Title: I Run To You
Ecstasy - May 5, 2009 08:58 PM (GMT)
The meadows were calm and quiet this warm spring evening. The slight breeze made the grass dance and the flowers seemed to move with an air of happiness. The chirps of birds and fluttering of wings could be heard in the nests high up in the trees. Nothing disturbed the utopian peace of the meadow.
Alicia arrived in the meadow and stood awe struck. The beauty of the place could not escape her as she moved gracefully through the meadow taking in all the sights. She stopped in the middle of the meadow right next to a large tree and laid down on her back staring up at the skies. Sure the skies may be a bit gloomy due to the hurricane but it had not become disastrous yet and Alicia was determined to spend some time outside today, even if it did rain cats and dogs.
She took a deep breath and she could smell the coming rain in the air. She did not stir though but laid there, one arm across her stomach and the other resting underneath her head. She hummed a bit of Elvis Presley’s Hound Dog as she laid there.
tarragon - May 6, 2009 08:39 PM (GMT)
It had been nearly two full seasons since Bran had arrived in Feather Valley, and yet it seemed much shorter. The man had seen neither head nor tail (nor thorax or any other body part) of any monster,a nd he still didn't know whether to be joyous or saddened that he was unable to slay anything. After all, he needed a bit more money than what he had on him. The prospect of eventually gaining a farm did not seem bright.
So out here he was, atop Ceridwen and in search of something. What that something was, he wasn't sure of just yet, but he felt like he was on a quest for something that would reveal itself in time. If Ceridwen felt the same, then she showed no signs. In fact, the horse was stepping along at a pace that was too slow for Bran's taste. When he occasionally urged her to go faster, she did so for a few minutes, but eventually slowed back do to a casual walk. And when he complained that he could walk faster, she merely snorted indignantly and flicked her ears, not quickening her pace even one step.
Despite the warnings of the oncoming hurricane, Bran felt no need to take shelter yet. The sky was merely an angry gray, after all, and what was the point of taking immediate shelter when the hurricane was yet a ways off? Both Bran and Ceridwen would know when it turned too dangerous to be outside, and the man felt he had another good hour or so to go. And yet he was a bit surprised to hear a light-hearted hum coming from the direction of a large tree. He flicked Ceridwen's reigns, and she increased her speed a little. There, laying beneath the tree, was a young looking woman, humming along as if nearly oblivious to the weather. Not wanting to startle her, he called for his steed to slow a little, and as they neared the woman, he called out a warm, "Hallo," taking his right hand off the reigns and giving it a quick wave.
Ecstasy - May 7, 2009 02:15 AM (GMT)
The storm was steadily approaching but not quite close enough to make one run for shelter. The sky's stormy gray did not scare Alicia into leaving the meadows. It actually made her want to lay there longer. She thought she heard the soft neigh of a horse far off in the distance but she ignored it and closed her eyes.
The feel of the grass and the atmosphere around her made it easy to drift off as she lay. She was so into her own little world that she didn't hear the soft trod of hooves approaching. She heard a voice call out hello to her but it took a second for her to register that the voice was talking to her. Her eyes flicked open and she turned her head. Instead of seeing a mans legs she saw a horses legs. She lifted herself up to get a better view of the stranger.The young man sat on a beautiful horse and the man was very handsome. She first noticed his dark brown eyes, which in any case would be considered average to any other girl that swooned at beautiful blue eyes, but Alicia found his brown eyes to be better than anyone blue or green eyes she had ever seen. Next she noticed the muscle under his shirt and the tan of his skin.
It was then that she noticed she had been looking at the stranger for a few minutes now without having said hello. She cursed herself and a light blush appeared on her pale cheeks. "Hello," she said as calmly as she could. "I'm sorry, I did not expect to see anyone else out here today."
tarragon - May 7, 2009 09:58 PM (GMT)
As Bran approached the young woman, he took the time to study her. While he severely doubted it to be a trap, one could never be too careful. So it was with a slightly wary eye he examined her quickly. She dressed modestly, and while her features were fair they weren't exactly exotic; she didn't seem to be dangerous. When he drew nearer, he saw that she had been examining him as well, and a small blush had recently appeared on her cheeks. Holding back a chuckle, he closed most of the remaining space and slid lightly off Ceridwen, sword and seax slapping lightly against his thigh.
He gave as gentle a smile as he could manage as he turned, cloak billowing a little in the breeze. "Do not be sorry for being startled. I was actually quite surprised to see someone out here as well. Or at least, I never expected to see a lady out here, perhaps only another fool of a man like myself, as the hurricane seems to be brewing rather quickly." He grinned, eyes wrinkling at the corner, though the grin faded as soon as he realized what he had just said.
"I beg your forgiveness, madam. I do not mean that you are a fool. Perhaps just brave enough to weather the storm?" He shrugged lightly, and Ceridwen gave a little snort. If he hadn't known any better, he would've thought the horse was laughing at his fumble. He looked over his shoulder at her, eyes narrowed, but she was merely munching away on the grass. She glanced up at him with a weary eye, as if to say "What?" before going back to her grass. Bran gave a little sigh before turning back to the woman. Giving a small, sweeping bow, as was custom to give to women back in his village, he introduced himself. "Bran Leabhar, at your service."
Ecstasy - May 7, 2009 10:23 PM (GMT)
As the young man slid off of his horse, Alicia noticed the sword at his side. Yes there were monsters that roamed the lands, or at least so she'd been told, for she had yet to see any of these so called monsters since she had been here. Therefore, she saw no fit reason for the man to carry around the sword, unless he just liked being ready for battle like a knight from medival times.She smiled at the thought.
She felt very short sitting on the ground while the man, who must have been 6 feet at least, stood in front of her. Gently she got to her feet as he started to speak but she frowned at what he said. Fool?Quickly he corrected his mistake and she gave a light and almost musical giggle and the horse behind him also seemed to be laughing at him.
Suprisingly, he bowed as he introdiced himself. She was unaccustomed to this form of chivalry which led her mind to wander back to her previous thoughts of a knight. She held a hand to her mouth to hide the laughter that tried to escape and so he would not notice her amusment from his actions she introduced herself. "Please sir, bowing is meant to be for kings and queens, and unfortuantely I am not of royal birth," she joked. "I'm Alicia Mercanon," she said. "Pleasure to make your acquaintence."
tarragon - May 7, 2009 10:48 PM (GMT)
Bran watched the young woman as he straightened, slightly amused that she had to hold in a giggle. It was just one of the many reactions he received when he did his customary greeting. He was just glad that she didn't scowl, as some women were wont to do. He shook his head, smiling as she said that he should save his bows for royalty. "While I hate to argue with a lady, I must protest. Every woman should be greeted with a bow, no matter her age or status. It's merely proper respect that every lady deserves." and if there was one thing that the man hated, it was disrespect.
"Regardless, it is a pleasure indeed. I've yet to meet many of the villagers of Feather Valley. I've yet to meet many people at all, in fact." He chuckled a little, shrugging again, his arm brushing against his sword. He then realized that this lady, Alicia Mercanon, might be a bit wary of him. He made a mental note to stay mindful of his sword as he gripped the belt, unbuckling it swiftly yet carefully. "Please, don't let this sword scare you. I've come to be mindful of my environment since my days in the guard of my home village. I hardly ever travel without it and I sometimes forget it's even there, I've grown so accustomed to its weight."
He placed it in Ceridwen's saddlebags, though he left the flap undone. After all, a monster could come charging at any moment. He gave his sturdy steed a swift pat on her flanks before turning his attention back to Alicia. "So... May I ask what you're doing out here with a hurricane coming, Miss Mercanon? I myself have no reason aside that I have nothing else to do."
Ecstasy - May 7, 2009 11:12 PM (GMT)
Alicia nodded and grinned. "Well I agree that men should learn to not only respect women but others as well. It is rare now to find a man that shows proper respect to the people around him. Even in some ladies as well." It was true that the generation now seemed to have little to no respect for the people they encountered. Kindness as well seemed to be absent in today's population. Thankfully she had met someone that had some ethics.
"I, as well, have not seen many souls walking around the village," she said honestly. She only had met one person in this dreadfully quiet village and he had been a mute, so the conversation she longed for was lost on him. She wondered now what became of him.Then his hand moved for his sword and Alicia tensed. Maybe she had judged his kindness to quickly but she sighed in relief as he went to remove the sword from his person and place it in his horses saddle bags.
"Please call me Alicia. Miss Mercanon makes me sound old, and sadly I'm not ready to grow up quite yet. And as for being out here, as you said with the approaching storm, I find it slightly adventurous. Being caught outside in the middle of a big storm seems like just the thing to spice up life in this quiet town, don't you agree?" Yes she sounded like a foolish youth but it was how she felt and god knows this town could use some excitement.
tarragon - May 7, 2009 11:34 PM (GMT)
Bran nodded in agreement with Alicia's words. It seemed that there were far too many disrespectful people these days, and it wasn't just the youths. After all, who taught the young ones to disobey? At least those who joined the guard had been straightened out. Perhaps it was laziness that brought about insolence. Pondering that thought for a few moments, he nearly missed Alicia's next sentence, and chastised himself mentally for not paying attention.
"Yes, this village does seem a bit quiet. Perhaps it's a fear of the rumor of monsters? I've yet to see any myself, but I haven't really traveled past this meadow." He frowned, rubbing his slightly scruffy chin with his thumb and first two fingers. Again, he had food for thought that he should have to consider at a later time.
He tipped his head once more, though this time it was a short and quick nod. "As you wish, Alicia." He gave a small smile at her refusal to grow up. He only hoped that she wouldn't have to experience too many hardships that would force her too. At her comment on spicing up life with the storm, he chuckled quietly. "I suppose it is slightly adventurous, in an abstract manner. Perhaps I don't find as much excitement in it as you do as I've spent a good deal of the past few years outside. But if it will rouse the villagers, then I would agree with you." He grinned a slightly crooked smile as another swift breeze picked up, ruffling his hair and cloak. Ceridwen gave a snort of disapproval at the weather, shaking her head to get her main out of her eyes.
Ecstasy - May 7, 2009 11:51 PM (GMT)
"Sadly my life has been far too unadventurous and I plan to change that. If it means that my first adventure will be outside awaiting a hurricane to hit then so be it. I'm tired of my dull life, not all parts of it of course, there are still parts of my life that will always remain with me, like my cooking for instance, but I want to do new things," she said as she spun in a circle. Maybe settling in a town wasn't the best course of action if she truly wanted adventure but maybe if she stayed her she would run into a monster. That would truly be a great adventure.
Alicia looked at the horse and walked over to her. The horse looked peaceful enough so Alicia lifted a hand to the horse's mane, helping to remove what had fallen into the horse's face. "There now girl," she said as she stroked the horse. Alicia's own hair had become a mess from the breeze and a few strands had even fallen in front of her face but she need not bother with it. She could see just fine with them there and they did not bother her. She turned to look at Bran while still stroking the horse, " You have quite a beautiful horse. May I ask her name?"
tarragon - May 8, 2009 12:15 AM (GMT)
A look of concern passed over Bran's face at Alicia's comment. "Yes, a little adventure is good, but perhaps you should go inside when it starts to get bad. I wouldn't even want to be out here when the worst of it strikes. The idea of possibly getting hit by flying branches is an unappealing one, if I do say so myself." A small frown creased the sides of his mouth and his forehead, and he clasped his hands behind his back. Alicia seemed to have an odd sense of adventure, for that he was certain. "Please do promise me that you'll seek out a shelter if things start to go too bad." His concerned look turned into one of pleading, though he couldn't resist a smile when she twirled about.
He nodded a thanks, letting out a short laugh. "I wouldn't say that I owned her. It's more of a mutual pact, really." In fact, Ceridwen looked a little miffed that she had been placed under Bran's ownership. While she loved the human and all, she belonged to herself only. "In fact, I'd tell you exactly what she thought if I'd be able to speak to you as well. And her name is Ceridwen, though perhaps she'd let you call her Carey? I've never given nicknames to anyone before." The horse pricked her ears up slightly, wondering how the shortened name would sound coming from the girl.
Ecstasy - May 8, 2009 12:50 AM (GMT)
Alicia noticed the concern look that Bran gave her and the pleading in his voice. His concern for her well being came as surprise to her for no one cared much for what she did. "Ok, Bran, I promise that I will find some place of shelter if things get too bad," she promised him. Then an odd feeling, possibly joy, overcame her when she saw him smile while watching her childish twirl.
His statement about being able to tell what the animal thought if he could speak to her as well made no sense to her and the look became one of puzzlement but she turned away from him again and faced the horse. "So what do you think Ceridwen? Do you like the name Carey? To tell you the truth I like it very much but will only call you Carey if you like the name." Alicia then realized that the horse may not even understand what she was saying and she blushed slightly but she stayed facing the horse so Bran would not see how pink her cheeks had gotten. What was it about the man that she blushed so around him.
tarragon - May 8, 2009 01:07 AM (GMT)
A wave of relief washed over Bran when Alicia promised to go inside. Thank the Goddess she wasn't too headstrong; he would hate to hear of any harm coming to her that could've been prevented easily. "Thank you." He grinned a grateful smile, though it faded as his cloak whipped about him. While he would've closed it up tight had it been raining or chilly, it was neither of the two. Unfastening it with a hint of a frown caused by sheer annoyance, he removed the cloak and folded it up carefully, placing it in the bag next to his sword. His forearms felt slightly chilled from the breeze now, the sleeves of his tunic only coming down to his elbow, but he had weathered worse.
His small frown quickly turned into a chuckle at her questioning look. "I have the small magic of beast speech. I was one of the lucky ones," his tone was slightly sarcastic here, "in my guard who had to learn it." He let loose a small sigh of annoyance. "Still, I suppose it's rather helpful. I'm just unable to speak any normal tongue for a while afterwards." He breathed in deeply, crossing his arms, watching Alicia speak to Ceridwen with a crooked smile on his face. It was nice that she wasn't so afraid of the horse, unlike the woman he had met at the gate.
The horse in mention nickered softly. The name didn't sound too bad. Perhaps she would let this woman call her it. She turned her eyes to her companion and nickered again. He saw the hint of a blush on her cheeks and felt slightly sorry that she had to be such a shy individual. "I do believe she may like it, so you can feel free to call her Carey."
Ecstasy - May 8, 2009 01:33 AM (GMT)
She softly stroked the horse, " So you do like the name Carey. I will call you that then," she said giving the horse a hug, well if you could call it that since Alicia's arms seemed to be too short to wrap around any part of the horse. "I do hope that you can be my friend Carey," she turned to Bran." And you as well Bran. I very much could use a friend in this village. It's very difficult to find interesting people around here."
Then her mind flew back to some of Bran's previous statements." Wait a minute. Beast speech?" Alicia questioned, it sounded vaguely familiar to her."So your saying, that you can talk to animals? Why did you have to learn it? And what is this guard you keep talking about?" She flung questions at him one after the other at him and she realized she might be acting a bit rude. "I'm sorry. I have an odd sense of curiosity. You don't have to answer my questions if you do not wish to."
tarragon - May 9, 2009 07:46 PM (GMT)
Bran smiled lightly, even though he felt the word 'friend' was perhaps a bit too strong at this point. After all, they had only just met. Still, she seemed to be a pleasant enough young woman, and he had to agree wholeheartedly with her statement of needing a friend in this village. A platonic relationship could grow easily, both out of friendliness and out of a need for a friend. "Of course, Alicia. I'd be happy to call you my friend, though I wouldn't exactly call myself interesting."
The man was taken slightly by surprise when she threw out a string of questions at him before apologizing quickly. "No, no. There's no need to apologize. If we are going to be friends, we must learn things about each other." He chuckled quietly before taking in a deep breath. "For your first question, yes. I'm able to speak with animals after completing a rather simple spell. However, every hour I speak with animals I'm unable to speak to humans, elves, or orcs for fifteen minutes, approximately. As for your second question, I was chosen, only Goddess knows why, to be part of the special squadron in my guard who had to learn beast speech. And the guard I keep referring to was simply a protective group in my village. I suppose they're sort of like police." He shrugged, then ran his fingers through his hair. "Is there anything you'd like to tell me about yourself?"
Ecstasy - May 9, 2009 11:52 PM (GMT)
She smiled when he told her there was no need to apologize. She knew though that she had been a bit abrupt with her questions and knew that he should feel no need to answer them. She was glad that he did though cause she loved to learn about people and what he had to say was interesting."Well your life certainly sounds very interesting," she said honestly. As she compared hers to his she sounded boring and plain.
What should she tell Bran about herself was the question now going through her mind. She did not want to bore him with her life which, by any means, was in no way glamorous."Umm well, let's see. I'm allergic to chocolate. I take one bite my face swells like a balloon," she said using her hands to illustrate this and then moved on to her second item. "I love to cook, my grandmother taught me everything I know. She's my hero she really is. She was always there for me. I love her to death." She strained to think of anything else he might like to know about her but nothing came to mind. Pushing back the strands of hair that dangled in her face she said, "I'm sorry my life is not very interesting."
tarragon - May 11, 2009 08:32 PM (GMT)
[[ooc: Sorry it's taken me so long to post. I've been studying for testing, which is most of this week. D:]]
Bran shrugged at her comment. Perhaps his life was slightly interesting, but no more than slightly. Perhaps it might've been extremely interesting in the days when his wife was still alive. Alas, anything he did nowadays seemed nearly a blur when he tried to recall anything, and he had certainly done nothing but travel. Then again, some found traveling to be exciting. The man supposed they didn't realize that crossing the country wasn't exactly all it was cracked up to be.
He couldn't help but chuckle when she imitated her face blowing up like a balloon. Of course, it was no laughing matter that she was allergic to chocolate. After all, the allergy could easily be serious enough to kill her, and she simply didn't feel like mentioning the fact. He bobbed his head a little as she spoke of cooking, though he quickly shook his head when she said that her life wasn't interesting. "Oh, no. You're life doesn't seem boring at all." Of course an allergy and a hobby were hardly anything to go by, but it would seem rather rude if he said such a thing.
Ecstasy - May 13, 2009 05:06 PM (GMT)
((OOC: no prob. i know how that is. ive got finals next week. ugh))
Alicia rolled her eyes. "You're just saying that." In fact she knew she had really nothing interesting to talk about with her life. Only her journey here had been somewhat exciting; seeing all the new places and new people was the msot exciting part of her life. Then she remembered she had to write letters to home. She pulled a crumbled up piece of paper and a small pencil out of her pocket. Taking a quick glance at the other notes(find a place to live, get a job) she added another bullet and quickly scribbled the word 'letters' on the list and shoved it and the pencil back into her pocket.
Then looking back at Bran she decided a new topic of conversation was better. Remembering the horse that was nibbling at the grass she asked a simple question, "So how did you come across Ceridwen?"
((sorry it's a little short))
tarragon - May 15, 2009 11:52 PM (GMT)
Bran shook his head sharply, not knowing whether to chuckle or frown at her stubbornness. He chose the former. "No, Alicia, I never 'just say things'." Well, he never just said things nowadays. Back when Keelin had been living, he had the tendency to tell little white lies to make her feel better, but it had never been too tremendous of a lie. And of course she had always called him out on it, playfully hitting him on the shoulder while he apologized profusely. He smiled at the memory, though his smile turned into a look of inquisition as Alicia pulled out a notebook and pencil, scrambled something down quickly, then put it back quickly.
The look passed immediately when the woman inquired about Ceridwen. He smiled once more, glancing at the horse. "It's nothing really too complicated or exciting, really. I had decided to leave the guard after..." He paused. While he had no qualms about simply stating the cold fact that his wife had passed on, what would others think of him if he just blurted out that his wife had died? He cleared his throat, then tried again. "I had decided to leave the guard and move elsewhere, to hopefully become a farmer, and I needed a strong and sturdy steed. About a week after resignation, I went to a horse market, and really it was love at first sight. I purchased her immediately." He shrugged, smiling a nearly sheepish crooked grin.