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 Morning at the Homestead

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Rends the Gar

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Posts : 350
Join date : 2013-08-29

PostSubject: Morning at the Homestead   Tue 20 Jun 2017, 01:12

She was up before the dawn, just like every day. Quietly she lit a candle and rose to dress. She smiled at the sonorous snore and huff from the other side of the bed. She looked over her shoulder, then leaned over and left a kiss on her Sly's shoulder before getting up to check on Jack in his crib.

He was just starting to wake up, and his smile when he saw her was brighter than the morning sun. Silke smiled back and let him chew on a piece of wood Sly had carved into a tiny wolf while she changed him. The sun was just starting to brighten the Eastern treeline when she felt strong arms wrap around her and a bristling beard tickled her neck with a kiss. She picked up Jack and slung him on her hip as she turned to her husband.

"For a man your size you are far too quiet, Mister Clemons."

"Well that's one of the dangers of bein' with a Garou! You never know when I'ma sneak up on ya."

He chuckled, pulling her close with one hand and taking his burbling son with the other. He planted a kiss on her lips, holding it until he pulled back with a yelp as Jack yanked out a clump of beard with a laugh. Silke covered her mouth with a hand but she couldn't hide the laughter in her eyes. Sly let out a play roar and let Silke go to toss his laughing son up nearly to the ceiling a few times. Still smiling to herself Sike grabbed her candle, lighting others in the small house on her way to the kitchen.

"Well it seems like Little Jack is ready to seize the day! How about some breakfast, and after you can take a look at the north roof? It drips every time there's rain and I won't have mold take over."

Sly slung Jack over his shoulder as he chose a fresh shirt and pants, then set him back in the crib while he changed.

"I'll take a look at it, before I head out. Brave in War wanted me to take some pup out on patrol today, and the King wanted to brief the pack on the Black Spiral business."

Silke was reaching for a link of sausages and paused. Turning back to him she brought the rest of their breakfast to the small table and set it out quietly with the cheese and last of the winter apples already laid out. Strong arms took her by the waist and turned her around. He wiped the silent tears from her eyes.

"Hey now, what's wrong?"

She shook her head, turning back to laying out the plates.

"It's nothing."

She turned away, slicing the sausage with deft motions.

"I suppose it's to be expected. It's not enough I don't get you for months at a time while you're off doing God knows what. Why wouldn't they get you while you're here too?"

She felt him stiffen behind her, felt his breath on the back of her neck. She put the plate of cut sausage out on the table and walked to the door without turning to him.

"Breakfast is ready. Better eat quick, I'm sure you'll be needed before too long."

"Silke, hold on! Damnit woman!"

But she was already out the door. She didn't scrub at her face as she swept across the wooded yard and to the inn proper. She went in through the back door, down to the cellar, and only when the door was closed behind her did she wipe her eyes. It was still dark in here, but this place was familiar enough to her that she could find her way easily with the faint illumination from above the door, and she soon had a lamp lit. The smells of the place sang to her: fresh wheat and toasted barley and the sweet pungency of young beer all lined with the wholesome smell of earthen flooring. Together it brought her back to a time she'd almost forgotten, another world. A series of large metal pots and tubing lined two walls and inside the next batch was almost ready to be pulled and aged. She checked each, tasting and adjusting where necessary. She'd just finished the last one when the door opened again and Sly ducked in with Jack. Sly stomped over, fidgeting with his hat. She frowned. It really was a shame about his ear.

"You wanna tell me what that was all about? You know I got duties at the Caern. Why are you makin' this out to be a problem?"

She felt her cheeks flush with anger and she reared on him, the serenity she'd gathered flying away.

"Why am I making this a problem? I don't know, Sly. Why would it be a problem if I only get to see you for a few hours every few weeks? Why would it bother me to only hear you're coming home when Jana has to leave the kids with us so she can run off and tell your king there's some murderous Garou around? I don't hear from you for weeks, I didn't know if you were dead or alive, but I expected that."

She slammed the lid of the vat down and Jack cried in alarm. She turned away, wiping at her face and sniffing.

"I knew getting into this that you'd be in danger, and that some day you may not come back. But that was supposed to stay out there! You're supposed to keep us safe, but how can you do that when you're a hundred miles away?"

She turned back to him and waved to take the still crying child. Sly passed Jack over, staying quiet himself.

"They's other Garou here. You've met some of 'em. I make sure you and Jack are taken care of-"

"We don't need other Garou, Sly! We need you!"

They stared at each other for a moment, Jack's cries were the only thing that broke the silence. She turned away after a moment, humming to the child.

Sly's voice was quiet, robbed of its usual swagger and somehow deflated.

"You knew gettin' into this I'd be out of town a lot."

"That isn't the point."

"No, you listen. I won't apologize fer goin' out and doin' my duty. The work we do is makin' the Republic a safer place. I wish I could keep it all out there away from you two, but I cain't. That's why I make sure we have patrols come out here. That's why I got you that pistol and Harriet keeps her shotgun behind the bar. I didn't count on the Black Spirals making a hit so close to home, but we's gonna do everything we can to end them or make sure they's gone before we leave."

Silke shook her head, turning back to him.

"It's not them I'm worried about. We were robbed, Saturday before last. A couple of ranch hands came through and roughed up one of the girls. When Harriet went to kick them out they pulled guns before we could grab ours. I thought they were gonna kill us all. Instead they took all the cash and a couple of horses and rode off. I guess a handful of women make an easy target for desperate folk."

She blinked, steel in her eyes.

"I shot one off his horse. He died a slow death waiting for a doctor in an upstairs room. The other one got away."

Jack had quieted down so she handed him back over and headed to the back of the room where the casks were aging. She pulled a mug from the shelf and poured a draft. She handed it to Sly, taking the child back and sitting at a the desk over next to the stairs.

"I love you, Sylvester Clemons. I love you and our Jack more than I thought I could love. But when I married you it wasn't for love. It was because you were supposed to be the monster that scared away the other monsters."

He was quiet for a long time, staring down into the frothy head of beer. He came over and sat on the stairs, staring off to the far end of the room. He didn't drink.

"It ain't gonna be like this forever. I promise. I want to be here, Silke, you know I do. But you know what I do can't nobody else do. We've got so many folk who count on us. The King, the Tonkawa, everyone here at the Forked Ash, each of our Tribes. And you, and Jack. It kills me that I cain't be here all the time. I hate that I gotta go away fer a long time. I hate that I ain't here when you need me."

He turned to face her, getting on his knees and taking her hand in his.

"I don't expect you to like it, and I know it ain't fair to you, but I need you to be alright with this. It ain't permanent. I don't know when it'll change. But it will. I promise."

Another tear traced down her face, and after she held his gaze for a long moment she nodded. They kissed and the tension left the room.

He stood up, fixing his hat again and sniffing at the beer.

"Well I'd best earn my keep. You said the North roof needs a patch?"

She nodded and rose, wiping at her face one last time while Sly took a long drink. She smiled, adjusting his hat for him.

"It does, but you'd better eat first, I know you didn't have time to eat before you came out here. Oh, and I guess I should also mention I'm pregnant."

Anticipating the spray of beer she stepped to the side as wild laughter bubbled out from her and Jack. She yelped in surprise when he swept the two of them up in his arms with a laugh of his own.
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