Story for the Day: Temporary Parting
A small piece from book 8.
A Temporary Parting
Teague gave his congratulations once again to Connors for his most deserved promotion and was given the same likewise for gaining a most exceptional role as Commander MacDaede’s right hand. He was told of her leniency and shrewdness in her rulings as commander, which Teague already had known from being trained in her regiment and being made Second Captain, but his new position would not only afford him more duties but also grant him certain immunities with the Den Asaan. A recruit and a captaincy was little in the giant’s eyes, but First Captain meant something more to him and was therefore the acquitting title for every cruelty the commander’s mate could confer. Teague had always been a favourite to the commander much like Connors was as well. He knew this by her repeated attentiveness to him, by the freeness and privileges he had been given, and he always made certain never to overlook these kindnesses on any account or to take liberties even when the chance was presented him. He was wholly gratified with his new position, was keen to perform his duties as Frewyn’s first spy, and was eager to show his brother and sister the additional silver ring in his ear.
He hastened to the residential quarter, waved his hellos to Sheamas through the butcher shoppe window as he passed, and leapt up the steps to his shared home to find the door open and Mureadh standing with his back toward the entrance. Teague supposed he had come to say his heartfelt goodbyes to a sister whom he would not be seeing for some months together, and though they would be but a day’s travel apart, less time than it took to journey from Diras to Karnwyl, it was a separation that Mureadh would like. Teague could not help but feel there was some indication of his distrust, not of himself for that had been earned, but of how Qwynlin was able to govern herself. It seemed to Teague that Mureadh was always favouring Sabhine as his most dependable sister and Qwynlin as his least so. He was ever visiting her, whether in shoppe or at home, and plaguing her with various inquiries more of a worried parent than a doting brother, such as what she ate for breakfast, how she did in business when her success was so evident, and how was see getting on with two children in the home while she had a shoppe to tend. Teague smiled to himself, hearing the incessant repetition of assurances that he would write to her every day, do his utmost to visit, and send money when it was needed. He heard Qwynlin’s moaning placations of promising to say her prayers each night, though Teague knew the only supplications she offered in the evenings were to himself while on her knees or tied to a chair, and made his entrance to tender his departing gesture to her and to his brother and sister.
Qwynlin, smiling with diffidence at the oppressive instruction her protective brother was giving her, brightened when she saw Teague arrive. She attacked him with a warm embrace of relief and gratitude, which she secreted away as immense happiness, and lead him into the kitchen where Fionnora and Ennan were playing with one another. They hopped from their chairs, attached themselves to their brother’s long legs, and he walked about with them while she said her last goodbyes to her brother. She found herself suddenly crushed by Mureadh’s overwhelming might and his features buried into her shoulder.
“It’s just for a little while, Mureadh,” she assured him in a restrained voice, patting him heartily on the back.
Mureadh suddenly released her, took ten gold from his pocket, and forced it into her hand. “Here. This will keep you while I’m gone.”
She sighed and pushed the offering back toward him. “I’ll be just fine, Mureadh. That’s very generous of you, but I have my own.”
The pleading and ingenuous look in his sister’s eyes made Mureadh concede, and he nodded gravely returning the large sum to his pocket. He would give her and Teague some time alone and meet his friend at the front gate where they would make their journey to the Haven together. He said a smiling goodbye to Fionnora and Ennan, who were still wrapped around their brother’s legs, but his heart was heavy as he turned to leave, feeling all the agony of the months’ absence rush on him with each step he took down the stairs. He must go, he knew he must if he wished to retain his position as Captain of the Royal Guard. He had been entrusted with a direct order from the king himself, and now he must choose between the duty of Alasdair’s personal guardian and the station of an elder brother.