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Thread: Road Full of Promise [9/4, early evening, Emma - OPEN]

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    House Beaumarche Emma Beaumarche's Avatar  
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    Road Full of Promise [9/4, early evening, Emma - OPEN]

    Dinner had been an early affair; and Emma was still perhaps over-stuffed when she departed the temporary lodgings she was sharing with her siblings during their stay at Welch Run.

    The De Angelis hospitality was certainly not lacking, in any sense of the word.

    Elliot was slated to spend the evening dicing and drinking - or so he said - with the Lords of Tuneric that had gathered at this peculiar coming-out moot; and with the understanding in mind that she would be the one keeping an eye on Lina for the night, Elliot had offered Emma some time to take for herself before the evening unfolded; and Emma had left with the fading light of day, still streaking across the horizon, her blind sister in her brother's care. Not that Lina was an invalid, of any sense; but both Beaumarches were loathe to leave her by herself, if not just because it was sorry lonesome for a blind woman to entertain herself in chambers she was not familiar with, but both siblings were wary of leaving Lina to her own odds, to come across people she did not know.

    Beaumarches weren't exactly - trusting, these days.

    And for good reason. So it was with a little surprise and a fair share of reluctance that Emma retreated from their shared chambers to take a well-needed walk along the river that ran through Welch Run, shirking the indoors of the De Angelis manse and likely the company of many fine ladies of the realm for a brief indulgence in privacy. The night air felt lovely, warm and yet crisp; and Emma knew she should be joining them for evening tea, or whatever else was in store for the female components of this gathering. Emma truly did enjoy such interactions - sometimes she felt starved for kinship that wasn't merely her sisters in the Valley. But...

    Truth be told, Emma might have been nursing a bit of pride. She knew what these male-dominated types of gatherings meant; gambling and carousing, of course - but more importantly, talks of trades, liaisons; networking and partnerships. This was an important gathering for just exactly that - bolstering connections, promoting trade. The takeover of Welch Run would shift how things had worked previously, and even one small jump in the delicate trading system that fed the island could have grievous consequences for someone on the outs.

    And while Elliot might be the Lord of Slate Valley, Emma was the one who kept it going. She should have been there.

    As she walked, Emma tried to keep in mind that her own presence in Tuneric was still duly noted, and as she tucked a stray wisp of hair behind her ear, Emma saw her ledgers in her mind's eye; she had her connections in Day's Death and her friends in Laurie Hill, acquaintances in Aston and a perhaps too-eager liaison in Green Gate. She might be a woman, but they had dealt with her level hand for years - no little gathering in Welch Run could disturb that too greatly. At least, that was what she kept telling herself, as she paced along the low stones marking the edge of the river outside the sprawling manse; her slippered shoes in one hand, bare feet treading through the cool grass; already running the numbers in her head.

    They had such fine tea plants in Welch Run, and so little access to proper iron...

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    House Hunter Dorin Hunter's Avatar  
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    "You're in my sun."

    The afternoon was late. Or the evening was early. Whichever it was, Dorin Hunter could not be bothered to open his eyes to find out. But the last of the summer sun was blazing towards the horizon, eager to duck out of view and give rise to the stars. As such, everything that crossed the path between him and it, cast extremely long shadows. The breeze off the water was cool, and the loss of the sun on his face and arms made the accompanying chill immediate. He hadn't heard whoever the visitor was approach, and he had certainly not been expecting anyone, so rather than bother to look, he simply repeated, "You're in my sun."

    He had not spent much time indoors since his arrival. In fact, he had not spent any time indoors, except for the party and his few brief exchanges with King Cailen. Dorin had even spent the previous evening out in the fresh air, sleeping on the same bank. Summer would not last forever, and the Wooded Reach's canopy did what it could to hide the sun most days. The people there never even tried to look to the stars. Never dreamed about what might exist beyond the tops of their groves. Two years as a squire in Aston had made Dorin far more appreciative of life outside of Huntstown. He lived for the large, blue, open skies, and the warmth of the sun on his skin.

    But now, someone was robbing him of his joy. The person had not moved, either because they were intentionally harassing him, or because they were daft. Whichever was the case, it was annoying. Rolling over onto his stomach, not bothering to rise, the knight squinted into the setting sun. "Hey," he said, a small amount of annoyance clear in his tone, before he saw the lithe figure of a woman glowing before him.

    She was outlined perfectly by the sun's rays, which seemed to cast her face in shadow, but made her skin and hair dance in shades of red and orange. She looked like she was lost, be it in thought or the more conventional meaning of the word. "Oh," he said softly, realizing his mistake. "I beg your pardon, my lady," he said, still trying to adjust this eyes to get a better look at her, and see if he could recognize the newcomer. "Can I be of some assistance?"

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    House Beaumarche Emma Beaumarche's Avatar  
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    Hey-

    Emma had missed Dorin Hunter's initial perturbed reaction to her presence, otherwise she might have departed more quickly - perhaps with a brief and irresistable snap back to let him know that perhaps he was in her way, rather than to the opposite effect; but the Beaumarche girl was so far in her head and already on her second mental draft of the seemingly effortless speech that was fully equipped with numbers and counterpoints she intended to give Dastan De Angelis when she "accidentally" crossed his path... that she hadn't been paying attention to where she was walking, or whom she might be walking into.

    So it was only his second, far more cordial verbal greeting, that Emma heard; and, blinking out through bleary eyes, feeling the warmth of the retreating sun upon her back, the Beaumarche girl lifted her gaze from the haphazard stones beneath her feet to see a young nobleman, sprawled across the lawn.

    Oh, I beg your pardon, my lady. Can I be of some assistance?

    To this, Emma could only furrow her delicate brow; a deep line cutting across her forehead.

    "... Can I? Have you fallen?" was all she could think to say, her voice sweet and questioning.

    Why else would a man of his station, dressed in those clothes, be laying out on the grass on his belly?

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    House Hunter Dorin Hunter's Avatar  
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    Dragging the open palm of his hand across the lush green grass that cradled him, Dorin smiled at her question. Thinking back to the dirt trails and fallen pine needles of Huntstown, the dark-haired knight shook his head. "I have but only risen from depths that chill my soul to float on clouds that warm my heart," he informed her.

    With a twist and a roll, and a complete abandon for what the tiny blades of grass might do to his trousers, Dorin redirected himself to sit again facing her, his feet tucked under his legs. "I am touched by rays that might never have pierced my prison, in a time so fleeting as to harken back to a dream from whence I am sure to wake long before I have sated myself in an ocean of blue sky. So sure am I now that I have ascended to the heavens, that angels approach me shrouded in gold, to attend me and my every whim," he added, a clear reference to Emma and her offer of assistance.

    There was a soft sigh, as he looked up to the robins and jays on their wing, calling to each other in sing-song chirps as they scoured the shore for crumbs and the waters for minnows who were foolish enough to wander too close to the surface. "My mind soars with the birds as we revel in the freedom of the winds, with no thought of darkness, winter, or limitation."

    Placing his hands behind him to brace himself, Dorin leaned back and regarded the woman again. "To answer your question, no. I have not fallen," he said with a contented smile.

  5. #5
    House Beaumarche Emma Beaumarche's Avatar  
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    The nobleman who lay prone along the river's edge rolled over to look up at Emma; a strangely wistful, sleepy expression on his face.

    I have but only risen from depths that chill my soul to float on clouds that warm my heart.

    And thus began the strangest diatribe Emma Beaumarche could say she had the odd privilege to listen to.

    The words themselves were melodious, to be true - a weaving of flowery words pertaining the atmosphere within which this pair found themselves together. The man's curved face looked up at Emma in amusement, his eyes half-hooded, an easy smile on his lips. And it was all Emma could do but stand there, caught in his verbal web, her brow pinched together in slight confusion.

    He was certainly eloquent, but rather... peculiar?

    When it seemed he had finally finished, expertly ending with a short aside - to answer your question, no. I have not fallen - Emma resisted the impulsive urge to laugh, even if that was the only reaction that felt natural to give. She did not know this man, after all, and it was deigned particularly rude to laugh at a man one had not found themselves formally acquainted with.

    " - Ahm. Well - I..." Emma started then, a playful smirk toying with the edge of her mouth. What to say to this poet? It seemed he had stolen all the words Emma might have used, in his long and unexpected soliloquy.

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    House Hunter Dorin Hunter's Avatar  
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    Leaning forward again and rubbing the back of his head, Dorin looked at the woman sheepishly. "Sorry, I can get carried away from time to time," he offered. As he rose to stand upright, he bowed lightly in her direction. "I am Dorin Hunter," he said by way of greeting. He felt as though he should know her. Perhaps if he had spent more than a handful of moments at the festivities, he would have. But, seeing that there was nothing for it now, he simply gestured back to the lake. "I don't really get out much," he told her. "I really like it here."

    Dusting off his pants, he took a few steps up from the bank so that he was standing on even ground with the woman. He looked around, but saw that she was without escort. "Have you come to enjoy my landscape," he asked, as though he had painted it for her. "No, obviously not." Rubbing his chin, he shook his head. "No no, don't tell me. You've run away from your husband, and are fast on the road to Eddleton?" He nodded, his head knowingly, even though he could see that wasn't it either. "You're an outlaw, who has just robbed a caravan, and were making off with saddlebags full of gold, when you were thrown from your horse."

    He was circling her now, still in thought as he used his power of deduction to figure it out. "Wait a minute. How foolish of me? I am still dreaming, and you are the woman of said dreams. That makes perfect sense," he concluded, as he stepped closer and pinched her arm lightly. When she recoiled a bit, Dorin frowned. "Maybe not."

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    House Beaumarche Emma Beaumarche's Avatar  
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    Sorry, I can get carried away from time to time. I am Dorin Hunter.

    Rising, and offering her a light bow, Emma's unexpected poet seemed to gather himself once more as he moved to even ground with her; and the Beaumarche woman could only give a bemused smile, her brow still pinched together as she looked on at him with slight bewilderment. Hunter. Did she know any Hunters? Certainly not this man, for she would have remembered his laughing face - he was the kind of man that carried his ease in the lines of his face, and Emma was sure she would have taken note of this. Her lips parted, to offer up her own name - but then this odd Dorin Hunter moved on to question from where she had come, and, without realizing it, Emma found herself watching this man with a lingering expression of confusion, as he moved to walk about her in a circle, trying to pick through her silence as to who she might be. She wanted to laugh, his suggestions becoming more and more absurd as he continued on this awkward diatribe - but then he reached forward and pinched her, however lightly, and the smile fell from Emma's face and she took a step back from the Hunter lord, breaking his pacing circle.

    "I am no woman of dreams, Lord Dorin, although you might wish me to be ephemeral now, for I've half a mind to pinch you back for approaching me so brazenly," Emma said sharply, her green eyes wide now, and challenging. She paused, and then, remembering herself, glared at him. "I am Emma Beaumarche, m'Lord, if that helps to clear it up," she offered then, her green eyes lifting and returning to his face - keen, as always, to see if there was some kind of reaction.

    Beaumarche, even now, didn't always sit well on the tongues of others; but at least they were out of Hellfire Ridge. There, the reaction was always the same: disdain.

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    House Hunter Dorin Hunter's Avatar  
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    The man from Huntstown did not get defensive at her reaction. It simply wasn't in his nature. He paused to reflect that this might be part of the reason he lost so many arguments and fights. He was slow to anger, and not very adept at dodging blows.

    Meeting the challenge of her eyes with a small hint of contradiction, Dorin only smiled knowingly. "Every woman is a woman of dreams, Emma Beaumarche," he said, making no reach for an honorary. "The problem only lies in identifying the dreamer." He went back to circling her, as if there was something more to glean from her posture or body language. She spoke with a confidence that he wasn't entirely sure she conveyed otherwise. Gwendolyn was very much like that. With a bark that was scarier than her bite.

    Her eyes followed him, wary and with an easily spotted unease. He didn't prey on it, however. Dorin was far too kind to press an advantage, even if he had it. "I don't suppose the other half of your mind would care to walk," he asked, motioning at the road that led away from the keep. "And honestly, you may call me Dorin, if you please. After all, you are the eldest daughter of House Beaumarche," he said, making it clear that he knew her by name, even if he didn't know her by sight. "And I am but the lowly second cousin of a lord. Hardly worth the title you so handsomely awarded me, after I approached you so brazenly." There was a small wink in her direction, and it occurred to Dorin that this was perhaps the last kind of interaction that his cousin Hamilton would have wanted from him, when he sent him to Welch Run to be an ambassador.

    Turning back to the road, he took the first two steps before her, curious if she would follow, but trying to maintain a confident air. "It's a beautiful night," he offered back at her. "I don't mind sharing," he said with a smirk.

  9. #9
    House Beaumarche Emma Beaumarche's Avatar  
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    Every woman is a woman of dreams, Emma Beaumarche. The problem only lies in identifying the dreamer.

    Somehow, her reaction only seemed to provoke this peculiar man - and Emma's brow knit together as she watched Dorin Hunter pick back up his circling scrutiny, as though she were a morsel and he a ravenous beast, debating the best way to attack. She felt, abruptly, quite on display; and her increasingly angry expression still tracked this man's movements as he walked around her. She knew she should just walk away, but -

    I don't suppose the other half of your mind would care to walk. And honestly, you may call me Dorin, if you please. After all, you are the eldest daughter of House Beaumarche, and I am but the lowly second cousin of a lord. Hardly worth the title you so handsomely awarded me, after I approached you so brazenly.

    It was then that the Hunter lord took a step forward, and then another; pausing only once to glance back at Emma with that knowing smirk on his lips, eyebrows lifted incredulously on his forehead. He seemed to be waiting for her - expecting, almost, that she would follow. Emma felt a flush along her back, a mixture of irritation and exasperation, but found Dorin's light eyes still on her face, obediently pausing. How could he be serious?

    It's a beautiful night. I don't mind sharing.

    It was then that Emma surprised even herself by taking a tremulous step forward - one, and then another - until she was almost at Dorin's side. Her feet were still bare, slippers held in one hand, but both were curled into tiny fists. "You are a particularly strange man, Dorin Hunter," was all Emma could think to say, her pretty face shadowed.

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    House Hunter Dorin Hunter's Avatar  
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    "You are a particularly strange man, Dorin Hunter."

    The knight smiled knowingly and thrust his hands in his pockets, so as to appear less threatening as he turned and back-peddled, as he looked at her. "It might not surprise you to know that I hear that quite often," he conceded. There was nothing about his manner that could lead the woman to believe that he was offended by the statement. It was a clear fact that part of the recipe for being strange, was being new. And Dorin traveled in very few circles. Most of the people he had met since arriving in Welch Run thought him strange. Grant Hepburn had told him as much earlier, when he had invited Dorin for a drink, and the Hunter informed him that he was planning to lay out by the lake.

    Spinning back around, he spied a stone in Emma's path and kicked it out of the way with the side of his boot. Dorin had noted that she had not bothered to put her slippers back on, and he wouldn't want her pulling up lame. It was clear that she trusted him far less than she might throw him, so the odds of him being allowed to carry her back to the keep seemed infinitesimal. "I shall endeavor to keep my oddities to a minimum, if it makes you more comfortable, my lady," he offered, though he could really make no promises. He wasn't touched, or mad, or any of the like. But he was free. He truly believed that. So much of their society was about control. Who had it, who wanted it, and who was influenced by it. Dorin Hunter could not live that way.

    "I am new to polite society, I'm afraid. I don't know if I could even act as though I knew what was appropriate to say, let alone when to say it. Learning as I go has proved to be difficult," he admitted. "As witnessed by your uncertainty about me." There was a small shrug, followed by a hopeful glance. "I'm rambling. Will you not say something? Something about yourself? Something trite and non-enlightening. Something that shrouds you in that same mystery that the shadows afford. There is fear in your eyes, Lady Emma. And I want you to be at ease."

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    House Beaumarche Emma Beaumarche's Avatar  
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    It might not surprise you to know that I hear that quite often.

    Emma raised one eyebrow incredulously at Dorin's smirking face, but she said nothing; taking one step forward, and then another. He still skirted about the path like a jostling young colt, but Emma found herself following him nonetheless, if only from an arms-length distance. "No, really?" she said smartly, unable to keep the teasing barb from her tongue.

    But he professed that his own ease with formal settings was lacking, and that perhaps Emma's own reticence towards his behavior was merely a reflection of his poor handling of such situations; and yet, the way that this Dorin Hunter spoke with the practiced ease of a lyricist, Emma couldn't help but think that this man was attempting to fool her by masking his own naturally poor graces with some farcical story about his upbringing. She kept the divisive expression on her face but retained her tongue, this time, choosing instead to merely watch this handsome, peculiar stranger continue weaving his verbal spell.

    I'm rambling. Will you not say something? Something about yourself? Something trite and non-enlightening. Something that shrouds you in that same mystery that the shadows afford. There is fear in your eyes, Lady Emma. And I want you to be at ease.

    At this, Emma shot Dorin a look. "There is no fear in my eyes, Dorin Hunter, of that I assure you. At least, you have not yet proven yourself to be a man I should rightly concern myself by... a bit touched in the head, perhaps, but not a threat," Emma said smartly, a half-laugh caught in her throat, her eyebrows lifting on her forehead. She paused, debating, and then looked back at the path they were now headed; Emma's steps delicate but assured. "If you want to know something about me... know that I am a practical, straight-forward woman. I know not of this mystery you speak," she continued, a toying edge to her words.

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    House Hunter Dorin Hunter's Avatar  
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    There was a soft chuckle from the man, as Emma challenged him. Dorin had to admit that a small part of him enjoyed it. He had always loved to debate with his tutors, though mostly just to play devil's advocate. If banter was the only way to get her to open up to him, then so be it. Part of him wanted to press her, to engage her, to test her and see if she was the intellectual that he hoped she was. But then she lied.

    "There is no fear in my eyes, Dorin Hunter, of that I assure you. At least, you have not yet proven yourself to be a man I should rightly concern myself by... a bit touched in the head, perhaps, but not a threat."

    Stopping, Dorin looked at her coolly. His dark eyes seemed to look past her, or through her, and then focused back to take in her hard set face, reveling in the perceived confidence that she was trying to convey. "I never said it was me that you were afraid of," he said, his voice quiet and unassuming.

    The bounce in his step seemed to fade, and he slowed his pace a little, though he didn't seem interested in abandoning the notion. "I didn't mean to pry," he finally offered as an apology. He knew that he had presumed too much, and that even if he had been correct, it was unfair to put the woman on the spot. "I believe you," he said, referring to her description of herself. She was straight-forward, and she didn't know that she was a mystery.

    Walking for a few more minutes, Dorin was afraid that if he didn't change the subject, he would soon be alone again, but without the sun's rays. "What is it like in Slate Valley? Are there many trees?"
    Last edited by Dorin Hunter; 03-14-2014 at 03:21 PM.

  13. #13
    House Beaumarche Emma Beaumarche's Avatar  
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    I never said it was me that you were afraid of.

    Emma stilled when she saw Dorin take pause, his previously dancing eyes flattening as they looked back at her - through her - with a keen perception, unwittingly causing a chill to roll down the Beaumarche woman's spine. It was only then that she thought of the hour, and how far she was from her chambers. Something about the way he said it - I never said it was me that you were afraid of - made her feel watched, scrutinized; something Emma thought she had become familiar with feeling, but it blazed through her veins anew. As though it might draw her many secrets, laying just beneath the surface, somehow bubbling up and over her lips, without her permission.

    I didn't mean to pry. I believe you.

    The Beaumarche woman said nothing; falling from there into silence with the Hunter lord, his eyes on her face and Emma's own gaze cast past him, for some sense of security, towards the woods ahead. "You should," was all she muttered, her tone noncommittal, barely above a whisper. The pair continued to walk a casual pace, Emma's shoes in one hand, her toes delicately edging around any stones in her path; trying to shake the unease she felt at Dorin Hunter's peculiarly keen observation. When his voice finally broke the quiet - What is it like in Slate Valley? Are there many trees? - Emma tried her best to keep her eyes forward, her tone grounded.

    "There are many trees," she said simply, answering honestly; trying not to sound too lofty nor too mundane. "The Valley is tucked at the foot of the mountains, and while there are many trees, they are large and dark and particularly unforgiving. Many people think it is a drafty, stone-colored world, but I..." she said, hesitating, a hitch in her throat at her strangely sweet reply, "... I like it. It feels... secret."

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    House Hunter Dorin Hunter's Avatar  
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    For a while, Dorin had been convinced in the silence that the woman was about to turn back and flee. It was an expectation that he had reached merely on his observations of her person, and his uncanny knack to hit bone on his first cut. He had been warned that he was often too honest, and that people didn't necessarily care to hear what he had to say, and it was clear that he had crossed a line with Emma Beaumarche.

    When she finally responded, he could hear himself exhale, not realizing before then that he had been holding his breath. "That's nice," he said, trying to remember to be more courteous. "Everyone should have something about their home that they love," he commented, knowing that there was very little about Huntstown that he enjoyed. Dorin had often wished that it was different, and the only thing he could say about it was that it was close to the sea. But there was no space between the forest and the sea, and it felt much like the edge of the trees was the end of the world.

    "I've never been," he said coming back to himself. "To the Ridge, I mean. Lord Gage was not fond of it, and Lord Hamilton has few reasons to travel there. I don't think my cousin is very fond of Lord Hallward." Even though Bradley had died recently, Hamilton Hunter didn't seem in a terrible rush to extend an olive branch to the heir of Stone Forge. "But, if I do well enough here in Welch Run, perhaps I will be allowed to travel to the mountain," he added, a hopeful tone in his voice.

    They had walked far enough from the water that the grasses had begun to grow long on either side of the road around them, and with each small gust of wind, small white clouds of dandelion spores were floating by. When they came grouped enough to pluck from the sky, Dorin reached up and caught one. "We don't have anything like this in the forest. Regina used to tell me about dandelions," he admitted. "She said that you could make a wish, if you caught the seedlings and set them free." Opening his palm, Dorin blew the fluffy white spores from his hand. "Can't hurt, right?"

  15. #15
    House Beaumarche Emma Beaumarche's Avatar  
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    Emma offered up her peculiar companion a brief smile as he lightly voiced his appreciation for her own love of her home; and she gave a small, noncommittal shrug, unsure of what else to say.

    I've never been. To the Ridge, I mean. Lord Gage was not fond of it, and Lord Hamilton has few reasons to travel there. I don't think my cousin is very fond of Lord Hallward. But, if I do well enough here in Welch Run, perhaps I will be allowed to travel to the mountain.

    The Beaumarche woman couldn't help but laugh softly then, even if the brief mention of the Hallward family made her stomach instinctively turn; something she tried to push aside. "Most people are not particularly fond of the Hallwards. Or... at least, on the Ridge, I don't think," Emma said softly, her green eyes returning to her feet; at her toes, getting dirtier with each step. Elliot would be horrified that she was out, walking barefoot with some noble lord, like a peasant girl; but only because he likely believed he should be horrified. It seemed like something this newly-focused Lord Beaumarche would say - forgetting that they used to climb the hills barefoot together. Her green eyes lifted from the ground then, to look back at Dorin Hunter; whose dimpled smile looked pleasant on his face. Had she not noticed that before, distracted by his odd words? And how had they suddenly fallen into easy conversation? "But you should... see the mountains, that is. Perhaps I am biased, but - they are enchanting. Something... special, you can't find on the plains," Emma continued, the words speaking of their own volition. She paused, and then laughed again; this time a nervous sound, realizing how oddly fanciful she sounded. Emma glanced away again, tucking a lock of hair behind her ear with her free hand. "My apologies. For rambling."

    It was then that she noticed Dorin walking up a pace ahead of her now; and the fields to the side of them had risen up higher along the path's edge in more tangled weeds, long grasses that wafted in the breeze. Small puffs of white spores were drifting in the air, dotted the darkening sky with their bright fluff; and Dorin reached up, catching a small ball in his hand. Emma watched with slight fascination as it drifted around them - some catching in the loops of her braid.

    We don't have anything like this in the forest. Regina used to tell me about dandelions. She said that you could make a wish, if you caught the seedlings and set them free. Can't hurt, right?

    Emma reached up as well then, unable to help herself; and caught a small puff in the air, carefully pulling her hand back down in front of her. Upon inspection of her palm, carefully unfurling her fingers, she saw she had caught a sizable ball; and Emma smiled, unable to help herself. " -- Perhaps," she said wistfully, looking at her newly claimed prize. "Who is Regina?" she added as well, without thinking.

    The Beaumarche woman paused in her step, not having to think long on what her wish might be - for it was always the same, on every candle, for every shooting star - and then she closed her eyes and blew at small puff of air at the collection in her palm; scattering the seeds quickly to the wind once more. Her green eyes blinked open to see where they flew, caught up in the breeze once again.

    Couldn't hurt.

  16. #16
    House Hunter Dorin Hunter's Avatar  
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    Dorin was smiling more freely now, as though she had led him by example, and her soft expression was an invitation for him to do the same. "No need to apologize, Emma Beaumarche," he told her lightly. "After all, you had some catching up to do anyway, after I dominated the conversation so terribly earlier." The Hunter's eyes watched her, intent to hear what she had to say, and he turned to sidestep as they walked, better to see the light in her eyes. "There is passion in you," he said with a soft laugh, as though he was accusing her of hiding something. "And pride. You speak as though you paint your mountain with the stars, and as though it is your most prized work."

    Would that he could say the same of the forest. Maybe some day. Maybe when he had the time to miss it. "I don't think you are rambling. Sometimes the best poetry is without pentameter," Dorin assured her. "Men would give their souls to have you speak of them, in the manner in which you speak of your mountain." Watching her emulate his capture of the dandelions, Dorin felt an odd joy fill him. Finally, and for however briefly, he could share something with another.

    The man was unsure about her tone. Was she accusing him, or merely curious? As though he would simply stroll the open fields with an unknown woman while he hid another in a far away locale? "Regina is my cousin," he said with a smile. "Lord Hamilton's youngest sister. Still a child in her own right, but sadly much more traveled than me. One of the benefits of being a branch up in the old family tree."

    Watching her purse her lips, and blow the seedlings away, Dorin could feel a catch in his throat. For a moment, he could only stare. "The wind knows not its fortune," he finally whispered softly. His eyes met hers once she had seen it away, and his chest tightened, unsure if he had spoken too loudly still.
    Last edited by Rick; 03-26-2014 at 06:57 AM.

  17. #17
    House Beaumarche Emma Beaumarche's Avatar  
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    I don't think you are rambling. Sometimes the best poetry is without pentameter. Men would give their souls to have you speak of them, in the manner in which you speak of your mountain.

    Emma could feel herself coloring slightly at this genuine appraisal, and she felt lucky that the light was slipping from view beyond the waving grasses, into the trees; her green eyes still lifted to watch the descendants of her pollen sprig lift higher into the air, each dancing particle taking a different route, forging its own path back into the sky. "Oh, I don't know about that --" she hummed softly, bemused. But then he moved on to answer her question; Regina is my cousin--, and she thought briefly on what she knew about the Hunter family: very little, apparently.

    It was then that Emma let her green eyes drop back to Dorin's face, her lips parting to make a comment on his prolific family; when she saw his wistful gaze catch her own and, in a surprising display of embarrassment -- from a man Emma had certainly thought beyond such affliction, even if in only the short time they had spoke -- moved to avert his gaze, his eyes darting away briefly, before looking back at her with the mildest of scrutiny. He had said something, softly; but Emma, as always, had been too loud and spoken over him; and she felt a slight hitch in her throat, brought on by the peculiar way within which Dorin was looking at her then. She chewed at her bottom lip, and her green eyes dropped, looking down at her bare feet; wiggling her toes of her right foot distractedly. "I'm sorry, were you -- saying something?" was all she could think to add, her green eyes glancing back up at Dorin hesitantly, her eyebrows arched on her forehead.

  18. #18
    House Hunter Dorin Hunter's Avatar  
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    Hunter could do little more than laugh, a short nervous laugh that betrayed his usual cool. He knew that it would have been better for her to have heard him, or not heard him, as opposed to only half hearing him. His options now of course were to lie to her, or to repeat himself and deal with the consequences. Things had been taking a turn for the better, he thought. He had so few friends abroad, and even if they had departed ways momentarily, at least he would have afforded himself the chance to be social with her in the future, should they cross paths again. Perhaps even warrant an invitation to one of the larger gatherings in the Ridge, when the time came. But now, all of that was teetering on the brink of destruction. He would have to lie.

    Dorin was about to tell her it was nothing, when he heard the loud shrill of a hawk's screech on the wind. He turned his head to look, and the bird circled above the lake, no doubt searching for his dinner. "I said, the wind knows not its fortune, to have you blow it such a kiss."

    The hawk was free, why not he?

    Turning to look back at her, he frowned at himself. "I am forward with you, Emma Beaumarche. For that only am I sorry." The winds were picking up, and for a moment, Dorin thought that it might squall. He hoped for it desperately. If the rains came, and the woman were to run for the castle, he might be able to reason that it wasn't him she had run from. But though the air was humid, and a single stroke of heat lightning danced in the distant clouds, the sun that had so recently bathed him in warmth was still winning the day. With no threat of precipitation, there was nothing for it. There they stood, a dozen or so paces apart in the open field. Each seemingly waiting for the other to blink.

  19. #19
    House Beaumarche Emma Beaumarche's Avatar  
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    He seemed to falter then; a singularly surprising break of self-consciousness that Emma watched with slight amusement. He shifted on his feet, his mouth twisting; and where it seemed the moment might pass --

    I said, the wind knows not its fortune, to have you blow it such a kiss.

    To this, Emma felt a flush of heat around her throat; not entirely used to such compliments, and certainly not from a man she barely knew. What was the nature of this admiration? Was it true? Her hands were on her hips then, and her green eyes fell to her feet once more; dirty from the road, just peaking out beneath the hem of her long skirts. She toyed with her own response -- her natural inclination toward slight distrust overpowering her. Emma didn't want to be that way, but she couldn't help it.

    It was safer.

    I am forward with you, Emma Beaumarche. For that only am I sorry.

    Emma glanced up to see Dorin looking at her once more -- a somewhat bashful expression on his face; reserved, and almost slightly hurt, but nonetheless genuine. She hesitated, chewing the inside of her lip.

    "I wish -- I could only speak as purely as you do, Dorin Hunter. That is the only thing I shall apologize for, in return," she finally spoke, her words soft, a sheepish smile on her red lips.

  20. #20
    House Hunter Dorin Hunter's Avatar  
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    When the chestnut haired girl had finally spoke, there was an odd sense of relief that fell over Dorin, and he smiled knowingly. Taking two steps back, the knight put his hand on his hip where his sword would have been, had he been carrying. "Villain," he hissed at her dramatically. "There lives no greater threat to man, than a woman who underestimates herself." Pretending to draw the sword, he looked and saw it wasn't there, and acted as though he had cast it away. Reaching into the ground, he picked up a long reed of willow grass and waved it at her menacingly.

    "Purity," he said, dropping the act and letting the reed fall to the ground, "Comes from confidence. And confidence comes when you speak from the heart. Like you do about your mountain," he said with a smile. "I do not fault you for being guarded, my lady. Especially around strange men who threaten you with willow grass. So you may forgo your apology."

    Stopping, the knight looked to the sky and saw that the first of the evening stars was starting to wink into view. Dorin had failed to notice the sun as it had gotten past the horizon, but there was an odd sensation and electricity in the air now that dusk had fallen around them. Turning back, Dorin was surprised to see how far they had wandered from the lake. It had seemed like only a very short time since they had met, but perhaps it was longer than he imagined. He was about to comment that they should be getting back. The crickets were quick to warn him off the idea.

    Something on the air changed and Hunter held up his finger to his lips, looking at Emma for quiet. Waiting, turning his head from side to side, he smiled. "Fireflies," he whispered, as the distinctive gold blinking began behind her.
    Last edited by Rick; 04-03-2014 at 07:24 AM.

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