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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

A Trip Home (attn: Lor)


_Kynwric_
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Loraine shuddered as he mentioned her outliving them. It was something she knew, just as she knew that someday she'd have to live without the comfort of his arms around her. She shook her head, at that. There was a constant prayer in her heart that she had a long time to live before dealing with that issue, though. "Come on love, lets make Emond's Field and then home."

 

She lifted her head and smiled through the tears threatening her eyes. She hadn't felt relaxed enough to cry since they'd left Emond's Field last year. It was amazing what one word could do if you really believed in it. She nodded, reaching for her horse again. "Home," she murmured. "Let's go home..."

 

~Lor

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Kyn noticed the watering of her eyes and smiled back. He held the reins of her horse for her as she climbed up, then handed the reins over. Kyn then climbed up onto his own horse and spurred the horse forward lightly.

 

The moved slowly along the road, Kyn was just enjoying the ride and letting Loraine have the time she needed to sort things out. Soon enough Emond's Field was on the horizon and Kyn glanced to his left and saw that she had noticed as well, he glanced up at the sky and then back down. "Race?"

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Loraine settled into the easy gait of her horse, letting her mind drift. Kyn felt relaxed, or at least as relaxed as he ever got. He'd warn her if there was a cause to worry. It was reassuring. When had she become so needy? Was it that need that kept her from accepting that her children were officially out of her realm of control, now? Was it control she really needed?

 

She sighed inwardly, feeling her thoughts bounce around like a physical thing in her head. It almost gave her a headache, so she decided to focus on the trees around them, instead. She caught sight of something familiar ahead and felt the warm rush of coming home flow through her veins. She smiled brightly, easily able to tuck the rest of her thoughts away.

 

She caught Kyn's head turning out of the corner of her eye and met his smile with her own. She knew what he'd ask when he looked up at the sky and then back down and he didn't disappoint her. "Race?"

 

"I thought you'd never ask," she answered, already putting her heels into her horse's flanks to spur him on towards home.

 

~Lor

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Kyn watched as she set spurs to her horse and after a split second he did as well, he let the horse have his head and run. He had nearly run down the lead Lor had on him when they arrived in the square. Reigning in the horse, he slid off the as it was coming to a halt. He grinned up at Lor, "One of these days we're going to have an even start and you are going to lose m'love." It was an old refrain, one they had practiced for years now and the familiarity was something that kept them close. He glanced around with his eyes. "It seems not much has changed, everyone still stares at us when we ride into town."

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Loraine grinned down at him from her perch, feeling a lot more like herself. "One of these days we're going to have an even start and you are going to lose m'love."

 

She threw her leg over the horse and slid down to the ground, still grinning up at him. "Aye, and on that day, it'd be best to just pretend I won, anyway." She winked.

 

He glanced around, but the laughter was still dancing in his eyes. "It seems not much has changed, everyone still stares at us when we ride into town."

 

"Could it be because we're old enough that we should be entering the square at a sedate, if not slow, pace comfortably ensconced in a carriage?" She smiled and shook her head at him. "Or it could be that they're all waiting on me to die so they can get their hands on my husband..."

 

~Lor

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She smiled at him, letting him take the reigns. "I think if we go home and Marus finds out that we ate in town, he'll never let us forget it." She shook her head and sighed. Marus couldn't be more like his mother if he tried. The thought made her pause and blink, then shake her head. No, the Creator could not be so cruel as to make her sweet Marus as "gifted" as she was. It would've manifested by now, anyway. Right?

 

She shook her head a little more violently, sending a stray lock of hair to drop over her temple. "It's best if we stop for water and head on. It'll take us until full dark to get home, as it is..."

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Kyn nodded, let the horses drink and as he was looking around he noticed the one thing he didn't want to see... the Mayor and Wisdom, headed straight for them. "Love... we're in some sort of trouble." He flicked his eyes to the pair coming towards them.

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She looked up, following the direction of his eyes and nearly groaning inwardly. The only woman in the Two Rivers who knew what she was capable of... with that look in her eyes... "What have the boys done, now?" She groaned, pasting a smile on her face as she turned to greet the Mayor and Wisdom. "What a sight for sore eyes the pair of you are!" she exclaiming, stretching her hands and intercepting them a few feet away. It always took people off guard when you did something unexpected. Perhaps her welcoming smile would put off whatever problem she felt was about to be heaped on their heads...

 

~Lor

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Kyn shrugged. "No idea..." He turned and stood behind Lor as the pair approached.

 

"What a sight for sore eyes the pair of you are!"

 

He listened as she began to kill them with kindness, meanwhile he just pu ton the stern face he usually wore around the Yards. Letting her talk was usually the better plan, the mayor and Wisdom didn't take readily to being threatened.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Loraine fought the urge to roll her eyes at Kyn's stern expression. He'd gotten back into the "warder" habit and needed time to adjust back to the "farmer" habit, apparently. It nearly made her laugh. Only the expression on this pair's face kept her from it.

 

"We are pleased you've returned, Master Larind," the mayor started. Leave it to a man to drag Kyn into this conversation. "I'm afraid there's something we must discuss. Perhaps your wife would wait..."

 

"You'll forgive me, Mayor, but if it involves my husband, it involves me, as well. May I ask what it is we've done?" Loraine answered, her posture getting stiff. She truly wasn't used to being cut out of a conversation.

 

"Of course," he murmured, a heavy sigh on his lips as he looked around to make sure they weren't being listened to. "It's about your son," he started. "I'm afraid he was caught last week with Annabelle al'Mora. Her father is in quite a snit over it."

 

Loraine smiled, shaking her head. "Corlin's always been a bit of a..."

 

"No, ma'am, I believe you misunderstand..." the Mayor started.

 

"It is Marus that is the problem," the wisdom finished for him. There was a wealth of respect in the woman's eyes. She knew what Loraine was, after all. She'd known within minutes of laying eyes on her.

 

Loraine felt her mouth open and blinked. Marus? She wrinkled her brow, her eyes moving to Kynwric in shock. "What do you mean, he's the problem?" she asked, turning her eyes back to them. Light, please let it be something they could control!

 

"Annabelle's father is right angry," the mayor continued. "He's calling for a marriage to protect Annabelle's honor..."

 

~Loraine

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Kyn's eyebrow twitched at the mention of Marus being the one caught with his pants down. He gave a shake of his head when Loraine looked at him. Kyn then turned his gaze on the Mayor. "We're not going to comment on this at all until we've been home. If Gervais al'Mora would like to discuss it with me, he can call on us at his convenience. Or he can wait 'til I've had time to see my sons before passing judgement." It was right at that point that he noticed the Mayor actually take in the whole picture of his appearance, sword, shield and warhorse. The Mayor's voice seemed to stop working for a moment before finding it again.

 

"What are you playing at?"

 

"I'm a farmer."

 

"Then what is with all this." The Mayor asked, waving his hand at the weapon and shield.

 

"It is what it is." Kyn then looked to Loraine "Let's get home, it seems our hand has been missed." then turning back to the Wisdom and Mayor. "If you'll excuse us Wisdom, Mayor... it seems we're needed at home more than we realized." He turned the horse round and waited for Loraine to get just ahead of him before spurring his horse forward, ignoring the pointed looks from the Mayor.

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Loraine snapped her mouth shut and let Kynwric take over. His gruff nature was much more called for, though she visibly cringed as the Mayor registered Kyn's appearance. Light, there'd be a line of people on their doorstep tomorrow morning, inviting themselves over for brunch and asking a hundred questions about his shield and sword. She sighed, though she waited until they were far enough away from town and hidden from sight by trees before she leaned her head back and exhaled.

 

"How many problems can we face at one time?" she asked softly. "Tonight Marus and Corlin, for I'm sure he's been far from an angel while we were gone. Tomorrow, a whole town full of people enamored with stories of my knightly farmer of a husband. I may just have to braid my hair to distract them!"

 

~Lor

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Kyn smiled slightly, "More than this... we've done so before. Marus and Corlin will be the hardest I'm sure. As for your knightly farmer, we may just play it off as being heirlooms." he shrugged, it was the best he could come up with right then. "If nothing else you can conjure up a draghkar and scare the light out of them before it flies off."

 

"You know the difference between Marus and Corlin in this issue is Corlin has the experience to not get caught. Whereas it seems Marus was bent on taking the girl right there in Gervais' own stable." He just shook his head, "I bet Corlin's given him an earful to boot."

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Loraine laughed. "Corlin's far too much like his father, I fear," she smiled, inhaling the air around them. "Do you think he's serious about this girl, Kyn? I'm too young to be a grandmother..."

 

She smirked, knowing she was just the opposite. 'Grandfather always said being the High Seat was a lot of work. I had no idea he meant just keeping your own kids in line! Considering he was completely against my mother joining the family, I guess I should've, though. Light knows I was the perfect granddaughter to him..."

 

~Loraine

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"If he is like me then you should be grateful for it, and scared quite a bit as well. But first Marus, he's the one that al'Mora's gotten hell bent for. really I don't understand, s'not like that girls got a reputation to worry about." He glanced at her, noting the sarcasm and returned it. Asking, "when were you released from your oaths?"

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Loraine grinned at him over her shoulder. "I said to him, not for him. He hated me and I hated him, but I was always perfectly respectful and did my duties, just the way he asked." She sighed, knowing she was avoiding dealing with the issue at hand. "Marus must like her, Kynwric. He wouldn't be caught like that, if he didn't. I can't seem to fit Corlin's womanizing into Marus' sweet nature. He'd blush far too much to do more than stammer through a conversation."

 

A horrible thought crossed her mind and she turned to him, twisting in the saddle. "You don't suppose she's trying to trick him into marriage, do you? Or to get back at Corlin for something?"

 

~Loraine

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"Oh, I suppose its possible. But you're right, Marus must actually be smitten with the girl for him to be caught out like that. I can't imagine he was anything near graceful trying to run from Gervais with his pants around his ankles... he hasn't had the practice Corlin has." Kyn sighed, "Just for the record, some girls like a guy who blushes and can't talk his way around a building."

 

It was then Kyn spotted a rider on the road ahead of them. "Looks like we'll find out soon. That's Corlin..." He caught the look of how could he tell from this far off and added, "by the way he's riding."

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"Just for the record, some girls like a guy who blushes and can't talk his way around a building."

 

Loraine grinned. "I know, I bonded one, didn't I?"

 

"Looks like we'll find out soon. That's Corlin by the way he's riding." She narrowed her gaze and took in the figure racing towards them. What in the name of the Light...?

 

He was on them quickly and jerked the reins to the side, his heels digging into the horse's side as he pulled to a stop. His surprise was evident. "Mother? Father?"

 

"Corlin, love, it's wonderful to see you, at last!" She smiled, genuinely glad to see her son. When his expression didn't change, she felt the worry creep in again. "What are you doing about this late? And riding like the Dark One is chasing you, no less. Where's your brother?"

 

~Loraine

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Corlin flicked his head back down the road. "He was at the house last I saw, but he was talking about finding old man al'Mara. Some nonsense about him needing to keep his nose out of business that wasn't his."

 

Kyn narrowed his eyes, "And you just left him to it?"

 

"What am I supposed to do, tie him up?" Corlin shot back.

 

"Exactly." Kyn had had about enough of this whole situation. With a deep sigh he said, "Bloody well best get home in a hurry before that fool boy goes and does something he'll like regret. Corlin ride with your mother home, I'll see you then." And he kicked the horse up to a run, leaving the pair of them behind to follow.

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Loraine kept her mouth shut through the whole exchange, shaking her head as Kynwric rode off towards home. Was he going to do the tying, then? She eyed her oldest son, a smile breaking across her face as she leaned across her horse to hug him tightly. "You're quite a sight for sore eyes, my love," she said softly. "I'm..."

 

"Where have you been, mother?" Corlin's voice sounded strange, almost insulting in its accusatory tone. His eyes were hard and, while he returned her embrace, it was hardly the comforting hug she was used to from her more exuberant son.

 

She opened her mouth and shut it again, looking down the road Kyn had disappeared down. "Come, we must..."

 

"You're avoiding me," he said, almost wonderingly. "You can't tell me where you were? You've been gone a year!"

 

"Corlin Larind, I am your mother and you will not talk to me like this. I will take a switch to your hide, the same as I did when you were younger and don't you forget it!" If the switch was a weave this time around, he'd learn not to talk to Aes Sedai like that, either! Her temper was flaring and she roughly bit her lip. "Apparently there are many things we must discuss that can't and won't be done in the middle of a street when you've only just laid eyes on me after being gone for a year. Do you understand me?"

 

She stared him down and he relented. She'd had far too many years of practice for her own son to do her in. She could avoid questions that she couldn't answer directly. The little light of anger in his eye let her know this wasn't over and she sighed. "Can we get home, please? I've been in this saddle for a week and I just want to see my own house again..."

 

He finally relented completely and turned his horse back towards home. "Perhaps on the way, you can tell me where you were heading?"

 

It was his turn to turn the tables on her and she had to smile a bit at his answer. She'd taught both of her sons the art of The Game while they were growing up, knowing the day would come that they needed to know how to handle themselves. She'd done it subtly, sneaking it into this conversation or modeling it in that one until they'd picked up on it and began twisting it into their games. His answer told her he'd acknowledged that she taught them that on purpose, though it was apparently with great displeasure. "Home seems to be the best place for answering questions like these," he said, setting his heels into his horse and pacing her on the road.

 

"Aye," she said softly. She was glad when the familiar lines of their house came into view and she was smiling as she swung herself down out of the saddle. Corlin had come around to help her down, but she beat him to it. She let him have the reins and lead her horse into the barn, though as she made her way into the house. "Kynwric?" she called as she pushed the door open. She didn't see anyone right away. "Marus?"

 

~Loraine

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Kynwric had arrived a few minutes after he had left Corlin and Loraine on the road, it really hadn't been all that far. He headed straight for the barn, figuring if the boy was headed out the last place he'd be was getting a horse. Sure enough when Kyn rode around the house there was a light moving in the barn and the doors were wide open. He muttered something about farmboys knowing better than that and rode into, only to catch Marus mounting a horse. "I'd be thinking twice before you left with your mother just come home."

 

He saw the twitch and quick turn and the eyes, shame mixed with fear. What was this boy up to "Hello father, I really must go though. I've promised..."

 

Kyn quirked an eyebrow up and waited for more information to come. Marus continued, "You always said to keep your promises..." The consternation on Kyn's face was obvious. "And well, ummm, nevermind..." Kyn shook his head. "Help me put the horses away, whatever liason you have tonight will wait. I doubt that the al'Mara girl will be there anyway. Not with word having arrived that we're back, I'm sure Gervais will be keeping a good eye on her tonight." Marus started to object before Kyn put his hand up and waved him to his horse. "Completely unsaddled and put away." And Kyn did the same, giving his horse a good rubbing down before putting him away.

 

As they were crossing the short distance from the barn to the house he heard the hoofbeats of Corlin and Loraine ride up to the front of the house. Entering through the back he heard Loraine call out. "We're in the kitchen." He answered as he turned the lamp up to light the room.

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Loraine smiled, hearing Corlin coming in behind her. She'd missed them more than she thought she would, which was something, considering she'd thought she'd be in tears every day. "How wonderful," she murmured, stopping inside the kitchen door. If not for the expressions on their faces, this could've been any evening before they'd left. She reached behind her to grab Corlin's hand and pulled him to the table. "I've missed you both so much!"

 

She kissed Corlin on the cheek, smiling at his grimace. She crossed the room and dropped a kiss on Marus' cheek, as well. He didn't shrink away. In fact, he looked ready to accept anything that would take the heat off of him. She grinned, dropping a kiss on Kynwric's cheek, as well, before lowering herself into a chair at the table. "So, who's going first?" She smiled, her eyes moving from Corlin to Marus. "I want to hear everything. Why don't you start, Corlin? Where you heading so late in the evening?"

 

~Lor

 

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Kyn had slid into a chair and while he was glad to be home, the situations they had been thrust into was less than pleasant. It was probably good that Lor decided on Corlin to go first, it would bleed off some of the passion he had built up on the way home due to Marus' exploits. He turned his attention to Corlin as the young man spoke, "I was going to town, to visit some friends."

 

"Which friends?" Was the question that came out, almost just as quickly followed by "That late at night? Do you not keep normal hours?"

 

 

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Loraine watched Corlin stiffen and sighed inwardly. She took her time sitting down, giving him time to form an answer before she laid her eyes on him again. His eyes darted between his parents and she saw the flick of his eyes as they glanced at Marus and then back. Corlin was better at lying, but he wasn't skilled enough to hide it from his mother. She thanked her grandfather for that a moment as she waited on the whopper he was about to come out with.

 

"We were meeting behind the tavern," he said, trying for flippancy. "The moon is supposed to be bright enough and Denton was bringing a girl..."

 

Loraine nearly laughed. Nearly. "Try it again, Corlin," she said softly, folding her hands on the table and smiling at him. "You might want to start with the truth, though. I've told you many times I can spot a lie half a league away and you've never been able to lie to me."

 

He gaped at her, shaking his head. "Mother, I wasn't going to do anything bad," he started. At least he was telling the truth there. He was hedging, though. He'd apparently learned these lessons very well. Her smile didn't change, but her eyebrow went up. He pushed away from the table and paced, as if searching for a way to say this to stay out of the most trouble. Sort of like the time he'd tipped over the hay barrel in Old Man Rathen's barn. She simply watched him, waiting on him to form his answer. Finally he paused and turned back to them. "Father, can I talk with you? AWAY from nosey ears?" He eyed his brother tightly and Loraine shook her head.

 

"Corlin, you can't hide things from your family. Just tell me the truth. What were you doing leaving the house so late?" Her tone was calm, but she was starting to get irritated. He missed that part, though.

 

"Fine! I was going to meet someone behind al'Mara's barn," he yelled.

 

Marus' eyes widened and he shook his head at his brother. Apparently, this was where Marus had been heading. She'd learned nothing being a Sitter for the last year if she hadn't learned that allowing people to work themselves through a problem wouldn't eventually end up where she needed them to be. She was patient. She simply tilted her head at them both, now that Corlin was standing right next to Marus, who looked ready to punch him. She could wait for them to come out with it...

 

~Loraine

 

 

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