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Old 08-23-2010, 11:55 PM   #1
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Heart of Lothian

Closed for myself and Mignonette


East Lothian, it was home of a proud people, as all of Scotland was proud. Gavin Fenton looked from his tower home near Linton. The tower sat atop a small hill the River Tyne flowing next to it. Gavin was lord of all he could see and hold.

The problem was though he could see far, his hold hand been greatly compromised by the British Army detachment that was besieging his tower, plundering his land.

Gavin and his cousin, Robert, surveyed the scenery before them. “It looks bad, Gavin.”

“Now bad depends on whether or not the British are willing to hang out there for all of winter. The snow is coming you know.” Gavin replied evenly.

“Aye, it is; in five months; and there are plenty trees about to keep them warm if they stay that long,” Robert pointed out needlessly.

Frustration rising, Gavin spun on his cousin. Wrapping his hands around Robert’s throat, “What? Shall I lift my kilt and let them have at whatever they find?” Shaking Robert mightily, Gavin shoved his cousin back. His voice was full of anger and disgust as he said, “Maybe I’ll hold yours up for them first.”

Gavin looked at his shield, rent nearly in two by one of the British knights recently. The red enamel shattered along the path of the blade and Gavin thought it someday would make a fine clan coat of arms as it was.

If the clan lived that long.

Most of his kinsmen had died in the last handful of years, fighting for Robert the Bruce and Scottish independence. He had buried a father, a brother, and more cousins than he could remember.

Worst of all the damn war had cost him his beloved Lilias. Perhaps a more charitable man would said the child birth had gone poorly, killing both mother and child. Gavin was not feeling charitable. If he hadn’t been fighting the damned English, he could have gotten her help. Maybe a more experienced midwife.

Maybe if there wasn’t a war he would have been here to force her to work less hard around their home when the pregnancy was taking so much from her.

But no. The damned English had to be repulsed from Scotland, which required soldiers. For all the faults he may or may not have as a man, he was a bloody fine soldier. Seldom home while Lilias had been alive, he had been here mourning her lost when the damned English contingent before him now showed up, harassing him and his holdings. Besides his entire life had known this war.

Starting in 1296, some 32 years later it still seemed to be going on. It was bad luck that the English showed up at the beginning of the planting season; winter was going to be hard if he could not dislodge the occupying force so they could plant. Turning his back to the English Gavin started to wrap his head around how to feed his people and men this winter.

Still pondering the situation, Robert roused Gavin from his thoughts. “Look. A rider is coming bearing a white flag.”

It was a very long wait for the rider to go into the English camp then ride from there toward Gavin’s tower home. Bounding down the stairs, Gavin met Percy Kennedy at the outer fortifications. If Gavin had a friend not in his clan, it was Percy.

“Gavin you look older than Methuselah,” Percy jibbed.

“You look like an Englishman up on that horse.” Gavin retorted.

Dismounting from the horse, Percy managed to look both pleased and put out simultaneously. “It’s over Gavin. We have peace, the English admitted defeat and signed the Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton.” Through Percy’s tired exuberance, Gavin saw something else, a hint of trepidation perhaps in Percy’s eyes.

Robert standing behind Gavin heard and went running back into the keep proper to spread the news.

“What aren’t you telling me Percy?”

Percy sighed, shoulders slumping as if he were defeated and not the English. “Robert the Bruce wants you to marry again.”

Before Percy could continue, Gavin ripped off one syllable, “No.”

Raising his hands Percy continued, “Look, it will be a political marriage that potentially could pay off for Clan Fenton.”

“No Percy.”

“Listen, Robert is insistent, he is marrying David off this summer to help seal the treaty. Your marriage to one of Isabella of France’s ladies in waiting is also a component of the treaty.”

“No Percy.”

“Gavin, she is only a day behind me. She’ll be here tomorrow midafternoon.”

Rage overtook Gavin and he briefly considered striking Percy, “I don’t want an old gnarled hag of an Englishwoman for a wife. I have one, Lilias. A second wife is not necessary.”
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Old 08-24-2010, 03:57 AM   #2
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She didn't want this, yet nobody seemed to care. Such was the fate of any woman it seemed. Rozenn Clayburn, daughter of Lord Richard of Sussex and Lady in waiting to Isabella of France, had been torn out of her old life and plunged into a new one without ever giving her consent.
Her father was close to the king and had felt honored when his majesty had chosen his daughter to be a pawn in the game of peace between England and Scotland. Perhaps Lord Richard was also glad to be rid of his daughter without having to spent a penny, seeing as the king promised to fund her dowry.

At twentyone Rozenn was old to be unmarried and her chances of finding anyone at court were small. She looked small and fragile compared to the other girls, even though she stood as tall as them. While everyone sang, she only mouthed the words, not being able to hit a note. And because of a small limp, caused by an accident in childhood where she had fallen off a horse, nobody asked her to dance or for walks. At least she was not ugly with her long golden hair and dark green eyes and people even looked after before they noticed her walk or heard of her lack of qualities.
Not even Isabella of France paid much attention to the maid that she only took into her entourage out of pity, where the poor girl was ridiculed by everyone. Maybe that was the only good thing about being sent away, escaping all the evil tongues.

Wbat Rozenn however learned quickly upon stepping on Scottish soil was that the malicious whispers would not stop in her new home. This time it was not her limp or her lack of skills that brought people's hatred upon herself, but simply her birth and family. The journey was long and uncomfortable, but none of the men in her party even considered this and rode without many stops.
How badly Rozenn wished her family would be there with her, but they had all stayed behind, sending with her only a distant cousin as messenger for their household.

"Stephen, what is my future husband like?", she finally asked, not being able to take the endless silence any longer. Stephen turned to look at his cousin and shrugged his shoulders.
"What do you expect him to be like? He's a barbarian. Like all Scots are."
That was far from re-assuring for the bride to be, but her cousin seemed not to care. She had asked and he had delivered an answer. That seemed enough for him.
"What if he doesn't want me?"
And annoyed groan from Stephen told her that he was not in the mood to have a conversation like this, but she received another reply nevertheless.
"He won't have much of a say in this matter. He either takes you or the entire english army will run over his land and his castle. I think even a brute has enough brains to make the better choice."
Rozenn looked down. Of course, it was all a political match. She shouldn't be expecting anything from it. With any luck he would wed her and send her back to the English court in London.
Then again, she would be his property. He would be allowed to do with her as he pleased.
"Stop looking so worried, Rose.", Stephen finally said, taking some pity with his cousin and even using the nickname her family had given her in moments of kindness. "The match is done and you should accept it finally. Besides, you are pretty enough to the eye. He will not find you repulsive."
That was as close a compliment as she could expect from her cousin. Pretty enough to the eye...yes, that was more than she could have asked for.

After another few days the party finally arrived at the castle where they were supposed to be received by Fenton, her future husband.
Although impressive, the structure looked unkept compared to what she was used to from London. It was evident that the constant war had not done the lands much good.
Rozenn got out of the carriage with Stephen's help and instantly pulled her cloak over her head as if suddenly embarrassed. Not that her cousin cared much. What he was holding in his hand was much more important. It was a writing from King Edward II himself which offered peace to Clan fenton and a promise to sent troops should they ever be in need of help. In exchange Lord Fenton was asked to accept Lady Rozenn Clayburn of Sussex as his wife, who would come with an extensive dowry of gold, cattle and horses. All that the Scot had to do was sign it and send Stephen back to London.

Rozenn was trembling as her cousin led her into the main hall. From the first moment the whispers started again.
"Look, she is limping..."
"And hiding...she must be one ugly lass...."
"Our poor Lord will have to accept this thing? It's an insult!"
"What else did you expect from the English?"
She tried not to pay attention to them, but it still hurt.

"Greetings Lord Fenton, I am Sir Stephen Clayburn, emissiary for King Edward II of England and I am here to bring you the peace treaty we have all waited for for so long."
And with those words he handed the writing to the Scot. But he didnt stop there. With one rather rough movement he pushed Rozenn forward and continued:
"This is Lady Rozenn Clayburn, a cousin of mine, who will be your bride to seal the treaty and create an unbreakable bond between Scotland and England so that peace will last for years to come."
Still Rozenn had her eyes cast down and the cloak pulled tightly over her head to hide her face. In any second she would see the man she was forced to give her life to. Would he really be a barbarian?
"Don't be so squirmish, milady. Let your future husband see you."
And with those words Stephen tore away her cloak revealing her to Gavin. Her golden hair was put into a neat braid that had a green ribbon woven into it, which matched the color of her equally green gown. All of course chosen to make the color of her eyes stand out even more. At least once people had tried to show off her good qualities rather than ignoring them.

However Gavin wasn't seeing much of those emerald orbs as her eyes were still cast to the groun. She made a bow as she had learned at court and spoke:
"Greetings, mylord..."
Her voice was soft, but trembling like the rest of her body. She knew she should say more, but a knot in her throat didn't allow any other words to leave her lips.
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Old 08-25-2010, 11:02 PM   #3
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It had been the busiest 24 hours of Gavin's life, other than the 24 hours previous to his marriage to Lilias.

This time there was far too much to do. There were bodies to lay earth and salt upon, cleaning to do, Stables to muck, and worst of all, Gavin had to face Lilias' chamber and clean it out of her belongings.

It was heart wrenching for Gavin to do; but, he would allow no other to do it. It was his job. He had to face the ghost of his beloved and coax her from the tower, for a new Lady Fenton was coming.

Far too soon.

Part of Gavin wondered what she would be like, mostly he didn't care. It was not like he wanted another wife. Damned English.

Gavin was helping with the burial detail when Mary, his cousin's wife, came up and said, "She is almost here, Gavin."

"How long do I have?" Gavin asked.

Mary laughed answering, "Long enough to jump in the trough and clean up a bit before the carriage stops."

Mary's laughter chased after him, saying, "I didn't bother before now, because you would have told me to wait until I could see the horse's eyes."

Acknowledging the truth of what she said, Gavin shot her another wilting look as she said, "Brown, Gavin. The horse's eyes are brown."

It was a hurried, cold bath of sorts, mostly to knock the greater portion of the mud, clay, and God alone knows what else off his body. Dressing in a kilt and homespun linen shirt, Gavin met the carriage and watched as his bride to be came forward.

Percy on one side of him, Robert the other, behind Gavin stood the parish priest and the remaining close family members of his clan.

Gavin was watching his future bride closely as he saw the blush cross her face as people whispered:

"Look, she is limping..."
"And hiding...she must be one ugly lass...."
"Our poor Lord will have to accept this thing? It's an insult!"
"What else did you expect from the English?"

Rozenn and her cousin stopped in front of him as the male thrust a piece of paper at Gavin's face. Taking the treaty from Stephen he tossed it over his shoulder at the priest, not caring if it were caught or not.

Crudely, Stephen shoved his cousin much like he had the treaty, saying, ""This is Lady Rozenn Clayburn, a cousin of mine, who will be your bride to seal the treaty and create an unbreakable bond between Scotland and England so that peace will last for years to come."

Her voice sounded like morning dew on the yellow Iris that grew out behind the keep when war didn't trample them down as she said, "Greetings, mylord..."

Keeping his eyes on his future wife, Gavin said softly, his voice carrying across the courtyard easily, "My lady, welcome to East Lothian, the heart of Scotland, as we beat so does Scotland. Here, people are worth more than the paper that is carried with them."

Taking a step forward, Gavin wrapped his hand around her forearm, just above the wrist. It was a firm, gentle grip, that carried the clear message of acceptance, and ownership. "Mary, show my fiancée to Il-, err, her chambers. She surely is tired."

Showing none of the previous good natured humor, Mary curtsied, "Of course, my lord, cousin."

Rozenn stepped forward to follow Mary when someone very close to Gavin muttered, "I canna believe he's..."

Cutting off the speaker, the thunderous clap of Gavin's open palm smashing into the man's ear echoed through the courtyard. The concussive force disrupting the man's balance enough that he fell instantly to his knees. Grabbing the man by the hair, Gavin threw him onto the ground, placing his foot over the man's throat.

The hiss of Gavin's voice carried the cold northern wind, the promise of death, "She is my wife. If you want to keep your tongue in your mouth, you will accord to her the respect you owe me."
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Old 08-26-2010, 05:49 AM   #4
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"My lady, welcome to East Lothian, the heart of Scotland, as we beat so does Scotland. Here, people are worth more than the paper that is carried with them."

His voice was deep and carried the heavy accent of his people. Rozenn had heard that it was often impossible to understand so relief washed over her as she could clearly make out every word. It was the soft note in his words that finally gave her the courage to look up at him, her shining green eyes meeting his for the first time.
He was taller than her and well built. A true warrior as Rozenn could tell. Gavin seemed like the kind of man every maid could be attracted to physically, but because of her own circumstances Rozenn knew that it was necessary to look past appearances to catch the true spirit within.

When she saw him taking a step forward she didnt flinch, but just held his gaze, feeling his strong hand wrap around her arm with ease. Once again relief washed over her as he accepted her. Rozenn's biggest fear had been that one look at her would have been enough for Gavin to decide that he wouldnt want her. But then again, perhaps Stephen was right and he was simply making the best decision for his people, not caring one bit about who he was buying with the peace.

"Mary, show my fiancée to Il-, err, her chambers. She surely is tired."

Rozenn wanted to say that she was not so tired yet, but kept her mouth shut. He wanted her gone, so it was best to leave. And perhaps staying in her own chambers for a while would give her time to settle down with the new situation.

A woman stepped forward, following the Lord's call to accompany Rozenn to her new rooms. Mary seemed very pretty in Rozenn's eyes and she could see an incredible liveliness and warmth. It would however not be directed towards her, the intruding Englishwoman. The young bride realized that she would have to fight for every bit of kindness, just like she had done almost her entire life.

Mary and her were just about to leave the room when the incident happened. It all started with just another whisper, which Rozenn could easily have ignored.
"I canna believe he's..."
Those words were nothing unexpected, but what followed was. Gavin's violent outburst made Rozenn tremble as she saw him almost choking the man to death declaring that she was now his wife and that the man had to show the respect he owed.
All of a sudden Rozenn saw herself on the ground, with Gavin towering above her, reminding her that she was his wife, his property and that she had to show the due respect. This was a man with a heavy hand and she would have to watch her every step.

In the end she was glad that Mary ushered her out of the room and into the tower, where servants had already started to carry in her belongings. Heavy wooden trunks full of beautiful gowns and matching shoes and jewellery, which had all been provided by the king, almost as recompensation for sending her away. And also a few containing the books she had brought from home. Reading was not regarded as an adequate past time for women in England, but from what Rozenn had heard, it was mostly shunned completely in the wild lands of Scotland. So she had brought as many books to read as her parents had allowed, thinking it would be difficult to get more reading material in her new home.

The first thing Rozenn did was move to the window, gasping when she saw the beautiful wilderness stretch out before her. Endless green fields, majestic hills and a giant lake not far away. Because of her nervosity she hadnt seen much of the land throughout her journey, but now the view was calming after what she had witnessed and she simply couldnt tear her eyes away from it. So much different from London, where there were more houses than greenery. But even the enchanting scenery could not keep her mind off her present situation for long and eventually she turned to Mary, who had been overseeing the servants' work.
"Lady Mary...may I be allowed to ask you a question?", Rozenn asked almost shyly. "Lord Fenton...is he always this..." Brutal? Cruel? Barbaric? "rash in his actions?"
She had been careful in her choice of words, not wanting to offend from the beginning, but she needed to know what to expect from her future husband.

Meanwhile downstairs Stephen cleared his throat, feeling visibly unsettled after the outburst of the castle's master.
"I am sure that his majesty will be very pleased to know that you accepted the treaty and the Lady that came with it. I will also refer the news to her parents. It might please you that the King has also provided Lady Rozenn with an extensive dowry. A herd of excellent cattle, fourteen well bred horses and threehundred gold."
A small gasp went through the hall. That was ridiculous for a dowry, especially cosidering the bride. In the end it only showed how desperate the English were for peace as well.
"Lord Fenton, I shall presently return to London to convey the news as quickly as possible. When you see my cousin, tell her how horribly sorry I am that I had to depart without a word of goodbye, but my duty calls."
He didnt look sorry at all to be leaving his cousin in stranger's lands, all on her own. In his mind he had done the task assigned to him and that was enough. He could return home with no regrets. He didnt care about the ceremony or about seeing the proof that the matrimony had been sealed through consumation. For all he cared Gavin could keep Rozenn locked in the tower and have another woman in his bed. The treaty had been accepted and so had been his cousin. Nothing more mattered.
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Old 08-26-2010, 10:16 PM   #5
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Scorn and disdain etched into Gavin's face as Stephen ran like a little girl from the tower home. "Damned coward won't even watch his cousin's marriage," Gavin said lightly.

More feeling than hearing the person still literally underfoot, Gavin looked down and scowled, "Damn, Monroe. What are ya thinking? She is to be my wife, you can't be talking about her like that. You know that? I boxed ye ear when you said something about Lilias those years ago."

Monroe squirmed a little, looking sheepish, "Ya sorry, Gavin. But you and I have been killing the Aneglish for al our lives, and now you are marrying one?"

Sticking his hand out, "The treaty Father, if you please."

Taking the treaty and beginning to read it, Gavin glanced at Robert, "Go stop the English coward, it might be useful to him to returned with a signed copy of the treaty."

A quick laugh, Robert replied, "When shall I say he can expect it?"

A wide smile spread across Gavin's face, "After the honeymoon. If she inna virgin, then all treaties are void."

Robert's laugh filled the reception room as he left, "Of course, Gavin, I'll let him know."

Gavin's mouth went into overdrive, barking out orders, as he read the intricate treaty pondering the various ways the English could void it. "Sim, have Blair help Mary with my intended bride. Ask Blair and Mary to have her on the roof a wee bit before sundown. Also put one chair, one stool, on the roof along with dinner."

"Lennox, go invite the neighbors to the marriage, the third dawn from today. Send someone to Percy's Mum and Da, in case they want a piece of the action, though I suspect they are too busy in Edinburgh. Take a note inviting the Bruce, though I know he is too busy to watch."

~*~*~*~*~

Mary and Rozenn were in the chambers set aside for Rozenn unpacking the bags that some of the other wives helped bring up from the carriage. Nervously, Rozenn asked, "Lady Mary...may I be allowed to ask you a question? Lord Fenton...is he always this..." her pause while considering her choices brought a smile to Mary's face which was somewhat crestfallen with, "rash in his actions?"

Mary's smile returned as quick as it had fallen at such a polite question, then replied, "My cousin, your husband, is a warrior. He plans, he thinks, then acts." Sitting on the bed Mary patted the mattress next to her and continued as Rozenn sat.

"If I had to guess, he saw your embarrassment at the whispers in the courtyard, then decided to stop it once and for all. So when Monroe opened his mouth, Gavin set the example with him. And you shouldn't worry so about Monroe, there is not much between his ears to hurt if you know what I mean."
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Old 08-27-2010, 04:45 AM   #6
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Percy, who had been looking at the peace treaty as well, chuckled when he noticed that Gavin was looking for all the weak points in it.
"Have ye seen the lass? Nobody would have claimed her before. She is nae bad to the eye, but I have heard rumors from the court that there is nothing more to her."
He patted Gavin's shoulder to move on to fulfill the tasks he had been given.
"If I were ye I would bed her to seal the marriage and then send her away and take a proper mistress."
It was pretty much what Percy had done with his wife anyways. Their marriage had been arranged and after she had born him an heir she was left to her own devices while Percy entertained himself with other lasses between the various battles.

During the next few hours the castle was properly busy as it hadnt been in a long time. Although most servants were still displeased to put up so much effort for an Englishwoman, they had learned their lesson from Gavin's outburst in the hall and were keeping their mouths shut.

To his dismay, Stephen had been stopped and asked to wait after all till his cousin's marriage was over so that he would be able to return with a signed treaty. The man had actually hoped to simply send a messenger for it later. He despised the Scots as much as they despised him and being on their land made him feel uneasy. Also, his fingers were itching to finally claim the reward he had been promised for his trouble of escorting Rozenn upon his return to London. Money that would be well spent on drinking and whoring.


Up in the tower, Rozenn's heart warmed when she saw Mary smile at her question rather than reprimand her for insulting Gavin's actions.
She moved to sit on the soft bed next to Mary and listened to her talk.
"It is hard to miss that he is a warrior.", Rozenn said with a smile, remembering how well built and tall he was. For a while there was a pause as she looked out of the window again for a moment. Even from the bed the view was beautiful.
"This was the first time anyone actually stood up for me to stop the evil tongues." It was a good feeling to know that there was at least one person out there willing to protect her. Even if it happened out of duty and not out of caring for her.
Again her eyes turned to Mary, her look serious and honest. "I will be a good wife to him. He will never have a reason to regret having accepted me. I will try to learn you Scottish ways so you will never have to see the Englishwoman in me....Will you help me, Lady Mary?"

She needed this one ally within her new home to show her around and to help her not to make too many mistakes. And the need for help started very early as servants came in to inform her that she would be dining with Lord Fenton and that she should get ready for it.
A bath was drawn and Rozenn had to choose a new dress for the evening. After many discussions yet another green gown was chosen, which was embroidered with gold and silver. The material was exquisit, but the cut rather simple to show some modesty.
When it came to the hair, Mary insisted that Rozenn wore it open. Her wavy golden locks fell like a golden cascade down her back, almost reaching her hips. In London she had always had to wear it either braided or tied up in some sort of fashion. It actually felt good to have it loose once in a while.

"Will you be there as well, Lady Mary?", Rozenn asked once her newfound friend, if she could really consider the other woman that way, started to lead her out of the room.
She expected to be brought to a dining hall of some sorts, but instead they were going up to the roof as it seemed. To Rozenn the entire idea seemed odd, but once she reached the open place, her mouth fell open in a gasp. The view from where she was standing was simply breathtaking. She didnt even know in which direction to look as she feasted her eyes on what was before her.
The impending sundown was making everything seem magical as the shades of orange, red and yellow gave the land a strange color. She was so taken with it all for a moment, that she almost completely forgot her future husband's presence. Quickly she noticed her mistake and curtsied deeply in front of him.
"Lord Fenton, I apologize humbly. The view had simply been too majestic..."
It was no proper excuse to ignore him and she actually feared his reaction. She had wanted so hard not to make a mistake and in the first instant she had failed.
Slowly she looked up at him again, begging him for forgiveness with her eyes, which also showed the fear within them. She had been striked before for mistakes, be it by her parents or her brothers, but none of them had looked as strong as Gavin.

Percy, who had once more returned to Gavin's side chuckled.
"Poor lass, she's trembling like a leaf in front of ye. And all that just because she cannae take her eyes of our beloved land."
The Scots loved their land and even Percy had to admit that he loved to just sit somewhere and enjoy the views of the untamed soil.
"I shall leave ye two to dine. Come, Mary.", he said and started to take his leave. As he passed Rozenn he bowed, showing her the proper respect as the future lady of the castle.

As the two left, Rozenn's heart sank. She had felt better with Mary by her side, but now she would have to deal with Gavin on her own. She tried her best not to tremble as she met his gaze, but it really was not easy.
There was so much in his eyes, she suddenly noticed. So much anger, but also so much sadness. This was a man who had seen the worst of life, which had probably shaped him and made him the way he was now.
Compared to his, Rozenn's sufferings were minor. Ever since her accident she had been ridiculed, ignored, punished for mistakes her healthy brothers and sisters had done and used by her family in any way they pleased. Gavin however had faced much worse and yet he was still standing there. Tall and confident and strong. In that moment of silence, Rozenn's respect for him awoke. And it wasnt respect out of fear of being beaten, but out of admiration for what he had been through without being broken completely.
She herself had almost given up. As a child she had been a wild, happy and outgoing girl, but over the years she had become silent, shy and even fearful of others.
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I'm a creative writer, who loves historical settings, seduction, bareback sex and experienced male lovers, who know what they want. My ideas and plots can be found HERE.

Some of my past works to give an idea of how I write:

Roommates

Heart of Lothian

The Homecoming

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Old 08-27-2010, 11:31 AM   #7
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The rest of the afternoon was a whirlwind affair. So many things had to be done to get the keep presentable for a wedding, and damned little time to do so. Much of it was women's work, planning the dinner, decorating the hall, and so on.

Fortunately, there were plenty of women about. Putting protocol aside for a while, Gavin gave the women directions, giving them broad strokes of what he wanted, leaving it to them to fill in the blanks. "One good thing" Gavin thought, "After the wedding, I will no longer have to deal with the domestic stuff as well as everything else."

Unfortunately, with the women, he had to consider who was married to whom and the way the women would receive his instructions, was a job beneath one woman’s station, above another’s?

The men were so much easier to order about. No man was above any particular task in times that required decisive action. A new door was being made, for the keep, the one currently in place horribly marred from the short siege of the tower. Animals herded in for the slaughter for the next few days, tonight to celebrate Rozenn’s arrival, tomorrow victory over the English, the day after for the impending wedding, and then the wedding.

Gavin intended to clear the keep of visitors on the fourth dawn. He needed time. Time with his new wife, time to put aside the dead, time to mourn the death of his wife and child; Gavin’s mind momentarily locked at the grief of losing them both so close to each other. Shuddering, Gavin thrust aside the thoughts of his dead wife and child, the day had to be faced, and neither of them were here.

~*~*~*~*~

Gavin and Percy watched as Mary and Rozenn came out of the hatch door and stepped onto the roof of the tower. The fiery colors of sunset shone of her hair, as if it were a fire in its own right.

Her movements were dainty, unsure of herself or her place in this tower, and apparently this world. When Scotland allowed Rozenn to remember where she was, and who waited for her, shock and slight embarrassment flitted across her face as she curtsied to Gavin. Though his face remained placid, Gavin’s eyes could not help but jump in laughter. Scotland captured the heart of all that saw her.

Gavin neither acknowledged Percy, nor watched him as he and Mary left the tower's roof, leaving him alone with Rozenn for the first time. Gavin’s entire attention focused on the slight woman before him. Rozenn and stood there a moment looking at each other, briefly he wondered what she was thinking, then discarded the thought as idle; it really didn't matter what either of them thought, the truth of the matter was that they were to be wed, regardless of their desires.

The laughter and good cheer of the dinner being served some 40 feet below them drifted up as Gavin walked up to his fiancée. Wrapping his hand just above Rozenn’s wrist, Gavin gently led her over to the stool and helped her sit. Between the chair and the stool upon which she sat a low table sat. The dinner featured honey and heather chicken. Before Rozenn sat two pewter plates, a fork rested on each side of the table along with a knife.

“Did you have a restful afternoon with my cousin’s wife” Gavin asked as he sat in the chair across from Rozenn.
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Old 08-27-2010, 12:53 PM   #8
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When he took a step towards her, Rozenn wanted to take one backwards, but didnt flinch at all in the end. He did not raise his hand to strike her, but simply reached for her wrist. His grip was not harsh or intended to hurt her and after another few seconds she saw that her mistake had been gracefully ignored. Relief washed over her and she could breathe freely again.

She thanked him as he led her to her chair. The food was nothing compared to what the royal banquets in London offered, but the smell was incredible Throughout the journey Rozenn had eaten only little. A bit of bread and some cheese whenever her cousin had cared to stop. Now he stomach was feeling completely empty, eager to be filled with something warm and tasty. Knowing the protocol she waited for Gavin to start eating first before she reached out for the food.

“Did you have a restful afternoon with my cousin’s wife?”

Hearing his question, Rozenn looked up. He seemed kind enough to want to start a coversation and she was only too happy to oblige him. A silent meal would leave her with nothing but worries.

"Yes, I did indeed, mylord. Lady Mary is a very delightful woman. She is warm like the sun.", Rozenn replied with honesty. "To be honest, I had feared to be met with distaste and to be kept at a distance. Lady Mary however made my first few hours in East Lothian very delightful."

She pourred him some wine before adding some to her own goblet. It were small gestured that showed him that she would be a good wife. One who knew her place.
And even though there were so many questions rushing through Rozenn's head she knew better than to ask them all at once. The man before her, whom she would be calling husband soon, was still a complete stranger, but she hoped that time would bring them together despite their situation.
Rozenn was not foolish enough to expect true love. It was what bards would be singing about. But she hoped for a friendly relation of mutual respect.

"Has my cousin Stephen left already?", she suddenly did ask. "I had a feeling that he was not too happy to be here...Im sure he hurried back home."
Although Stephen was unaware of it, Rozenn knew very well of the sum her father had promised him for escorting her so that Lord Richard would not have to leave the luxuries of the English capital and the royal court.


Downstairs Mary walked to the dining hall with Percy.
"I donae care what everybody is saying, Lady Rozenn is a delightful little thing. More like a scared bird than anything else.", she said. "She will need every wee bit of kindness she can receive. God knows what they did to her in London to make her like this."
She shook her head as she raged on about the English.
"Do ye think he will love her?", she suddenly asked as they reached the dining hall. "I mean...after losing Lilias...It would be a shame if he didnae find love again."
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Old 08-27-2010, 02:11 PM   #9
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Rozenn quickly, without prodding from Gavin served up dishes for the two of them from the chicken and vegetables, then poured them both wine. A small smile crossed his face as he took a sip and bite, then leaned back to watch her eat.

It was dainty to be sure. Beneath it though was a ravenous hunger that would not allow her to hide that hunger long. He was happy to hear that the time with Mary paid off as he had thought it would. His woman was a frightened little bird in the one place where fear could not be tolerated.

Scottland. The fearful did not survive here.

Not quite choking on a bite of chicken when Rozenn asked about her cousin, Gavin looked toward the southeast along the road to Edinburgh and beyond then spotted a tent in the trees.

Pointing, "There in the trees, do you see that tent?"

After a moment or two Rozenn found the tent and indicated so, "That would be your cousin. He ran out of here so fast that I didn't have a chance to sign the treaty."

Shrugging and turning back to his food, Gavin took a bite and followed up, "He's is our guest while he waits our return from the wedding and honeymoon. Then I'll sign his treaty and let him off to London."

Gavin watched Rozenn's reaction carefully as he said softly, "I will have him attend the wedding, make him do you the honor of handing your properly."
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Old 08-27-2010, 02:47 PM   #10
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"There in the trees, do you see that tent?"

Rozenn actually had to stand up to take a closer look. After some moments she finally managed to make out the small structure amongst the trees and she nodded to Gavin to show that she had spotted it.
It was very unlike her cousin to prefer a small tent to a proper chamber in a castle, which just showed how far his hatred of the Scots went.

"I apologize for him.", Rozenn spoke up. "Stephen is very....English."
She couldnt think of another word for it and to Gavin it probably spoke volumes.

When Gavin promised her that he would make her cousin attend the wedding to do her honor, she bowed her head in gatitude.
"Thank you...it would actually mean a lot to me if even one member of my family was present. Even if its out of duty only."
She actually was very disappointed that her parents had let her go so happily. They had been present at Anne's and Katherine's weddings and now Rozenn found herself rather jealous of her older sisters. Both of them were married happily to influential men at court and both already had children of their own. They had everything Rozenn had always dreamed about.

Her eyes moved to Gavin and she wondered what kind of father and husband he would be. Would he be as caring and loving as Anne's husband, who always wanted to spend every second with her and his children? Or would he be more materialistic and simply cover her in gifts, while he traveled in the nme of the king like Katherine's husband? Or would he maybe be completely different? Oddly enough, Rozenn could not envision Gavin as a husband and father at all. She simply saw a warrior in him.

"May I ask when the wedding is to take place?", she asked softly. "I will have to find a proper gown. The king and my parents have gifted me with an extensive wardrobe, but not a wedding dress." One of her normal ones would have to do.
"Also...what do you intend to do with me after the wedding?"
The question sounded so very silly, but she needed to know. Would she be sent away? Did he want her to stay away from him? She just had to be aware of what was to come in her life.
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Old 08-27-2010, 11:59 PM   #11
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Gavin watched his bride to be as she demurely asked when the wedding was and what her fate would be there after. "How to answer," he thought.

"Well the wedding will be at the third dawn from today. I have sent people out inviting neighbors and friends as well as the Bruce and Percy's parents, in csae they deign to come to the country, which I greatly doubt."

Night was settling in on the two of them. The deepening darkness beginning to hide Rozenn's face from him, making it harder to read. Standing he took flint and steel, then lit the four torches, one at each cardinal point of the tower. While he did so, he pondered how to best deliver the answer to the question that probably bothered her as much as any other. "What were his plans for her?"

Settling back into his chair her looked at Rozenn, "You will be my wife at that time, your place is here at Fenton Tower, by my side." Waving vaguely toward the stairwell, "There are those that suggest that I marry you, get you with an heir and then move you on."

Gavin saw the pensive tightness begin to creep into Rozenn's face and shoulders. Softening his voice, "It is God's will that we marry, and as such, we shall be man and wife. A wife's place is by her husband. As long as you maintain the house and women wisely, obey your husband, and submit to my pleasures, the door between our chambers will never be locked, and the door fro my chamber to the hall will be."
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Old 08-28-2010, 03:02 AM   #12
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Only three days were left until her wedding. It was very little time to prepare a new dress, so Rozenn's idea of using one of the gowns she already held in her posession only increased.
It was the answer to the next question that was far more important anyways, but er patience was tested as he didnt reply righ away.
Instead he rose to light the torches, giving them more light. Looking at him in the new conditions, Rozenn could only repeat that he was a handsome man. His features were a bit rough, underlining the fact that he was a warrior, but they seemed to soften in the light of the fires.

"You will be my wife at that time, your place is here at Fenton Tower, by my side. There are those that suggest that I marry you, get you with an heir and then move you on."

The discomfort must have been clearly written all over her face and body. It wasnt surprising that there were people against her within the castle. But it was the fear that Gavin might side with them that scared her most. She didnt dare to open her mouth, but just curled her fingers tightly around her goblet, trying her best to hold her future husband's gaze that seemed to soften ever so slightly.

"It is God's will that we marry, and as such, we shall be man and wife. A wife's place is by her husband. As long as you maintain the house and women wisely, obey your husband, and submit to my pleasures, the door between our chambers will never be locked, and the door fro my chamber to the hall will be."

It was as if a huge burden had been taken off her shoulders, lightening her heart and mind. she even could not contain the small sigh of relief that escaped her.
"Mylord, I will never give you cause to regret those words.", she vowed.
"I will be as obedient as I have been to my parents and the Queen, I am very capable of running a household properly and I know a fair bit about raising children thanks to my sisters. I know that I am poorly educated as a lady. I can neither sing, nor dance nor sew properly. I barely know how to choose the right flowers for a pretty garden, but I promise you that you will find no cause to be displeased with me."
Those were probably the most passionate words she had spoken in a long time and for that one second she didnt look so much like the frightened bird everybody saw her as. The magic however quickly passed as she looked back down into her half filled goblet.

"And despite my limp, my body holds no visible scars. It is not a birth defect that has made me so, mylord, but an accident in my young years. I have been born as any other healthy woman."
She wanted to assure him that he would not have to be repulsed to enter in bed with her. Many men feared that she was hiding a horrible scar or wound on her leg that caused the limp. The truth was that they looked perfect like any other woman's. Lord Richard had done well at calling the best doctor after Rozenn had fallen off a horse and had remained with a broken leg. He had helped her heal without any visible marks, even though the limp stayed forever.
Slowly Rozenn brought the goblet to her lips and sipped from it, even though right now she could have downed the entire content just to calm herself.
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Old 08-28-2010, 11:51 AM   #13
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Gavin's rich laughter rolled off the top of the tower, drowning out most other sounds in the night, "Scars?" Gavin could see Rozenn tense up as he laughed and cut it off sharply. "Rozenn, I have more lines on my body than most maps, I can assure you the least of my concerns is if you have scars or no."

Gavin stood, then walked around the table offering her his hand. Leading her to the tower wall, Gavin wrapped a hand around each side of Rozenn's narrow hips then lift her easily onto the wall in a sitting position. "The fact you are very pleasant on the eyes, is a bonus."

Gavin leaned against the wall close enough to Rozenn that she could hold onto his bicep if she wanted, needed, to, yet far enough away to not impose himself on her space.

"As far as being as obedient to me as you were to your parents, and whomever, goes,: Gavin started, "I will want more from you than they ever could have asked. Starting with complete honesty when we are in private. You may speak your mind, and as long as what you have to say is done in faith to me, from your heart, I will check my anger."

Gavin turned to Rozenn and caught her eyes with his, "During the marriage ceremony, remember that this is not a court wedding. We will not have even a small portion of the wealth of what you are accustomed to allot for the wedding. Though if the cattle arrive in time, we may well butcher one for the feast."
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Old 08-28-2010, 12:30 PM   #14
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Gavins's laughter caught her by surprise indeed and she wanted to ask what had been so funny, when he caught her off.
"Rozenn, I have more lines on my body than most maps, I can assure you the least of my concerns is if you have scars or no."

Those news were not unexpected. He was a warrior and had seen many battles most likely. Especially considering how close the English army had gotten to his very home. He would have to be inhuman to survive all those fights without the smallest mark. Not that Rozenn cared very much whether he carried scars or not. It showed that he at least fought for his country, not like all the courtiers in London, who did nothing all their live but lick the king's feet and bed every wench they could find.

As he rose, so did she at the offering of his hand. She walked with him to the wall, wondering what he had in mind. When he picked her up with ease and sat her down, Rozenn couldnt help but look behind herself, seeing how far down the fall would be should she loose her balance. This wouldnt be a fall off a horse with a broken leg in the end. This would be sure death. So instantly she grabbed his arm tightly, not wanting to meet the stone ground below.
Her eyes darted to his again, noticing how close he was, yet he didnt seem to be looking at her yet.

"As far as being as obedient to me as you were to your parents, and whomever, goes, I will want more from you than they ever could have asked. Starting with complete honesty when we are in private. You may speak your mind, and as long as what you have to say is done in faith to me, from your heart, I will check my anger."

"I can only repeat what I said before, mylord. I am well aware of a wife's position and the duties it brings. You will have no complaints on my account."
Being free to speak her mind sounded like such a wonderful offer, yet she still feared that too much honesty could ruin everything. She had experienced it once before. There had been one occasion when a Duke's son had courted her, still unaware of the rumors that spread about his lady of choice. Not wanting him to hear from others, Rozenn had told him herself about her lack of qualities and the next day the youth had not even looked at her anymore.
Ever since that day Rozenn kept most things to herself instead of sharing them with others.

Suddenly she felt his gaze shift to her and their eyes met. It was strange how he could hold her in place with just his look.
"During the marriage ceremony, remember that this is not a court wedding. We will not have even a small portion of the wealth of what you are accustomed to allot for the wedding. Though if the cattle arrive in time, we may well butcher one for the feast."

She hadnt expected anything less. The castle's state showed that money was not found in abundance here and the war must have drained the Fenton clan of most their wealth.
"I understand. I do not mean to boast with a huge feast, mylord. None of my family will be there, so there is nobody I need to please. So just organize what you seem fit for such an event. I honestly do not mind a small ceremony at all."

He was the Lord of the castle, so a feast following the ceremony was compulsory, though for Rozenn it would just be another occasion during which she would have to smile and act the perfect wife amongst all those strangers, who would rather see her leave.

"If you excuse me, mylord...I am rather scared up here...", she admitted, looking behind her once more, but quickly averting her gaze back to his eyes.
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Old 08-28-2010, 01:01 PM   #15
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Gavin could feel her fear through the palm of her hand that clutched so desperately to his arm. His eyes held hers as he turned to her. "Think of it as our first lesson in trust, Rozenn."

Gently placing his left hand over hers, "The walls are quite thick here, over a yard. Judging from your slim waist, I dare say that your tail does not hang over the back edge at all. Keep your hand, and eyes on me, and I swear no harm will be fall you."
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Old 08-28-2010, 01:09 PM   #16
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He called it a test of trust, whereas for her this was a test of courage and fear. And she was failing her version miserably.
"There is still quite a bit of wall behind me, but not enough to save me should I fall backwards, mylord.", she said, keeping her eyes on him as he demanded, but her grip around his arm tightened considerably.
He had chosen quite a cruel task to discover how much she trusted and obeyed him, but Rozenn did not beg to be let down. Instead she focused her eyes on his instead of the abyss behind her. In her mind she wondered how high the tower was, but no sensible number came into her head.

It had gotten completely dark in the meantime and the torches were the only source of light for them. Rozenn started to loose count on how long they had been there and with every second she started to lose a bit of her fear. Gavin was like a steady anchor she could hold on to that would not drop her. His eyes were reassuring, capturing hers in some kind of spell.
Everything seemed calm and quiet until suddenly a horrible wind rose, knocking Rozenn backwards for a second as she had not expected such a blow. This time her arms reached for his neck and shoulders, wrapping around him tightly. She had forgotten about the fierce Scotland winds that were as wild as the land's inhabitants. The shock of this suddeny gust left her breathless for a moment, her head burried at Gavin's neck.
"Im apologize...the sudden wind frightened me.", she apologized, moving away as soon as she could, locking eyes with him again.
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Old 08-28-2010, 01:27 PM   #17
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The gust of wind caught Rozenn for the briefest of moments and her arms flailed around his neck, her face burying itself in the hollow, as the torches guttered ominously. Without thought his arms wrapped around her, comforting her holding him. The feel of her body so soft against his momentarily melted away part of his defenses.

He didn't want to be close to her. Lilias' death hod not seen its first year yet. He didn't want a wife, deep inside Lilias was his wife. He didn't want anything short of serving his country, his clan and his fiefdom.

But the warmth of her breath across the skin of his neck as she gasped for breath, the heat of her arms around his shoulders and neck, the force her arms all exerted on him caused Gavin's world to tilt in the slightest. Before her arms and mouth could send him careening though a emotional quagmire, Rozenn pulled back slightly, her eyes on his, "Im (sic) apologize...the sudden wind frightened me."

His voice was much huskier than intended, "It was ... nice, Rozenn." His voiced admission diminished Lilias just a little, her pleasant face just a little harder to recall than it had been this morning.

Gavin presumptuously lifted Rozenn's left leg, crossing her right leg at the knee then stood in front of her, a leg on each side of hers. He placed his hands on top of her left thigh, just above the knee. She would literally have to over come his strength, then catapult him, to fall off the tower. "You are doing very well. I appreciate the effort."
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Old 08-28-2010, 01:36 PM   #18
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His strong arms around her were a great comfort, and Rozenn only moved away because she feared that he would see her as too wanton, too quick to show affection to a stranger.

"It was ... nice, Rozenn."

His words brought a smile to her face. It had been very pleasant to her as well and she had enjoyed the heat of his body against hers. She had felt so very protected in his embrace. More than she had ever felt in her entire life.

When his hands started to roam over her legs, moving them to secure her even more, she blushed a deep red, especially as his hand rested on her thigh. This was more contact than she had ever had with any man and it was waking feelings within her that had been dormant until this moment.

"You are doing very well. I appreciate the effort."

Despite her blush she kept her eyes at his. She could only guess how much confusion and emotions she was letting him see this way.

"Thank you, mylord...You are making this task rather pleasant, if I am allowed to say."
He had wanted honesty and she was giving it to him, hoping that she would not regret opening up to him so much. The wind started to blow again, but this time it didnt frighten her this much. She felt well secured and protected with him right there with her. The only thing that was starting to bother her was the cold that was starting to chill her to the bone. Yet at the same time there was an incredible warmth within her, spreading through her blood like a raging fire.
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Old 08-28-2010, 01:53 PM   #19
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Gavin was unsure, as Rozenn shivered, if she were reacting to the spring chill, or the hungry look in her eyes. He knew it was an unfamiliar sensation to her, the blush that shone from her cheeks speaking volumes.

"I must go down to the banquet soon, and would spare you that. I am sure there is much jaw movement at the expense of your countrymen."

With an easy movement, Gavin swept her off the precipice and set her on the roof of the tower. "Tomorrow the boys and I will be at teh bridge leading into Linton, we have to tear it down and rebuild it. You will have to take charge of the tower and continue the preparations for our wedding."
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Old 08-28-2010, 02:06 PM   #20
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Rozenn felt her heart sink when he said that he would have to leave her soon to join his clansmen downstairs. This was a territory she didnt want to venture into. At least not until she had proven herself to be a worthy lady to their Lord.

"Of course, you must do what is your duty. I will return to my chambers and rest after the long journey.", she said, bowing her head.
Moments later she felt his arm around her waist again, lifting her as if she weighted nothing. He sat her down and Rozenn evened out her skirts.

"Tomorrow the boys and I will be at teh bridge leading into Linton, we have to tear it down and rebuild it. You will have to take charge of the tower and continue the preparations for our wedding."

This was her first chance to prove herself to him and she would use it well. Even if she didnt know whether the womenfolk of the castle would follow the orders she would be giving out. But perhaps with Mary by her side things would be much easier.

"You can leave it all in my hands. I will make sure that the rooms for the guests are prepared, the the cooks will start the dinner preparations and that the sheets....that the sheets for the night of consumation will be prepared."
Luckily she had watched the preparations for hehe r sisters' weddings and knew exactly of what needed to be done. She had been her mother's right hand, or rather her slave girl, back then, so she was aware of every single task.
"Rest well then, mylord...and thank you for this wonderful dinner. It was a very pleasant experience for me."
How to say goodbye to him now? A simple bow suddenly seemed too formal after what they had shared. Only men ever shook hands, so that was out of the question as well. A kiss maybe? No, she would never dare to do this.
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Old 08-28-2010, 02:19 PM   #21
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Gavin's laughter rolled again as the panic what to do next filled her face and eyes. Suddenly looking like a doe that has spotted its hunter she stood there a moment apparently incapable of movement.

Wrapping his arm around Rozenn's shoulder he steered her toward the the stairs leading down into the tower home. Stopping at the top of the stairs, he leaned over, his lips pursed and softly brushed the top of her head. "I am sure you will do fine tomorrow."

Starting down the stairs, he placed on of her hands on his shoulder as she followed him. "Remember, I am the strength of the clan." Turning to her, his eyes now level with hers as she stood one step above him. "When you need strength, lean on me."
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Old 08-28-2010, 02:42 PM   #22
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Rozenn was more than relieved when he broke the awkward moment by starting to lead her towards the stairs, stopping for a moment to place a kiss on her hair before he started to descend.

With her limp, Rozenn was taking the steps slowly, concentrating on not missing one of them. In London all staircases were familiar, so she didnt have to watch herself so much, but this was all knew. She had yet to learn how to move around East Lothian with confidence.

Suddenly she felt his hand placing hers on his shoulder as they stopped once again.
"Remember, I am the strength of the clan. When you need strength, lean on me."

For a moment Rozenn just stared at him before she remembered a sentence she had once read in one of her books.
"The man is the mind and the arm of a house, while the woman is the heart. The man is the building that protects the family, while the woman is the fire that warms everybody within.", she quoted with a smile.
"I will come to lean on you if you promise to come to me whenever you need someone. Such is the way between husband and wife, is it not?"
And she had vowed to be the perfect wife to him. Now as she looked at him, he was not the barbaric stranger that she had been forced to wed, but a man of honor and kindness that she had already started to like. But there was still this sadness in his eyes that seemed to be haunting him like a ghost that refused to let go of him. Rozenn had no idea how close she was to the truth with this assumption.
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Old 08-28-2010, 03:00 PM   #23
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Gavin stood, looking upon the woman that would be his wife. Her words rang true, it was a very concise definition of the relationship that he and his Lilias once had. His heart ached at her lose, he wanted so badly to talk to her about the predicament he found himself in and the conflict roiling within him.

He felt ever bit like he was betraying his beloved. Yet his duty was clearly and succinctly laid out for him by Robert the Bruce.

A thought intruded into his morose self pity. A thought that her name was quite inappropriate for Rozenn. Perhaps she was a flower, but she was thorn-less. The petals of her words sharper than any sword that had hacked into his body, shredding more of Lilias' image from his mind.

His shoulders sagged involuntarily, his voice was thin but husky as he replied, "Yes woman, that is what we should have."

Decisiveness had kept him alive through countless battles, once again he called on it. "Tomorrow have the painting of Lilias removed from my room and placed in the gallery. You'll know it when you see it."

Steeling himself against what he was sure to see in her eyes, Gavin looked up and whispered, "Ye are no rose, Rozenn. I think you need a new name. This is a chance to leave your pitiful Aneglish family behind, and embrace the one that will love, care, and and give direction to you like you have never known."
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Old 08-28-2010, 03:24 PM   #24
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Rozenn's heart was warming so much to him until she heard his request.

"Tomorrow have the painting of Lilias removed from my room and placed in the gallery. You'll know it when you see it."

Rozenn was not stupid. She guessed instantly of whom that painting had to be and sadness swept over her face, replacing the warmth inside of her with a freezing cold.

"It will happen as you please, mylord.", she whispered obediently. It had started to be so perfect in her mind, when this woman suddenly stepped in, ruining it all. This was the speck of sadness that she had seen in Gavin's eyes.
"But do not feel forced to take it off on my account...I would understand if you wished to keep it there..." This was the woman that he must still love if he was so sad.

When he spoke again, she closed her eyes to take a deep breath.
"Ye are no rose, Rozenn. I think you need a new name. This is a chance to leave your pitiful Aneglish family behind, and embrace the one that will love, care, and and give direction to you like you have never known."

"I may be no rose, mylord, but I like my name and with your permission I wish to keep it. I have left everything of my old life behind, and no matter how bad it might have been, leave me a memory that I have ever lived it in the first place."

So now the Lord had two flowers in his life. One already wilted and one still about to blossom. But lilies needed to be tended and cared for all the time, while roses could grow wildly even without anyone taking care of them. They would find their own way to survive, even if they ended up uglier and less perfect than all the other roses in a beautiful garden.
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Old 08-28-2010, 03:40 PM   #25
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Gavin watched as Rozenn defended her name, declaring her wish to keep it. Nodding, Gavin reached up with one of his paw like hands and gently twisted gold locks between his fingers. "I don't know that I have ever seen a yellow rose, I presume they are indeed beautiful."

Moving his eyes from her hair to her eyes, "She must go. I thought I could hate you enough to keep her, to hold her here. But I canna."

Turning he lead Rozenn to the floor that they shared. Gavin walked her to the door to her chamber then turned and kissed her forehead gently. "good night, Buidhe-ros."

Feeling suddenly quite old, Gavin turned heading downstairs, his retainers and guests erupting into a roar when he arrived.
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