carefully at first,” she replied. “Once they learn of our tolerance, it is quite over for us, however.”
The twins fleered and remained mesmerized with Kai Linaa’s work for some time. The detail and intricacy with which her lines were drawn was faultless. They asked how long she had been a student of the arts, and when she replied only a few years, they were even more amazed with her. A delicate and stunning woman of such unmatchable skill was a rarity in the countryside. There were many fine faces and hard workers in Tyferrim whom they lauded exceedingly, but here between them was a woman of the world: she had traveled, she had studied with Haanta of great significance, she wore clothing of the finest materials and donned ornaments of gold, she was an elf, and as their accolades progressed, they discovered that she also was a student of magic.
“Now we know how you draw so well,” Adaoire said. “You use magic to make these lines here so perfect and all.”
Kai Linaa assured them her abilities in magic had nothing to do with her talent for drawing but the twins would not hear her. They made playful comments on everything to the contrary of what she said, and soon her negations turned into giggles as the farmers contradicted everything she told them with keen smiles and friendly gestures. She at last took the compliment they wished to pay and declared herself flattered that two Frewyn-famous farmers would honour her with such favorable remarks.
"Sure, we'll tell you ten nice things if it means you'll draw us,” Aiden said, reaching across the table for his fourth drink.
“You don't have to. I'll draw you anyway,” Kai Linaa promised smilingly.
"Well, we'll save our nice things for when we get to have you in our laps, small one."
"Aye, that’s how we thank our girls in Tyferrim," Adaoire said, raising his glass to Kai Linaa with a wink.
"And if you make us a picture, we'll have to thank you proper."
The twins gave one another a healthy glance and clinked their glasses together behind Kai Linaa’s chair.
Kai Linaa buried her face in her small hands and crimsoned over. “I don’t think Unghaahi would approve,” she mumbled.
"Maybe if we tell your big fella ten nice things, he'll let us," Adaoire said in a purring voice.
Kai Linaa was only grateful that her mate was not present and began to dread of their conduct towards herself once the Den Amhadhri should arrive. She tensed when she felt both of the farmers shift nearer to her. The scuffling of their worn boots, the creak of their chairs against the wooden floor, the glances from the corners of their eyes suggested they were planning to surmount her sentiments, but their designs on usurping Unghaahi’s throne were thwarted when the commander declared that she saw the grey mountain approaching the tavern.
“You’re both awfully nice,” Kai Linaa said with a start, “but-“
“We’re always nice to our girls,” Adaoire decreed.
“Aye, we always say please when we ask ‘em to show us what they got.” Aiden nodded to his brother and received a nod in return.
“They are impossible,” Kai Linaa tittered to the commander.
“Naw, girl. We’re incorrigible,” Aiden said proudly.
The commander smiled at her distant relations and was pleased that they kept their interest for the elf in their speech yet guarded themselves against carrying out any of their contentions. “I warned you of their conniving and vulgar manners,” she said to Kai Linaa.
“We know why you’re bein’ shy, small one,” said Aiden, refilling his pipe. “It's ‘cause you want to jump in the hay. All you city girls wanna jump in the hay before we bale it."
"Sure, and we'd let you do it, small one," said Adaoire, lighting his brother’s pipe.
"You just hafta come over."
"Aye, come see our land. You can bring your man and draw us there."
Kai Linaa was struck with the notion of seeing the lush green downs of Frewyn’s countryside and she vowed to consider their offer most carefully even though she had already accepted it in her mind.
"Ma'll make you eat, though,” Aiden warned her. “She’ll argue you could use a bit of fattenin’ and stuff you with her roast, she will.” Aiden looked at the immense grey mountain visible through the window of tavern who was speaking with any seeking his attention as he walked by. He could not help but observe the giant’s impeccable form. “Aye, your man won't like all that eatin’," he breathed in wonderment, gazing at the colossus."We wouldn't mind if you came alone."
"We just can't promise we'll bring you back." Adaoire looked at Kai Linaa with an innocent smile.
“I can't refuse such an invitation, but I’ll want to bring Unghaahi so I can jump in the hay with him.”
"Sure, you can do what you like with your man, but if you start doing terrible things, we get to watch," Adaoire demanded.
Aiden grinned at his brother. "Aye, it's our hay."
"You wanna do that in it, you're gonna obey our rules."
"Aye,” Aiden said, stabbing his finger into the table to assert his point. “And that means chairs, pipes and watchin'."
"Can't promise we ain't gonna touch ourselves while lookin’, though."
The commander pronounced the twins worse than Otenohi with regard to the crudity of their speech but thankfully less physical with their demands than the licentious Haanta general.
Unghaahi was about to enter the tavern when his attention was turned in another direction by Connors who was passing by on his patrol. He greeted the Den Amhadhri with dutiful cheerfulness and kept the giant’s consideration for enough time to have Kai Linaa stare out the window and regard him with a wistful countenance. He saw her thoughtful looks from the corner of his eye and smiled at his mate.
Kai Linaa grinned stupidly at the commander and thrummed at the twins, thinking of her perfect giant frames by the window. She made the mistake of sharing her fervor and sensual hums with the whole of the table and garnered some very different remarks from the twins.
"Don't hum at me, small one,” Adaoire warned her in a hungry tone. “I'll do what a man should to your mouth right here."
Kai Linaa blushed in mortification and the commander was good to remind her that any small gesture from a sophisticated elf might rouse the interests of two Tyferrim farmers.
Adaoire enjoyed her embarrassment and as it was soon to be over when her mate should enter the tavern, he took the opportunity to mortify her further. “Sure, I’d say your mouth is wide enough to fit two." He gave his brother a fleeting glance and then half-smiled at Kai Linaa’s recoiling state.
“It’s wide enough to fit my mate,” Kai Linaa shot back with a diffident laugh.
"Aye, and he’s a big man."
"Sure, we're big men too," Aiden purred in her ear. "We know Shea and our sister’s man are really big men."
“But I gotta tell you, small one, we ain’t no match for a man that big,” Adaoire said, pointing to Unghaahi bowing to Connors. “We see now why you ain’t interested in farmers like us." He muttered something one the matters of perverted size and accommodation and Kai Linaa had done. She squealed into her hands, causing the twins to laugh at their triumph over her sensibilities, and they ordered another round of drinks as Unghaahi approached the table.
The Den Amhadhri greeted the commander and bowed to the two farmers with in gracious tenor, but the abashed looks Kai Linaa was attempting to conceal was concerning to him. He observed the wily glances pass between the farmers as they inclined their heads and tipped their caps to the giant and Unghaahi could not wonder at what had occurred in his absence. His gracious expression grew firm and he lifted his bearing to display his dominance. Kai Linaa leapt upon him, tossing her arms around his strong neck. She was full of happiness and tender osculations for him, which though welcome confirmed his suspicions as to what was said to his beloved mate. Although Unghaahi did not have Rautu or Otenohi’s invidious character, he was inclined to disliking men eager to enjoy the delights his mate had to offer. He cradled Kai Linaa in his arm and inhaled in preparation of delivering his lecture on how to conduct oneself with honour while in the presence of an Ataas Traala when the commander stood and explained the circumstance. She conveyed that though there may have been a few more avid words employed in their conversation than Unghaahi was certain to have liked the farmers were harmless and careful with the women they chose for their amusement. She whispered that nothing was said beyond a few intimations, an invitation to their farm, and compliments toward her works of art, but that Kai Linaa being the bashful and contrite creature she was had blushed at every phrase. She begged Unghaahi not to damage her two relations, and should they say something the diplomatic Den Amhadhri should find offensive to excuse them for their tactless manner and save his sermons for their drinking habits, as that could be curbed where their poorness in speech could not. Unghaahi made a silent nod and sat on the floor beside the commander with Kai Linaa resting in his arms.
“Aye, aye,” Aiden said, smiling at the giant. “Her head’s full of nothin’ but you, big fella.”
“Sure, she draws you here a thousand times,” Adaoire huffed.
Unghaahi looked at the table to find images of himself in numerous different poses. There were depictions of him teaching Hophsaas, of him training on Sanhedhran’s southern shore with the Amghari, of him with Leraa and Otenohi, of him performing his Haakhas, of him practicing his kaatas, him, him, him. It was all him in nearly every picture excepting those of the commander, Sheamas and the Den Asaan. There was one of Alasdair and Carrigh, one of the captains and commanders in the Frewyn armed forces, a few of Leraa, but beyond these trifling images, it was all Unghaahi. He looked down at his blushing mate and responded with a few slow nictations and purring words to her in Haanta.
“Make your girl draw somethin' of us," Adaoire said, offering Unghaahi one of their many drinks. His tender was respectfully declined but as he was about to claim so much disinclination a crime against his Tyferrim sense of hospitality, Adaoire’s eyes opened wide when he saw an image of the Den Amhadhri’s mounting his mate from behind hidden beneath one of the other pictures. He whistled and called his brother’s attention to the illustration so that both of them may remark it with intrigued stares.
Kai Linaa gasped and reached for the drawing but the two farmers moved it away from her vicinity to study it further. “I’m sorry,” she exhaled in deep indignity. “I forgot that was among the others.”
“Sure, I wanna see this here fittin'," Adaoire demanded, pointing to the portion of Unghaahi’s form that seemed impossible to contain. “You please that small one right here and we’ll watch.”
Unghaahi smiled and sighed. "I am aware of this offer from my honoured brother Otenohi. He would often make the same demand when he was attempting to find suitable partner for me for Khopra. He has helped me facilitate Khopra before, and though he has asked me if he may watch me with my partners claiming that it would be instructive for him, I would not allow him to remain after he had finished assisting me."
Aiden looked at his brother and then at Unghaahi. "Wait . . . your men do that in pairs?" he said aghast at such a pleasurable notion.
Adaoire slammed his hand down on the table. "Aye, that's not fair!" he shouted.
Unghaahi laughed at their flouting expressions. “There are few of our women who will allow this. Many are not comfortable with accommodating two of our Amghari when it is already much to ask them to accommodate one. Two men for Khopra is permitted and encouraged if the woman is suspected of being a Jhiisa."
“Aye, well,” Aiden grumbled, leaning his cheek on his hand, "I don't care what the girl is. If she'll let me and my brother have her at the same time, she can be anythin' she wants to be."
Unghaahi smiled for their misunderstanding and passed a knowing glance at the commander who was hiding her face in her hand for the openness of such a conversation when the Den Amhadhri and the farmers had only just met.
"You ever let that small one have one of your brothers?" Aiden asked with childlike wonderment.
Unghaahi hummed and nodded. “The first time Kai Linaa honoured me with Khopra, I had not performed the ritual in over twenty years."
"Gods bless you, big fella,” Adaoire chuffed. “I can't go twenty minutes without thinkin' about it."
“I believe it is the business of all men to be prepared for any eventuality of precarious and delightful nature,” the commander simpered.
The Den Amhadhri could not deny that his thoughts on the subject were similar but he did his utmost not to consider it while his exquisite mate was sitting within the confines of his lap. "I was uncertain if Kai Linaa would be willing to accommodate me,” he explained. “Although Otenohi is my brother, he is smaller than I am and I believed it would be easier for Kai Linaa to accept him as a gradual measure."
"Makes a man feel good to know he's too big for his girl," Adaoire agreed, clinking his tankard against his brother’s. “Sure, look at the big fella blushin'.” He pointed to Unghaahi’s grey skin waving over a darker hue and cackled at the giant’s humbleness. "Your man may be to shy to say, small one, but it makes a man feel right when his girl is screamin' somethin' terrible for him."
"Aye, and clawin' at our backs with their nails."
Kai Linaa made an unconscious hum of pleasance while she conceived the many nights that she and Unghaahi had spent together performing the very feats the twins pronounced. She was carefully placed onto the chair beside her mate while Unghaahi stood to find some water. She was asked if he could bring something to her but the humiliation she had already suffered would supply her appetite for the remainder of the day.
The instant Unghaahi left the table, the twins wished to convey their renewed curiosity in Kai Linaa for having seen the extent of her depravity on the parchment before them. They took their pipes into their hands and leaned over the table, glaring at Kai Linaa with dissolute appearances.
"We’d gladly crack you open like that any ol' time, girl," Aiden said in a low voice, pointing to the image of her and Unghaahi and eyeing the lithe breasts she was hiding beneath her tight Jhidhosha.
"Oh, Aye," Adaoire ambitiously hinted. "I'd take your mouth right off right here with what I’ve got for you."
"As long as I’d get your arse, girl, I don't care what my brother wants."
"Aye, and we'll show you how the pigs do it. We see you like that from your picture here."
"Sure, we ain't never had no elf girl before."
"We're big Frewyns, small one. We like breakin' tight girls like you in.”
Unghaahi suddenly returned and the decadent advances were quieted. The twins resumed their nonchalant positions with their drinks in their hands and their pipes on resting on their lips, and they looked around the front room of the tavern as if nothing at all had passed.
The commander was compelled to divert her attention and hide the tears of laughter she had been suppressing. She laughed silently into the palm of her hand. When she was asked what was so amusing by the Den Amhadhri, she pointed to the twins and burst out in rasping mirth. She wished Rautu was present so that he may have heard the mortifying and wicked exchange, and she made silent oaths to tell him ever blessed word he had missed once she returned to the keep. There could be no doubt of his stern scowl curling into a small smile over so vile a progression, which would in turn compel him to tell Otenohi in one of his nightly correspondences and result in an invitation to bring the twins to meet the Hakriyaa so that they may share all their dissolution together.
As the twins could not continue their pursuit of Kai Linaa, they began a recreation of another kind. Their more preferred amusement at taverns when their hands were not busy playing their instruments was seeing which of the wenches in the given establishment should be most dispose to please them. This was a pastime to be done with the eye while their fingers were wrapped tightly around the handles of their tankards and they were occupied with their pipes in one corner of their mouths while scandal was whispered through the other. Everything from the shape of a woman’s calf to the prettiness of her smile was subject to measurement, and those they deemed worthy of praise of whom were many received it in the form of a glass raising and a firm wink.
"Aye, I'll take that one right here,” Aiden muttered, motioning toward a passing redhead with a voluptuous figure.
“Sure, and we’ll let you and the big fella watch, small one," Adaoire said to Kai Linaa.
"Then when you come to the farm, you’ll owe us a viewin'."
"I'm gettin' ruttish just lookin' at her,” Adaoire sighed. “I'm gonna have to find me a girl soon if we can't have this one."
"You got a sister we can have?" Aiden asked Kai Linaa.
Kai Linaa shook her head, and with an apologetic tone said, “No, but Lucentia is not that far away.”
"I hear the elf girls there are good enough to eat. I like my Frewyn girls sure enough, but I hear those pleasure houses in Lucentia let you have three at once.”
“Aye, and let you do what you want with ‘em too."
“I suppose that could be paradise,” Kai Linaa said with a timid smile. “Maybe you should consider a visit?”
"Aye, we would, small one,” Aiden sighed. “But we got our fields to tend and the lands of the elves is far away. Would hafta hire a hand or two just to care of our work for a few weeks."
Kai Linaa began to realize how fortunate she was in being at liberty to come and go from the islands as often as she liked. The Haanta had farmers and those of similar profession to their Frewyn counterparts but those on the islands were able to leave for a few days at a time with the assurance that their people would not starve if soil were not sown during that time. She supposed that in Tyferrim there were farmers aplenty, but she was soon forced to recall that Frewyn had seen much war in the past few years and here perhaps the countryside had suffered more than she was led to believe. She could tell by the roughness of the twin’s hands, by the strength of their forms despite their full stomachs, and by the hardiness of their characters how arduously they had toiled each day, giving her the notion that perhaps the romance of the verdant plains was not as passionate in them as it was within herself. She began to feel rueful on their behalves. She looked down at the blank parchment leaves in her hands, put the tip of her pencil to the smooth surface and began to draw them in their natural states: cavorting with one another and leaning back in their chairs looking for the comfort of a woman after a day of strenuous labor.
The twins noticed Kai Linaa beginning to draw them and said nothing to impede her. They had believed at first her commencement was due to their diverted attention, but when they saw the severity in her otherwise cheerful expression, they considered that perhaps she had misconstrued their frankness for unhappiness.
"It ain't easy all the time bein' a farmer,” Aiden said with a half-smile. “We love our work, small one, don't misunderstand or nothin', but ain't many women who’d want to be a farmer's wife."
"Aye,” Adaoire nodded, puffing on the end of his long pipe. “Takin' care of a workin’ farmhouse is just as hard as taken care of the fields. But we would sure love thankin' the girl who comes home to us."
There explication was meant to smooth away any scruple Kai Linaa might have had on the subject but they only succeeded in making her conscious to their possibly lonely lives. It was certain they had a family they loved, or at least a younger brother and now a sister they adored, and it was also true they took pride in their work as providers of the kingdom, but she could not be assured they were fulfilled in other more intimate places of the heart. She grieved for them and said how she was determined that they should find many women of excellent quality who would like to please them for the rest of their lives.
"Aye, maybe," Aiden said in a hopeful tone.
"We ain't lonely, girl,” Adaoire avowed. “We're just sayin' it would be nice havin' someone to come home to at the end of a long day instead of havin' to see if Feghin's around at the tavern."
"Saves us a walk after we're good and tired."
"Wouldn't mind havin' a girl to make me a supper neither."
“Nor sharin’ it with her.”
"Aye, just another thing to thank her for."
The twins cheered and drank to their projected farm maidens.
Kai Linaa was certain of their good humour on the matter but was not convinced of their not being lonesome. The air around the table had altered, the blitheness in their voices had dimmed, and the glances they made to the passing women were appreciative rather than shameless. She watched how the women responded to them: here were two diligent men handsome and amusing enough but though many of the passing wenches seemed interested, a slight glance at the marks of their profession and they turned away. They were happy to serve them on numerous accounts but not remain with them for any sense of permanency, and when Kai Linaa saw this, she burst out with phrases of her knowing many women who should delight in being a farmer’s wife even though she did not.
"Maybe,” Aiden said with a twinkle in his eye, “But I want a pretty one."
"Aye, one he doesn't have to buy," Adaoire chuckled.
Aiden was about to laugh until he realized the jape was made on his account."I ain't never bought a woman," he contended.
"Sure, you gave that girl from Glaouster money once."
"That was for the cart ride home."
"Aye, sure it was."
Kai Linaa and the commander laughed as their argument continued in Old Frewyn. They had always reverted to their first language when drunk or heated, and watching the two farmers swear more than was decent was an immense delight to the commander, who was the only one of the extended party who could understand the Tyferrim dialect. She had not heard such terrific profanity since the days of her being in the fields herself. She wondered if Shayne were present and if her father were alive if the two of them had done the same when she was not present. Their dispute soon cooled and turned into smiles and laughter, just as it always had done, and the party remained in the front room of the tavern conversing and teasing one another until Kai Linaa had finished with her drawing. She claimed it was a mere quick sketch but her comments were disregarded when the twins gave her art a thorough examination. They lauded it as a masterpiece and must have it framed immediately. They agreed that receiving such a gift was better than obtaining any of the tolerable women in the tavern and wished to be off to have it set before evening set in.
The party roused from the table and said their goodbyes. More invitations were given to visit the farm and Kai Linaa promised that she would not decline it for the world. Unghaahi made his polite bows, the commander gave her embraces, but Kai Linaa made the mistake of kissing the cheeks of the two depraved farmers.
"Hold on, girl. Let me undo my overalls. I got somethin' else that needs kissin'," Adaoire said in a playful tenor.
Kai Linaa asserted that she had given a mere friendly kiss on the cheek but this would not signify.
"Sure,” Aiden laughed. “All kisses are friendly."
"Especially the ones in our overalls."
"Aye, those are sure enough."
Fortunately, Unghaahi had already quitted the tavern when the twins decided to cast their deliberate views, and when Kai Linaa walked outside, they gave their actual opinion on their meeting with Kai Linaa to the commander.
“Bless you, girl,” Aiden said to the commander with affection, staring at the elf through the window. “You got mighty pretty friends.”
“Aye,” Adaoire readily agreed. “That there is a sweet one. So talented and nice and all. If you got another one half as pretty as that one who’s willin’ to be good to a pair of humble farmers, we’ll take her home to Ma and explain the sharin’ later.”
The commander gave the twins a few hardy pats on their backs and vowed that if she was fortunate enough to meet another resembling Kai Linaa in form, face and temper she would know where to send her for a caring pair of husbands and much in the way of wanton conversation.