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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Raylin Comes to the Citadel (Open)


bcxanth
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Raylin had been traveling hard for a while now, making her way Southwest to a remote corner of Andor, following rumor and more for what seemed like months. Finally she arrived in the town of Baerlan and there she found the info she was looking for. A recruiter for the Band of the Red Hand heard her asking questions in the common room of the inn she was staying in and pulled her aside. After satisfying himself she was serious in her intentions, he gave some very specific direction to Raylin, and she headed South the next morning.

 

Several days later found Raylin rounding the outskirts of a small villae the recruiter had called Emond's Field, and heading towards the mountains. Soon enough she found her goal. At the foot of the mountains, not far from the village, a vast citadel shaped like a triangle stood ahead of her.

 

Two tall guard towers rose from each end of the wall that she approached, and in the center a wide road lead into the heart of the place. As she approached at a walk she was stopped by guards.

 

"Halt!" one called out, walking forward with their hand raised toward Raylin. "What brings you here stranger?"

 

"Tales of the great Band of the Red Hand call me here," she replied.  "Those tales brought me from Kandor, where I met one of your recruiters in Baerlan. He sent me here so that I may sign on with your cause."

 

Sitting back in her saddle, doing her best to seem non-threatening, she waited for a response, from the guard or from one of those passing nearby. Either way was fine, as long as her journey was finally at an end.

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OOC: Sorry for modifying it again. I just read the Ebou Dar chapters again, and realized I had forgotten some crucial things about the Ebou Dari, so here is how it should be. Sorry, if it caused any inconvenience. :-[

 

BIC: Jena led the tall, 17 hander, bay gelding, down the road behind her. She still didn't know what had taken over her, to buy the, at the time, unhealthy thing in the first place. Maybe, it was its resemblance to the race horses of home, which she had ridden as a livelihood. Even now, after several months, he was still thin, but in a much better shape than when she had found him.

Jena wasn't in any better shape, if not worse. Her ribs were sending daggers of pain up her side from an old breakage. She had been walking without sleep for a day too many, and she hadn't stretched. She knew she should have, but the temptation of how close her goal was, had been too much.

She looked up from the road and spotted the gate. Someone sat out front on a horse, talking to the guards. Maybe she knows where I sign up, Jena thought hopefully as she drew level with the rider.

She could feel the horse pressing up against her. He was looking around in a scared manner at the people around him. At least now, he isn’t rearing and freaking out. She thought relieved. It had taken her forever to bring him down to just crowding her. Before he would rear, bite, and try to hurt any one in his vicinity.

"May the light smile upon all those here,” Jena said as an opening. It was always good to be polite, as Jena saw it.

“Is this the Citadel? And if it is, does anyone know where a recruit can sign up?" Jena asked looking around hopefully for an answer. She felt pretty small now that she got a good glimpse of the rider, who was a tall woman. Not to mention Jena's own horse made her seem like a midget. His withers reached above her head. Jena sighed, resigned to the fact that she was small. Only due to the fact that her size had provided her with a source of income back in Ebou Dar, did she stand it. She still fingered the curved knife at her waist. She always did that when she felt insecure. She looked every where, trying to take in every thing. The large bronze hoops, which hung in her ears, flashed in the sunlight.

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Raylin heard the newcomer coming up behind her, a person on foot leading a horse.  She didn't turn from the guard she had addressed, though he seemed to have no inclination to talk to her.  After giving a curt answer that she'd found the right place, the guard had sent a messenger into the Citadel and then began to completely ignore Raylin. Not something she was used to at all.

 

Finally the new arrival came up beside Raylin and stopped before speaking. "May the light smile upon all those here,” she said.  “Is this the Citadel? And if it is, does anyone know where a recruit can sign up?"

 

At this point Raylin turned from her study of the guard and looked down at the newcomer.  A new arrival indeed from her words, just like she was. The girl looked young, and seemed to have seen better days from her thin and haggard look. She was short, with a hat that hid her face from the height Raylin sat at, but she still seemd rather pretty for all that.  Swinging her leg over she dismounted to greet the other woman on a more equal level.

 

Dropping Raven's reins, knowing the horse wouldn't budge as he'd been trained by her father, she approached the girl with outstretched hand and a smile on her face.

 

"Hello there.  Yes, this does seem to be the Citadel.  Quiet boy there said it was at least," she added, noding to the nearby guard. "He sent someone inside to fetch whoever is in charge of talking to newcomers.  My name is Raylin Du'Notin, and I'm newly arrived here as well. What's your name, and what brings such a pretty lass as yourself to join the life of a soldier?"

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When the woman dissmounted to greet Jena, Jena smiled happily. When the woman said the soldier wasn't talking but had sent someone to bring the person that was incharge of recruits. Jena relaxed some what.

"Atleast their getting someone. I was afraid I would be left wondering around the camp till I found the place," Jena replied to the comment happyly.

The woman before her was older, maybe 30 Jena guessed, which would make the woman almost twice Jena's age. The woman was friendly though, which made Jena relieved. The fact that she was also a woman looking for employment here meant that, hopefully, the Band would accept female soldiers. She had heard some places didn't, and that had been a worry in the back of her mind for a while now. She was running short of money at this point.

"Nice to meet you Raylin. I'm Jenaya Abendorth, but please call me Jena," she replied to the introduction.

"As for why I'm here, I had nothing really keeping me home, and I need a way to make a living. The general reasons I'm guessing. How about you?" Jena said patting the big roan's neck fondly.

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Raylin shook the girl's hand gladly as she talked. It was obvious she was very eager to be here. Raylin couldn't help but remember what she was like, when she was as young as this girl looked.  And she couldn't help but chuckle softly at the casual way she talked about her coming here, as if there was nothing unusual about it Raylin was sure this girl was nothing if not unusual.

 

"Me?  Oh, much the same," she replied. "I come from up in the Borderlands, in Kandor.  I lived on a farm with my father. Took care of both him and the farm in the end, as well as helping the men in the area fight off teh occaisonal raid.  My father finally passed into the last embrace of the Mother, and I grew weary of sitting at home. The farm was lonely and boring, with nothing to keep me there anymore.  I sold the farm and wandered for a while. Signed on with a couple of merchant trains as a guard. Then rumor brought me South to this place."

 

Studying the girl again she couldn't help but stare into her eyes for a time. Very striking. Finally with a slight shake of her head she came back to reality.

 

"You look famished from your journey. Life hasn't been treating you well, that's for sure."

 

Turning, she opened her saddle bag and pulled out an oiled parchment package containing cheese and some dried beef. Taking that and her water skin she turned back to Jena and offered them to her.

 

"Here, there's some cheese and dried meat in the package, and water in the skin. Get some food in your belly. I have a good eye for such things, and I think once we get some meat on your bones you'll be drawing the eye of anyone you wish."

 

She couldn't help but grin at the blush she saw on the girl's cheeks.

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When Raylin finished explaining how she got here Jeana replied earnestly. She had nothing to hide.

"When my brother died there was no point to staying in Ebou Dar except that I had a job there as a jockey but if I ever grow taller I would probably get tossed, so it seemed to me, smarter to find myself I job that I can stay in for as long as possible. My story is similar to yours," Jena said.

When the woman brought the food out and told her that once she filled out Jena would draw eyes, Jena blushed. Shocking as it might seem no one had told her she was pretty. It was probably because she had talked to strangers mostly when she was younger and once she grew older the other people she saw were usually her brother's friends and other jockeys. To them she was his sister or competition.

To not let it seem like she was begging, Jena pulled out a waterskin containing ale and offered it.

"Thank you, let us atleast eat while they have us waiting," Jena said smiling.

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OOC: I posted a thread on the Band's Div board letting them know we're out here making small talk. Hopefully we'll get some company soon. :)  And I'm glad you found your way to a Div I'm part of after I posted in your newbie thread. :)

 

IC: Raylin took the proffered skin with thanks and took a drink. She couldn't help but arch her brow and look at the girl again as she tasted ale instead of the water she'd expected. Perhaps she was older then she looked. She certainly had a maturity she hadn't expected, but then a hard life could explain that too.  And no parents might explain the reason she'd grown up to other things so fast, like drinking ale.

 

Finishing her drink, Raylin grinned at Jena again. "Well, it certainly seems we're going to be cooling our heels for a time. But the pleasant company makes it acceptable.  I'd been hoping to be inside the Citadel by now, perhaps finding a bunk and meeting others in my new squad. But still, I won't begrudge that for having met such a lovely young lass as yourself."

 

With a wave for Jena to join her, Raylin moved to the grass on the side of the road, making soft clucking noises that drew Raven to follow her. Choosing a spot she sprawled out on her back on the ground, then turned over onto her side to face Jena.

 

"We may as well get comfortable while we wait.  Good ale by the way," she said as she took another swig and then tossed it to the girl. She giggled slightly as she saw Jena had already devoured the food in the packet. "I can't help but ask though.  How old are you?"

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OOC: Yay ;D Maybe, they'll finally notice. Yeah I'm trying to get into most of the places people posted. So far it's going slowly but I'm getting there.

 

IC:Jena blushed again at the mention of looks but recovered quickly and found a place with grass to sit. The roan followed her closely. He was stll nervouse, his ears perked forward and shying away from objects thatt were too close. She then motioned for Raylin to come join her.

Jena ate the food quickly. She knew better than to waste any thing.

"I'm 16 years old, as best as I can tell. How about you?" Jena asked leaning back on her elbows and looking up at the sky.

"What part of the Band are you hoping to join?" Jena asked looking back down at Raylin when her ribs started to complain about the position. The question had just occured to her and she liked to ask things before she forgot.

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"I'm an archer by trade," Raylin replied to the question. "So wherever that puts me, that's where I belong." She grinned, thinking back to how horrible she'd been with the bow at Jena's age. "16 you say?  Interesting." She moved closer as the girl had motioned her to do, lounging on the grass next to her and watching as she leaned back to stare into the sky.  "Younger then I thought, but I can tell you're mature for your age. You've done a great deal of growing up when you shouldn't have had to, and I knwo what that it like."

 

Sitting up she leand forward and rested her arms on the girls knees sticking up in the air with yet another grin.

 

"Listen Jena, I'll be frank. I like you, and I don't often meet people I like right away. But I have a good feeling about you. Plus it can't hurt to spend time around someone as pretty as you. So I have a proposal to make. No matter where we end up in this here army, I want you to know that you can come to me for anything. I'll be there for you. We're both far from hom, and have lost all the family we had in the world. Maybe we can help make up for that in each other. What do you think?"

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Jena looked up at Raylin slightly confused. Did Raylin want them to be friends? Jena had never had what most would call friends except for maybe the old man that had taught her how to ride, but she had known her brother's friends and decided that was what Raylin was asking. It would be smart for Jena to have someone that would back her up if she needed it. Jena eyed Raylin like a smart merchant eyed an item before buying it and decided Raylin would probably gain the respect of her piers quickly from both experience and in general looking tough. Jena nodded.

"We can be friends," Jena said lifting her hand for a shake as if it were a buisness agreement. She then smiled in a way that lit her face, making her look almost like a little girl.

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Bereft of his usual distraction from paperwork- Light alone knew where she had wandered off to while he was harnessed to his desk- Carnhain was quick to jump at the chance to greet a pair of new recruits.  Was he supposed to?  Not in the least.  Was Jaem likely to give him a tongue-lashing?  Of course!  Was Jaem about to fire him, court marshal him or punish him in the least?  Not bloody likely.  Yet another perks of sitting atop the command ladder with a heron branded into your sword.  It sort of made you indispensible.

 

And so, quicker than his clerk could ask where in the Light he was going, Carnhain had scooped up his jacket and was out the door.  Most of the men and women smirked as he passed and a few of the bolder ones- most of those being former Privates under him while he was Sergeant of the Lions Platoon- jested out loud that Jatasha must of cracked her whip.  Their mighty leader shot them a particularly nasty hand gesture.

 

Checking his reflection while passing a watering trough- yes he was cutting across the horse pastures- the young, terribly vain young man grinned.  Since he was “officially on-duty” he was fully dressed in formal black breeches, silk white shirt and silk red coat emblazoned with the Band’s hand.  Slowing his otherwise steady progress to pose spectacularly heron-marked blade slashing through the air in a precise arc to take off an opponent’s head, he laughed at what Jatasha would say.  Of course, any thought of said particular young woman who very much had Carnhain’s heart collared and leashed, set his face to a brilliant shade of crimson.  The hilarious dichotomy between arrogant soldier and blushing used-to-be-virgin was something he tried desperately to hide from anyone except Jatasha.

 

Hopping the fence with a cavalryman’s grace- which was to say he landed lightly on his feet before resuming a sort of rolled wobble as his bowlegs would no longer allow a proper walk- he could already see the pair being held up by the guards.  Not that the two seemed in anyway fazed by being surrounded by an entire army of the best soldiers in the world, as they appeared quite relaxed as they munched and drank.  They’d fit right in.

 

“Hallo there!  You’re the two new recruits?”

 

They turned at the sound of his greeting and Carnhain was shocked that both were women.  There were female soldiers in abundance in the Band, but only about one for every two hundred men.  For two to decide to join on the same day...  ‘Oh Light, this could be interesting.’  Of the past three female recruits, the first had been Miria, his nemesis and his adopted brother’s lover, then had come Kiarma, the infuriating infantry woman whose sole purpose had been to irritate him, and the Jatasha...

 

The memory of that... meeting... dyed his cheeks the colour of his coat.

 

 

ooc: hehe, you two remind me of Carnhain and Kedyn in their first RPs :D  btw, I don't suppose I could prod either of you (or both of you) into a um... certain RP that I sorta need to happen and that I'd much prefer to use other PCs for rather than have to NPC.  Btw, Kass, do you have MSN or Skype?  My Skype's alyssatheblonde and my msn is switch_ya_sisters[at]hotmail[dot]com.

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Raylin took Jena's hand again as she reached out to shake it. But before releasing her hand Raylin brought it to her lips and kissed it lightly, then laughed as the girl blkined in surprise.

 

"Yes, friends, that's what I mean," Raylin said. "And I think I will take great delight in being your friend Jena."

 

They relaxed for a couple of more minutes, and then were startled as a voice called out to them. “Hallo there!  You’re the two new recruits?”

 

Jumping to her feet Raylin turned to face the newcomer and saw a man obviously dressed to impress, with a sword he was obviously trying to draw attention to with the way he stood. She glanced at it and saw the heron branded into it and nodded. They'd finalyl sent someone in charge out to meet them.

 

"Yes we are sir," she replied with a snap.  "My name is Raylin Du'Notin and I've come to join up with the Band."

 

OOC: Tell us what the req is before we decide on anything. :P

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“Really?” Carnhain had something of a sarcastic humour and it became particularly nasty when he thought someone was making fun of him.  “And here I thought they had called me out to deal with the usual riffraff of beggars and the sort.”

 

Noting that his words were taken harshly- they were too harsh after all- he did the only thing he could think of to turn the situation around.  He grinned.  It seemed to work so well on Jatasha and seeing as these too didn’t look all too likely to put up with his ego, at least not until he told them exactly who he was, a little charm to smooth the snarky comment over seemed called for.  Jatasha wouldn’t mind, would she?  Surely not.

 

“And which corps were you two lovely ladies planning on joining?”  Carnhain took a look at their mounts.  One seemed on the verge of collapse and the other no better than a ploughhorse with a rider’s bit.  “Surely not the cavalry?  Then again, I’m not about to complain if you are.”

 

ooc: it's not a req... more just a little plot I've got going currently where I um... need some assisstance you either/both of you are up to it.

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OOC: I would be happy to be the PC that you need. I'm pretty much up to anything. :D I don't have it right now but have been meaning to get it for a while now. Once I get it, which I plan is going to be pretty soon, I will tell you. Till then please PM me, I usually answer quickly so it should be a good way of communication. Hope to hear from you soon. Just telling you, the horse isn't a plough horse, he's a thuroughbred. Their max height in the breed standard is 17 hands. I didn't meen to confuse any one.

 

IC: Jena blinked in shock at the kiss but recovered herself when the man came up and asked if they were the new recruits.

"May the light smile upon you sir," Jena said out of habit.

"I am Jenaya Abendorth, but if you are going to call me by my first name please call me Jena. I am a hopeful recruit for the scouts," she said echoeing Raylin as she stood up.

The roan quickly walked up behind her and draped his head over her shoulder, eyeing the newcomer. He always did that when he got scared. Jena patted his neck comfortingly.

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OOC: The ploughorse in question is probably mine, though Raven isn't that either once you get to know him. :P  But it'd be an understandable first impression.  And I have Skype too by the way, which I think I told you Kass, so you can find me there too. :)  Estel, if you can use both of us, I'm game. If not, I'll let the new blood have some fun. :)

 

IC: Raylin stifled a frown at the derogatory tone, but didn't react. She'd hung around her father's soldier friends growing up, and knew that she needed to tolerate it.

 

"Corps sir?  I talked with a recruiter in Baerlan. I'm here to be an Archer sir."

 

She clucked softly and Raven stepped up to her with a whinney. Reaching out she patted his nose before continuing.

 

"Just show me where to stable my horse sir, and stow my stuff, and I'm ready to get started."

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“The Light’s only recently begun to shine down on me.” Carnhain muttered wryly, chuckling.  “The Scouts?”  Here he groaned.  The Scouts and the Cavalry’s rivalry had a long history, dating about to back when he and Kedyn had first started Officer Training School so long ago.  Then again, Jena was too small to be in the infantry, her arms didn’t appear to be strong enough for the archers and while her mount was on the verge of exhaustion, it still appeared to have some speed about it if not the power needed for a real warhorse.  She’d do well enough in the scouts if she was quick and observant... and intelligent.

 

As for Raylin, taking another look at her arms Carnhain could see corded muscular forearms that matched his own.  Definitly archer.

 

“Scouts are the cowards who slink around the outskirts of the battle while we cavalry boys... and er... ladies... ride in and cut the enemy down.  Archers aren't much better, hiding behind the infantry.  We cavalry take our bows right down into the middle of the battle.”  Despite his words, he was grinning as good-naturedly as he knew how.  “No glory in the scouts, are you sure you don’t want to join the cavalry instead?

 

“Captain General Carnhain Stromblade,” he said sticking out his hand “obviously of the cavalry.

 

"In such a rush to learn to kill people, Raylin?  And here I was thinking you were a gentle woman."

 

ooc: Carnhain is such a prick :P  and I'll send both of you e-mails and just give you a basic run down on what I'm kind looking at

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OOC: Ok just double checking, I don't like confusing people. :-[ The roan looking like he might fall over is probably a good description.

 

IC:

"If you don't mind me saying sir, glory can get you killed. I don't think I have the build for the calvary either sir," Jena said good naturly way. She knew better than most how searching too much for glory can get you killed. At that thought, Jena began to finger the curved blade at her belt, and a dangerouse glint entered her eye. The other hand stroked the nose of the gelding, trying to calm herself as much as him.

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Carnhain laughed.  “That’s half the fun of it!  There is no glory without danger and no exhilaration without risk!  There is nothing like charging a line of pikes at full gallop knowing full well if you don’t have your lance perfectly, you’ll end up either under the charge or with a pike through one of your vital appendages."  Unless of course one's blood lust had driven them to bestial insanity.  He didn't mention that though, no need to scare off the new recruits.

 

“And they never suspect the small ones.” he grinned teasingly.  “And anyway, I’d better start bring you in before Ms. Raylin over here dies of exasperation.”

 

btw Kass, can you forward my e-mail on to bc, I can't seem to get his e-mail to work

 

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"A gentle woman sir?" Raylin asked with a laugh. "There's nothing gentle about me, and I think some would probably only consider me barely a woman," she finished with a grin.  "And as for archers hiding sir, if it wasn't for us, you cavalry would have your pretty hides as pincushions if we didn't cover you."

 

Grabbing Raven's reins she cheked to make sure her belongs were still secure, and then moved up next to Carnhain.

 

"Lead on sir. We're ready."

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OOC: In the email you sent you said you were sending it through Skype, but if you want me to try I can

 

IC:

"I for one prefer the exhileration of winning a race or a bet a bit more than that of getting myself pin cushioned, sir. That could just be me though. Are we going?" Jena said stepping forward to be even with Raylin. She had grabbed the roans reigns, even when it wasn't necessary. The horse would stick to her like a bur, especially in the crowd o humanity they were probably going to enter shortly.

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Carnhain snorted.  “Good thing too, gentle women generally don’t survive very long in this business.  And your arrows don’t save us from being pincushioned, they just pincushion the enemy.  What saves us from getting pincushioned is heavy plate and shields.  Besides, I’ve got my own bow that I’ll use from horseback in the middle of battle, rather than hide behind a shield of infantry.  Ever considered taking a position as a cavalry archer.” he grinned suggestively.

 

“And what’s a better bet than your life or a better race one against a thousand other men and women beside you, tearing the ground up under their hooves; shaking the enemies with the thunder of their charge?”

 

Throngs of soldiers surrounded them, guiding their way towards the keep that was in the beginning processes of towering over the entire landscape.  Reaching the portcullis that dominated the base of the triangular stone foundations of the Red Keep.  For the most part, the traffic here was officers and other staffs of the keep vital to the everyday running of the Band of the Red Hand.  “Welcome to the Red Keep ladies, enrolment is the fourth door to the left.”

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((Sorry ladies.. I couldn't help myself))

 

It was not something she was used to, this jealousy that seemed to seep up within her today.  It wasn't that Carnhain was away from his desk.  It wasn't even that he was escorting two beautiful women through the streets of the Citadel.  Jatasha was secure enough in her own appeal to fear neither's attraction.  She was well enough skilled in other arts to know she could please Carnhain better than either woman.  And yet as she walked away from the Tavern where she had left her last client she had heard his voice.    It wasn't the shy, quiet voice that she had come to know from him and it was unsettling to hear.  Especially directed at these two women. 

 

One was already ducking her head into the tent but the other lingered and it angered Jatasha to no end.  She might not be able to claim Carnhain in any real sense, but he was hers light forsake them!  Before she knew what she was doing, she stepped up to Carnhain's side.  She knew in the back of her mind that she should back away, that he was doing the business of the Band, but that's what he'd been doing when they'd met, wasn't it?  She didn't bother to look at the other woman as she pressed her body against Carnhain's.  "There you are. I've been looking for you."  And without waiting for a response, she kissed him soundly, leaving no doubt exactly where he belonged.

 

Jatasha :P

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He barely had time to blush profusely before any sort of stuttered explanation was stifled.  Then again, easier to avoid trying to explain the situation.  Not that there was a situation...  Light, he was even stuttering to himself in embarrassment!  He was doing nothing wrong, just his job as an officer.  So why did her presence still invoke a hint of guilt?

 

It was the shuffling of feet behind him that reminded Carnhain that, once again, they were most definitely not alone.  How many times had that happened?  He gave up once he got to their time in Illian.  It happened a lot.  Enough said.

 

With a guilty grin, Carnhain whirled back around a glorious shade of red.  “Umm... this is Jatasha.  Jatasha, Raylin.”  Absently he wondered how much Jatasha had seen of the previous day to invoke this sort of welcome.  Then again... it was Jatasha.

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Raylin couldn't help but laugh, and then gave a wink to the new woman. She couldn't help but be pleased to see the strutting and arrogant man brought down a peg or three with just one kiss. Raylin could tell that this Jatasha was one who knew how to handle her man.

 

Her gaze then shifted inside where she saw Jena speaking to someone and Raylin's smile turned impish. Perhaps she would have to resort to sometime similar one day soon.

 

Raylin nodded a greeting to the other woman. "Jatasha, it's a pleasure to meet you.  I think Jena and I are all set for now sir, so I'll leave you to the kind attentions of your lady friend her."

 

Stifling a laugh she ducked inside quickly and went to speak with the person in charge of signing on new members of the archers.

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