by Ruth Davis Hays 2011
Computer issues have delayed the monthly post, but here it is.
Passions set aside in the wake of tragedy, Lauralei waits for news of her recovering brother as well as the fate of her beloved. After Galian suffered the consequences of baiting his stepbrother ‘Khiall, the head of the Khnyghtsyde family imposed a serious punishment on the attacker of his son…
It was not until days later, when ‘Khiall was repeatedly missing from the family meal table, that his stepsister was able to ferret out information of what had befallen him. The servants and family members were amazingly tight-lipped. But, Lauralei’s entreaties wore away at the old gossiping housekeeper, Kora, who offered all she knew one afternoon in the courtyard while tending the laundry.
The half-breed faerlin had been held down and beaten with a cane stick until it broke over his back, a particularly dreadful punishment. Restricted to the cellar for an undetermined amount of time, his recovery was slow. The old housekeeper was permitted to slip him bread and water twice a day, but she said it would be anyone’s guess how long Solomen would hold him in account for Galian’s suffering.
Days and nights passed listlessly after that report. Lauralei agonized over ‘Khiall’s absence, and she was not alone in her protests. Ammarron took to wearing a dark veil over her beautiful face, a symbol of her sadness to remind her husband that she still had issues over how he treated her son on the whole. Galian began to join them at the table and was moving about the house, albeit at a slower than typical pace. His wounds would leave long scars on his face and neck for the remainder of his days. Sarrah, in her usual unthinking way of trying to inject levity into the situation, joked that now they could tell the twins apart.
Yet, two more weeks crept by with no sign of ‘Khiall rejoining the household. Lauralei wondered if Solomen even cared whether the young fae ever saw the light of day again. Deciding to take up the matter with those that had the most influence, she at last spoke with her father’s wives.
Eventually, after a period of twenty-three days, the heart of Solomen was softened by the females’ petitions, and he let ‘Khiall out of the cellar.
The boy looked wretched. Although her father still declared that ‘Khiall was a pariah, the women of the house descended upon him, cleaning wounds and ministering to his needs.
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