Writing 2014-04-18

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Fulk turns to Aykuh, angry words clearly on the tip of his tongue, until he realizes who he is speaking to.  Instead he says, “Yes.”

Aykuh says, coolly, “They understand you are unhappy.  They know it is you are unhappy with what happened to your son.  You know they had good reasons, and meant well.  Leave it there.”

Fulk glares, then storms out, banging the door shut behind him.

“Ow,” comments Aykuh.  She looks at the little group of foxes.  Larrikan looks as if he has just run a marathon.  Iorwen and Agh, on the other hand, look like the cat who ate the canary.  The two youngsters look overwhelmed and a bit frightened.  Aykuh tells them, “Are you crazy?  Next time you want a local to kill you, don’t goad him into it in my tree!”

Larrikan looks abashed, and replies, “I’m sorry, Aykuh.  I did not expect it to go quite that far.  We did not mean to cause you worry.”

Aykuh harumphs, “Charming rogue.  You should be sorry!  And I don’t think you are the ringleader here.”  She glares at Iorwen.

Iorwen smiles, just a little.  She says, “You are right, we pushed him today.  He was just noisy but might have done worse.  We very much appreciate your help and vigilance.  Thank you.”

A little mollified, Aykuh says, “Is there where he gets his glib tongue from?  What about what your training the human youth at the Gather?”

Agh tells the dryad seriously, “All training starts with talk.  Someone that angry, or someone unsure wouldn’t get anything else, just talk.  No trainer mentioned someone upset.  All the kids had good experiences.  Even Fulk’s kinder, Valter.”

“Is that so?” Aykuh says.

“Aye,” replies Agh, “It is.  We meant well by all our new friends.”

Iorwen adds, “We couldn’t have known Valter would come, either.  If he hated us as strongly as his father, he never would have.”

“Hmm,” considers Aykuh, “That may be true, but Fulk hates you more than ever.  Be careful of him.  I don’t want to see you get killed.”  She adds, “Especially in my tree!”

Iorwen grins, her usual smile tinged with embarrassment, and says, “Yes, ma’am.  We’ll be careful.”

Agh agrees, “And what we should be now is on our way.”

The four foxes who are leaving pack up and head out.  Larrikan sees them off, but stays behind.  It hurts him to do so, but he wants magic more than he wants the open road and Shy Folk camaraderie.

Larrikan returns to Barrow Hall.  He must look somewhat dejected when he puts things away, because Emblem comes up to him, and puts a hand on his arm.  When he stops what he is doing, turns to face her and asks, “Yes?” she gives him a hug.

The hug lingers as long as Larrikan needed it to.  When she steps away, Emblem tells Larrikan, “It’s good to see you.  We missed you.  I’m glad you didn’t leave.”

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