Old 09-22-2017, 05:27 PM   #5626
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"I'll certainly do my best." Ciaran hugged her against.his side before they stepped out and Kate found much of the Keep staff and guards outside to see her off, many that she'd known all her life.
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Old 09-22-2017, 05:34 PM   #5627
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Kate made her goodbyes with each person that would allow it, hugging Chessie the longest. She chuckled as she was told that there was enough food made to last them until they made it to Edinburgh.

"Thank you, Chessie. I expect to get a wedding announcement very soon." Kate said softly, looking at the cook for a long moment. "And you'll send Siobhan when she's older. I'm sure she would enjoy exploring the city."
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Old 09-22-2017, 05:43 PM   #5628
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Chessie was keeping her emotions together for the moment, though her eyes were red from previous tears as she held Kate. "You'd better give your fancy chef down there the same he'll you've given me..." She muttered against Kate's shoulder.
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Old 09-22-2017, 05:48 PM   #5629
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"I expect you'll come and sort him out if I need you." Kate said as Chessie hugged her tighter.
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Old 09-22-2017, 05:52 PM   #5630
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"He's a good sort, I've met him. But you still pester him anyway." Chessie finally let go with a sigh, Alban coming to take her arm to steady her.
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Old 09-22-2017, 06:29 PM   #5631
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Kate nodded before she turned to join her family among the wagons and carriages and horses that would take them to Edinburgh. Kate climbed into her saddle without help, looking around at everyone. Her mother looked gorgeous that morning on her own steed with a calm poise that she so desperately wished she had. Her grandmother and grandfather were watching over the youngest twins, Annie's son, and Khan in a carriage while her brother's and Annie got their own horses ready.

"Inverness will always be my home." Kate called to those assembled. "But Scotland is calling me now."
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Old 09-22-2017, 09:45 PM   #5632
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As he always had in her moments of pain or uncertainty, Kell emerged as if from nowhere to come to her side. His handsome dark steed seemed as calm and focused as he did when they came to a halt at Kate's back, a silent support that didn't interfere unless she needed him.
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Old 09-22-2017, 10:07 PM   #5633
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Kate pulled her horse into action, guiding him towards the keep entrance as the rest of their party started off as well. She kept herself together, tears stinging her eyes that she was determined to not let fall.
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Old 09-23-2017, 06:25 AM   #5634
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Brogan fell back beside her after a while and Kell let them be. Brogan reached out to take Kate's hand just as they left the town gates headed south.
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Old 09-23-2017, 09:20 AM   #5635
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Kate glanced over at her Da as he took her hand and she gave him a small smile. "I'll be fine. It will just take some time."
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Old 09-23-2017, 09:33 AM   #5636
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"Same fer all of us, love." Brogan stayed alongside her for some time as they began the first leg of their journey.
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Old 09-23-2017, 09:48 AM   #5637
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As they stopped for lunch, Kate sat by herself, mulling over everything that had happened that morning. They were far enough away that she couldn't see Inverness any longer but she still recognized the scenery. As they got closer to Edinburgh, all of that would change. She watched as her siblings played with one another and their nephew, Danny just as eager to play rough as Rho and Sam would allow. She would miss everything, from the laughter to the tears to them simply growing up.
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Old 09-23-2017, 06:56 PM   #5638
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Everyone let Kate be for a while, seeing she needed to think. Khan was the only one who disturbed her, coming to look for attention and concerned as to why Kate was on her own. The lanky half-grown tiger nuzzled past her, purring and rumbling for her attention.
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Old 09-23-2017, 07:26 PM   #5639
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"You should be playing." Kate said as she scratched Khan's chin, giving him a soft smile as she let him have some of her chicken. "You have all of the children here that you could ever want to romp with."
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Old 09-23-2017, 08:12 PM   #5640
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Khan gladly accepted the bit of meat, nuzzling Kate's arm til he simply flopped over and lay purring beside her in absolute contentment.
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Old 09-23-2017, 10:03 PM   #5641
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"Do you think things will be alright, Khan? Will Edinburgh ever feel like home?" Kate asked as she petted her tiger.
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Old 09-23-2017, 10:55 PM   #5642
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Khan's ears flicked forward at her question, but he looked thoroughly unbothered about anything in that moment. He was learning to be serious when the need arose, but he was definitely a creature that lived in the moment.
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Old 09-23-2017, 11:08 PM   #5643
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"I have some hopes that things will get easier." Kate said softly as Khan seemed thoroughly unconcerned about everything. "Or that I can gracefully bow out before things get too overwhelming."
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Old 09-23-2017, 11:47 PM   #5644
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Khan pulled himself over closer and laid half in her lap once her lunch was out of the way, twisting and rumbling as if to distract her from her worries.
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Old 09-23-2017, 11:58 PM   #5645
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Kate smiled at her tiger, scratching his belly as he twisted in her lap to distract her. She knew he had his reasons to do it, but she loved him all the more for making her smile. There would be a lot of those moments in the coming days.
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Old 09-24-2017, 12:09 AM   #5646
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Khan stuck around for a while until one of the twin girls caught his attention and he raced off to play a game of tag with her. It was only then that Boar came to Kate. While the original plan had been for just her siblings and parents and grandparents to go, all of her aunts and uncles and cousins had objected to that and demanded to come as well, creating an entire train of wagons and horses as the whole clan journeyed to Edinburgh. Even Maxwell, Beth, Matthias and his wife, and other extended family would be there. And of course Ashien and Kayla and their families and many family friends as close as kin would be there, from the Triad leaders to Henry and Elizabeth of England, all the way to even very distant but dedicated friends like Monomakh of the Rus to show his confidence and support, and Arslan Khan of Mongolia who wanted to establish the Scottish High Throne's legitimacy all the way to his homeland. While many other great leaders would also be attendance and other distant friends and supporters, all the ones Kate knew personally had assured her they'd support her whether she was queen or not, and they'd support Inverness if not all Scotland. So while many expectations and hopes rode on her success, there was also an understanding that she was human and she might find she needed another life to be happy.
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Old 09-24-2017, 12:12 AM   #5647
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"Uncle Boar." Kate said with a smile as he came to her side and took a seat to watch over the scene that was happening around them. "Have you had any luck in keeping Da's mind off of everything? He looks even more sad than when we left the keep."
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Old 09-24-2017, 01:43 AM   #5648
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"No helpin' tha' ol' man." Boar said with a sigh and a grunt as he sat down on the ground beside her, stretching out his legs. "Let 'im get it out o' his system. Brogan Ghis isn' a man whose worries y'can just chase away. No' even yer mother can manage tha'. But 'e'll be alright. He knows yer capable, an' there's good people who'll look out fer you. An' 'e's got other little ones t'teach an' raise so he'll go through all this again when one of 'em goes off on their own too."
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Old 09-24-2017, 09:46 AM   #5649
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"It means a lot to me that you're willing to come with me to Edinburgh. I know how much it hurts to ride." Kate said with a smile as he settled down in the grass beside her.

He would never admit it, but she knew that Boar was still bothered by intense pain from his ruined knees. He would do his damnedest to keep up with everyone, even if it meant silently dealing with the pain.
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Old 09-24-2017, 10:20 AM   #5650
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"Hurts less than walkin'," Boar shrugged. "An' I'd rather 'ave the freedom of a horse than drive a wagon." He leaned over to brush her red hair back fondly. "An' I wouldn't miss this fer the world."
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