New Old Regrets

Description:

Inga Av Meols

    White to Tiger Eye
  • hearth witch
  • Played By: dergon

    Glacia Kaeleer
    17 Posts    127 marks
Re: New Old Regrets
« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2019, 05:15:10 AM »

"Oooh, I don't know about that." Inga teased, her smile turning into a knowing smirk. She thought her source was very good. And her topic immaculate after the fun they'd had at Tine's expense, and Arkyn's generous questioning answering. Really, he'd gotten off fairly easy as things went. The longer he talked the worse it got though.

Hands cupped over her mouth, Inga laughed silently. Tears welling up to gloss her eyes and spill over her bottom lids. Oh sweet Mother Night. Shaking, Inga brush the tears away with her fingers and swatted a hand at Nan who was outright hooting at Arkyn's expense. Eeva looking between the adults in confusion as she sucked sweet cream from her fingers.

"Oh Arkyn." Inga laughed, face turned into her shoulder so she wasn't laughing in his face. Offended on his behalf, Eeva complained that it had been an accident, and they were supposed to show people grace, momma had said so herself. "Yes, I'm sorry." Apology breathless and not at all contrite, but it appeased the young miss enough for her to go back to eating. Sticking fingers giving Arkyn a reassuring pat.

"I'm sure she won't implode. Especially if you go by to make sure things are well." He'd mentioned no woman himself, and Inga had heard little in the way of gossip about one. Aside from the apprentice-queen everyone had been talking about. Nothing else fit for a topic for a month at least. This one he'd brought up semi independently, and Inga thought Arkyn deserved some companionship. He was a good man. Coffee cup filled as her snickering faded into a soft smile.

"I've heard of him, but never laid eyes on him as far as I know." Inga set the pot aside and slid a napkin to Eeva before settling back into her own chair. Body relaxing as she pulled her sandwich apart, the occasional piece tucked between her lips. "Maybe if you stop going at her as sjef and just go as yourself. You're not just the job, Arkyn Wildling. And a baby never made couple." Nibbling at a bread crust, Inga's eyebrows tipped down in confusion. She'd never heard or seen any boy, and people did plenty talking about the reclusive new addition to their city.

Both women tittered at his teasing. "But then you'd be a matched pair." Inga harassed back kindly. He was not half so sullen as people assumed. Just thoughtful, and always worrying. "No, I hear you like apprentices." Nan sniped, shaking her pipe at him. "Nan!" Inga gasped. "Never you mind." She reassured the daughter who didn't understand what was wrong with apprentices, a bit of chocolate pulled from her pocket as a distraction.

"That wasn't there before!" Eeva accused with awe, giggling at her mother's wink. Inga stroked the hand Arkyn held his cup with, cutting glance making her grandmother shrug and look away. "I told you she wasn't fit company." She'd always been out spoken, but Inga found her grandmother growing more bitter in these last months. A long, hard life chipping away at her compassion. And reason. "Ornery old goat." She muttered under her breath.

Arkyn Wildling

    Yellow to Summer-sky
  • Warlord Prince
  • Played By: Jones

    Glacia Kaeleer
    63 Posts    0 marks
Re: New Old Regrets
« Reply #16 on: July 13, 2019, 02:13:50 AM »
Shoulders rising up he sighed deeply. The hand helping Eeva balance on his leg giving the girl a reassuring pat. ”You’re a sweetheart.” With her swift albeit brief rise to his defense. Unneeded but appreciated. The women’s laughter did not offend- only made the corners of his mouth turn down to express his befuddlement with the whole situation. The sting of painful emotions had long since been blunted in Arkyn. Embarrassment especially. To be quite frank, he was used to being the butt of the joke. It had been that way as long as he could remember, all the way back to his days as the wasted seed of a great warrior. In the city it was less about his ability to survive extremes and more about his luck with women which was… well a catastrophe to put it mildly. The more he admired or desired someone the faster they ran. And the less he favored them, the more likely they were to climb into his lap.

Clearly he was doing something- or everything- wrong.

”Not even a glimmer of a chance,” He said firmly. An unintentional tone of bitterness putting more snap into the words than he intended. ”She has made it very clear I’m unwelcome.” Had from the very start. He was just too stubborn to take her at face value. New in town, nervous and mysterious. Of course he had been curious. Worried. Interested, if he were being entirely honest with himself. ”Checking in would only offend her all over again. She asked me to leave her alone, so I will.”

Didn’t want to. Didn’t like it. Didn’t trust the oddness of no one ever seeing her son. But she had asked, then warned, then demanded. There was a thin line between concern and obsession. One a warlord prince had to tread very, very carefully. It helped mightily that Arkyn couldn’t take his own interest in Kirsi seriously anyway. Hope and expectation were rarely permitted, and never on purpose. He was careful there too. With his ego that his Jewels had never been capable of defending, and a thousand hard lessons on how to be grateful that you had anything at all, let alone what you might have wanted.

Nodding lightly he sipped his coffee and pretended to eat his sandwich. Not much of a bite taken before he washed the bread down with more coffee. ”Looks like any other man I’m sure.” He took another nibble at the sandwich. Stomach a knot that was uneager for food or drink. To waste would be incredibly rude- and he was afraid of what Nan might think if he did so soon after being asked for groceries. Forcing down the cool chicken he rolled his eyes. Far less concerned with how rude that might seem. ”I haven’t purposefully gone at her at all. And there isn’t any difference between me and the job. I’ll be the same when it’s not mine anymore. Just with a lot less paperwork.” And purpose.

He joked them passed the jagged edges of his resignation on the topic. Kirsi was not meant for his heart. At this point he was sure no one was. It would be fine, as long as he didn’t let his heart get attached to anyone. He didn’t know if it was relieving or frightening that he had found that an easy task in the last few years.

Falling into the ribbing they laughed at him again. Then jabbed with a point so familiar his rebuttal was ready. Arkyn took it in stride. A one sided shrug rolling the comment down his back. Head tipped to rest on the shoulder he raised as he eyed the old woman. ”You heard wrong,” He challenged, leaning towards the wiggling end of her pipe. Dark eyebrows reaching for his hairline and bright brown eyes glinting at her with sharp wit. ”Apprentices like me.” That was mostly true, in the particular case Nan was referencing. While Eeva cooed over the surprise sweet he perched his chin on his knuckles. Food forgotten.

”It’s not as simple a story as it was made to sound, Nan, nor one I could tell without offending Lady Vivica.” Damn the girl for spreading the story at all. Damn her twice for catching him in such a rare  mood. That was the real embarrassment. Not that he had found a moment of pleasure in a very young woman. The fact that he had let his inhibitions lead him to vulnerability. It was a terrible slip. One he had to be grateful had not resulted in anything more than a few bad jokes.  Lips pressed tight he chuckled softly at Inga. ”I don’t mind. I deal with harder opinions every day.” You couldn’t please everyone, the old saying went. That was very true for a sjef. Judgements too harsh on one side of the fence, too lax on the other.

Bobbing Eeva on his knee he watched her lick melted chocolate from her fingertips. ”Where is Levi anyway? Has he moved into his own place?” Arkyn was rarely kept in the loop of where the ships went. Not anymore. But he didn’t sense the brother’s presence in the house. Eero’s either. A thought that sobered him. How quickly the signs of existence faded upon death. Even for a man who had so many left to think about and miss him. ”I should probably get back. Paperwork won't do itself.”

Inga Av Meols

    White to Tiger Eye
  • hearth witch
  • Played By: dergon

    Glacia Kaeleer
    17 Posts    127 marks
Re: New Old Regrets
« Reply #17 on: July 13, 2019, 07:30:56 AM »

"Oh poo." Inga scoffed, unwilling to believe the woman had been so set against him. His bitterness over it made her pull back some, cautious of digging at a sore spot. "Seems foolish of her." The healer chided despite her not being present to defend herself. Community meant care, even she didn't return Arkyn's more personal interest, kindness would have been better than stubborn refusal.

"You've not seen him either?" Chair rocking, Inga looked skyward. She'd heard plenty of stories about pirates, a few specifically about The Runner. Most from Eero's. He'd had a few run ins with them in his career, but Igna couldn't remember if anyone of them had been Reric's wayward son. "You think that stiff old queen of theirs would have better control over him." Inga fully believed in the abilities and powers of all queens. They kept everyone alive and safe. Not on their own, but without them they would all have to chase caribou across the countryside and inga didn't want to live that life.

"I didn't mean it like that!" Inga laughed. Poor Arkyn. "Probably how he did it though. Its a caste thing." Nan put in, sucking at her empty pipe. She'd wrapped half her sandwich in her napkin to be kept for later. "Nan please. You're a priestess, you know better than anyone we're more than castes and jewels." The old woman snorted and Inga sighed. "And you are more than a job." Finger tapping the table in front of Arkyn. Eeva nodded in his lap. He was also a caribou chaser.

Inga laughed at her daughter. And then she had her grandmother both laughed harder at Arkyn. "I like you too." Eeva added in, making her mother cover her face and cry again at the absurdity of it all. Nan clucked away his excuses. "It never is with young girls." A glint in her eye as she glanced at her granddaughter. Inga was quick to avoid and keep the conversation moving. "Maybe, but you shouldn't have to hear them when invited in for coffee."

Shrugging, Inga raised her hands in resignation. "Who knows! He has a room here, and plenty of stuff in it, but he hardly comes home when his ship is in port." A month. He'd stuck close to home and his sister for a month, helping with Eeva when Inga couldn't get out of bed. Helping to cajole Nan into moving in. And then slowly he'd stayed away longer and longer. "I think he's a young man stifled by too many womenfolk." Too much grown up responsibility suddenly at his feet. Inga didn't love him any less for it.

Nodding, Inga stood and came around the table to help Arkyn win free of Eeva. "Draw me a big herd if caribou while I see the sjef out." The task a good distraction for a little girl who didn't want to let go. Inga stroke a curl straight and kissed her forehead, worried the parting might trigger something a more dramatic reaction. They did sometimes. But Eeva was brave and good, bobbing her head and fetching her paper and pencil.

"I'm sorry if we teased you too hard. Maybe we've both become bad company." Inga helped him with his coat, sorrowful to think they had run him off with their gossip and teasing. "Try not to be such a stranger." She asked, giving his arm a shake. He needed something other than work to enjoy, and Inga was worried he'd gotten worse at that balance rather than better over the years. "Maybe I'll see you at work, hmm?" Hand on his shoulder, Inga reached up to kiss his cheek gently. "Thank you, Arkyn." For work. For coming in.

Arkyn Wildling

    Yellow to Summer-sky
  • Warlord Prince
  • Played By: Jones

    Glacia Kaeleer
    63 Posts    0 marks
Re: New Old Regrets
« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2019, 07:33:03 PM »
”She has her reasons.” Arkyn said with a certainty he didn’t need the details to back up. They always had reasons; sometimes not knowing them was a small mercy. Unspoken sentiment tacked onto the statement unintentionally but there it was. Earning him another soft pat from Eeva although she didn’t understand the context, just the self-pitying tone in his voice. That was the first sign it was time to go. Familiar as the women had once been, they had not been friends in many years. And airing his ego in front of a child was a sort of pathetic he wasn’t sorry enough for himself to embrace.

Yet.

The day was still young, however, and the ladies laughter sharp. Thankfully he earned a short reprieve with talk about the pirate lord. ”Only from afar a time or two. I’ve heard him described plenty, though, and seen the wanted posters from Fyrkat and Stavangar.” They shared a weakness, or a respite, in the same sort of women. Arkyn preferred not to consider which. Didn’t want to know why either. The working girls at his favorite Red Moon Houses spoke of him with mixed annoyance and awe. Which he supposed accounted for at least half of Kirsi’s personality. And he was certainly a safer target for her personal frustrations than a wild card like The Runner. ”I imagine that would be like mixing fire and oil. He’s too crazy and spirited to be controlled and she needs too much control to give him an inch of breathing room. That stiffness is probably the only reason Reric’s still standing with those two in the same place.”

Arkyn admired Lady Ironeyes competence. Her efficiency at submitting trade agreements and seeing through criminal extraditions was remarkable. The letter debacle had blemished his respect for her forethought a bit, but who knew what lengths she had to go through to deal with Peregrine Runner? It was impossible to judge without knowing the details. So he shouldered the blame and consequence on his own. Then tried to put it from his mind while the women heaped it back into his lap. Eyeing them both from his slouched position on the chair he turned a corner of his mouth up at them. Head tipping towards Nan he finished his coffee with a quick swallow. ”Caste prejudice is real for a reason. Nan might not be so wrong. Maybe Kirsi just dislikes Warlord Princes.” Though it was, in his experience, the unpredictable nature of a warlord prince most women found unattractive. Which would be a hard argument to back when The Runner was about as unpredictable as they came. Something had attracted those two together. Either something Arkyn lacked, or something he had too much of. No use wondering.

It was a relief to speak in certainties. Even certainties that he had to allude to rather than say outright. Young ears too attentive to the conversation for Arkyn to even take the risk. Joining the women’s laughter he pet the girl’s hair appreciatively. Then turned his stormy brow at Nan with a grunt, ”Young girl? She’s a trained queen in her twenties. With an Offering and all that entails. Not to mention more than enough sense to recognize a drunk man when she sees one. I’ll take only my due of the blame for that night.” A year had passed and he still hadn’t lived it down. Arkyn doubted he ever would. People didn’t question his uncharacteristic behavior. They just reveled in the entertainment the gossip provided. Rolling his shoulder at Inga with a grin he didn’t argue or accept. ”That’s part of the job.”

Hearing opinions. Harsh criticism. Gossip fodder. Thankfully they didn’t outweigh the parts he took pride in. Being dependable, serving the people, giving closure, helping out his neighbors. Mending fences. Which brought Levi to mind. ”Hm,” He said as Inga described her brother’s frequent absence. Mind turning to womenfolk, but not in the same way that the heartwitch’s did. Chuckling slightly he gave a dip of his head. ”Might be the case. Young men are rather notorious for enjoying the company of womenfolk though. Perhaps he’s just busy cultivating new interests.” He told the table with a sympathetic grin.

Children grew up. Blossomed into their own people with their own lives and concerns. A pride and a sadness that warred in the hearts of those that raised them. It was really time to go, then. The family at the table had enough sorrows without his added to the bunch. Rising slowly he let Eeva work up to his hip where she tried to cling for a moment. ”How long do you think the chair will stay warm?” He asked, setting her in it with a grin. Small fingers gripping until the last second but no tears spilled as he gave her a goodbye peck on the crown of her head. ”Stay sweet.” He called as she rushed off to find art supplies.

Nan got a small wave as he followed Inga around the corner into the entry way. Hands in his pockets he tried not to slow his steps any. They were not really alone, he reminded himself, and there was no reason for him to want to be alone with Inga. ”Don’t worry, I’ve got thick skin.” He assured her with a touch to the shoulder. Lifting his coat from the hook he let her work a sleeve up to his wrist while he slide the opposite in with a shake. Giving her a soft chuckle he nodded his head on both counts. ”Oh we’ll see one another plenty I’m sure.” He told her noncommittally. If a few run ins with Kirsi had turned to rumors that fast then he wouldn’t be risking Inga’s reputation that way. She was a widow, who deserved a certain amount of respect. And he already knew how their story ended. Nothing that had made her run from him before had changed. Except now she was the one who have their time split by caring for a child.

 ”I didn’t do anything.” He told her at the door, bending slightly to accept her peck. ”Take care of yourself, Inga. And don’t be too proud to come to me if you need something.” Finger wagging he stepped backwards through the door. Giving her one more smile before he turned to get back to the routines and rules that made up his life.
 

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