Post by Delilah Howe Price on Jun 24, 2017 12:19:04 GMT -5
[29th Guardian, 9.34 - in the Price store, with Asa Rowe ]
Today was one of those days. The little bell over the door of the store had not stopped ringing all day. It was excellent in terms of business for Albert, but when one transaction overlapped into another, it meant that the children were somewhat neglected by Delilah for the majority of the morning.
Only with the lunchtime lull did Delilah have a moment to herself. She left the front of the shop and made her way into the kitchen when Abigail was sat upon the floor, surrounded by her toys and babbling to herself in her own little language, occasionally deigning to pass comment in Common. Laughing beneath her breath, Delilah knelt in front of the little girl and reached out, gently tickling her. The girl shrieked with delight and held out her arms, indicating that she wanted to be lifted up.
Obliging her daughter, Delilah rested her on her hip before looking around for evidence of where James might have taken himself. "Where's your brother, hm?" Just then, she caught sight of the kitchen door slightly ajar, enough to suggest that someone might have slipped out. "He's gone exploring again, hasn't he?"
More often that not, James would take himself to one of the neighbours and join in playing with their children. Pulling open the door, Delilah stepped out into the little common area behind the house and walked down the little alley, emerging onto the street. She looked right and then left, trying to work out what might have captured the interest of her young son on his adventures.
Asa looked up from her crouched position to the vaguely familiar voice and more familiar words. Ylsa spilled into her arms, her steps still unsteady but getting steadier every day. There beside her stood James, the inquisitive face of the very young reconciling their world drawing his chubby features into adult-like seriousness.
She smiled, addressing him with equal seriousness. “Yes, she is. That’s sweet of you to ask, James.” James seemed pleased that she remembered his name, wiggling his weight from foot to foot. Bare foot to bare foot. Which told Asa most of what she needed to know as she looked up and down the small back street then back to the boy. “Where’s your ma?” Asa got the impression that James was something of an escape artist between her harried visit to his home and his sudden and unsupervised appearance now.
“Does she want to play?” he asked completely oblivious to her question. He proffered a small wooden toy in his dimpled hand. Ylsa examined it carefully before taking it, her eyes still muddy-coloured and not yet settled into whatever they would become.
That appeared to be the only answer she would get to her question. She stood, tucking Ylsa’s lovey--a stuffed bear’s head sewn to the center of a small blanket--into her belt. “Should we go find your ma?”
His face scrunched up. “She’s busy. Abigail’s boring.”
Another answer to another question. Ylsa grasped one of Asa’s thumbs, and Asa extended her other hand to James. “Maybe she’d like to play, too, hm?” The promise would at least get him home, and from there it would be no trouble to slip away.
James considered this for a moment, his face screwed up as he very seriously weighed his options. Finally he took her hand. “Yeah.”
Not seeming to mind the slow pace to allow Ylsa to walk with them, James very confidently led the way home. Handy, because Asa remembered the area of the shop but not the street specifically. To her surprise, James tugged her down a little alleyway into something that looked like a common courtyard, similar to the one in the center of her tenement. And there stood James’ mother, Abigail at her hip.
“Missing one of these?” Asa asked once they were within speaking range.
“I found baby Loosa!” James announced, clearly proud of himself.
Post by Delilah Howe Price on Jun 27, 2017 16:51:34 GMT -5
Having stepped out into the street, Delilah could see nothing which might have caught James' eye to entice him away from the confines of the house and common area courtyard. One of the neighbours passed by and waved, shouting a friendly greeting but did not mention seeing her son. Well, that ruled out that, then.
She turned and retraced her steps along the alley to the common area. It was hardly an oasis of greenery, not with the constant feet which walked across it or the washing which was perpetually hanging, but it was a good enough little outdoor area for the children to work off a little of their energy. Yet still there was no sign of James. Shifting Abigail to her other hip, Delilah chewed on her lip as a faint flurry or worry began to rise in her chest. Where was he?
Ask and you shall receive. There was the sound of footsteps behind her and Delilah spun round just in time to catch sight of the pretty young woman whom she had offered the remainder of herbs. Her young daughter toddled at one side while James walked on the other.
“Missing one of these?” Asa enquired, and Delilah could not help but laugh. Relief mingled with sheepishness as she nodded, mouthing thank you before turning her attention to James.
"I found baby Loosa!" Her errant young adventurer declared, the very image of puffed up pride.
Setting Abigail down upon the ground, Delilah crouched in front of James, a sternness to her expression. "You did find baby Ylsa," she agreed, "but you went past our street, didn't you?" No gift of foresight required for that deduction despite James gawping at her, his eyes widening in disbelief. She could almost see the little gears in his head whirring over how she might know that.
A sulky pout overshadowed his expression; one which Delilah recognised all too well from looking in the mirror. Some traits ran deep. "I just wanted to play. Abigail's boring."
Upon hearing her name and the slur cast upon it, Abigail stuck out her tongue and blew a raspberry at her brother, evidently also in no mood to entertain rules or manners. These children of hers!
"You're not allowed to go past the street," Delilah reiterated the rule, ignoring the rest. "I want you to thank Asa for bringing you home."
It was clear from the wrinkle of his brow that James did not agree with his mother's assessment as to who had brought whom home. Even so, he turned and muttered a "thank you" to the woman before stomping into the house, his fists clenched by his side.
Straightening, Delilah offered Asa an apologetic smile. "Thank you for bringing him back. He has no fear. I don't really want to change that, but..." She lifted her shoulders before wrapping her arms around her waist. "It's a delicate balance, I think."
She nodded towards Ylsa, her smile blossoming. "She looks far better," her gaze flicked back to Asa, "as do you. Did the herbs help?"
"I found baby Loosa!" James announced with the sort of aplomb that seemed to indicate he reasoned this was an acceptable excuse for his absence.
Miss Delilah crouched down in front of her son, a mother’s expression firmly on her face. "You did find baby Ylsa, but you went past our street, didn't you?" A priceless expression of surprise widened James’ features.
Indignance returned to James. "I just wanted to play. Abigail's boring."
Not having any siblings of her own, Asa could only chuckle at the apparent inadequacy of James’ availability of playmates. She’d always longed for siblings to play with. Honestly, her parents seemed lucky to have her, as Asa always suspected she’d not come to them by natural means. Thankfully, blood was not an indicator of love, and siblings or no, Asa never lacked for that.
With all the patience due a saint Delilah continued explaining her son’s error to him. "You're not allowed to go past the street. I want you to thank Asa for bringing you home." Which he did, with a scrunch of his face before stomping inside. Asa watched him retreat, knowledge of her future in her thoughts before she looked down at Ylsa, who did not, in fact, find Abigail boring in the least.
"Thank you for bringing him back,” Delilah reinforced as she stood. “He has no fear. I don't really want to change that, but..." Her shoulders rolled up in a shrug and dropped, prompting Asa to chuckle lightly. "It's a delicate balance, I think."
“My ma had a similar idea, but she taught me to be afraid of people and not things.” It made her a little braver when it came to new experiences, something that facilitated her careful magical education, but perhaps overly cautious about people.
Delilah looked to Ylsa, who’d settled into a crouch beside Abigail, studying both the other child and her toy. Asa kept a careful eye on the pair, not sure what Ylsa would do when presented with other children her general age. "She looks far better, as do you. Did the herbs help?"
Asa smiled her lips tight together but the expression no less genuine. “They did. And I tried the steam trick. I can’t thank you enough. She didn’t sleep all night right away, but I was able to put her down for a few hours.” Unspoken went the fact that Asa had been at her wit’s end until Delilah intervened, and didn’t like to think what her desperation may have led to. “It was lucky you were there that day.”
Post by Delilah Howe Price on Jul 5, 2017 17:23:44 GMT -5
Alas, Delilah could not argue with the logic of Asa's mother that it was people as opposed to things which should be feared. Even so, it was not necessarily the lesson she wished to pass onto her son, and so she merely smiled without passing further remark. Instead, she focused upon how well both Asa and Ylsa now looked, so different from a few weeks ago.
Abigail, for her part, accepted the arrival of this new playmate without complaint, even going so far as to offer her toy for Ylsa's consideration. Definitely her father's daughter. Delilah could not remember being so generous when she was younger. Nor was she encouraged to be.
"They did," Asa responded to her question over the herbs, a tight smile on her lips. "And I tried the steam trick. I can’t thank you enough. She didn’t sleep all night right away, but I was able to put her down for a few hours.”
Waving away the gratitude with a soft laugh, Delilah replied, "I'm glad I could help in some way."
"It was lucky you were there that day.” The words were spoken almost as though Asa was admitting to something which no other exhausted mother might have experienced.
"Perhaps," Delilah acknowledged, yet she did not dwell upon the fact. There was little to be gained from allowing Asa to dwell upon her struggles. "But I was pleased to be able to do what I could. Maker knows I've relied on the kindness of more experienced mothers." She nodded her head towards the building across the courtyard, lowering her voice in good-natured conspiracy. "Mistress Grove will gleefully regale you with the time I stood outside her door in the depths of winter, bare foot and sobbing." She could not help but chuckle, her nose wrinkling in amusement, "and all for trapped wind. That was James, as if you couldn't have guessed."
Glancing towards Abigail and Ylsa and seeing that the pair were quite contented with one another's company, Delilah gestured to the open door of her house. "Would you like to come in and have some tea?" She lifted her shoulders in a light shrug. "I've been serving in the shop all morning. I would welcome the chance to speak of anything other than inventories and delivery costs!"
"Perhaps," Delilah said, almost breezily. "But I was pleased to be able to do what I could. Maker knows I've relied on the kindness of more experienced mothers." With a nod of her head she indicated the house across the way from them and lowered her voice as if about to confess to an intrigue. "Mistress Grove will gleefully regale you with the time I stood outside her door in the depths of winter, bare foot and sobbing." She chuckled at the memory, looking back on it with something akin to fondness as she continued, "and all for trapped wind. That was James, as if you couldn't have guessed."
What could Asa do but laugh with her? If for no other reason than she would hopefully be able to do the same: look back on the days that seemed impossible in the moment, and laugh at how little she knew. “No one told me babies don’t always poo while you’re nursing them. Thankfully I was still living with my parents.” Her panic had been considerable. After all, what did babies do? The ate, the slept, and the pooed their nappies. With so few things to keep track of, Asa noticed right away, even in her exhausted state after delivery.
Delilah considered the two girls on the grass, playing contentedly. Ylsa happily accepted the toy Abigail offered, forgetting Bear on the ground, an opportunity upon which Abigail seized. How long that would be acceptable to Ylsa remained to be seen.
"Would you like to come in and have some tea?" Delilah indicated the inside and then shrugged. "I've been serving in the shop all morning. I would welcome the chance to speak of anything other than inventories and delivery costs!"
“Hence the polite talk about wind and poo,” Asa said with another smile, this time less shy. Delilah, for how little Asa knew her, could be trusted. At least now, at least with this, at least with her child. She let out a breath before accepting. “That would be nice, thank you.” Caution, she’d been taught, caution on who she let close to her, a lesson doubly emphasised when she and Brecken had parted ways for the last time. But not rudeness or standoffishness. “It would be nice to speak to someone who can answer in a dialect I understand.”
Post by Delilah Howe Price on Jul 7, 2017 15:33:45 GMT -5
"Hence the polite talk about wind and poo," Asa remarked in response to Delilah's desire to speak of anything other than shop matters.
Startled into a spluttering laugh by the unexpected yet welcome spark in the younger woman's retort, Delilah felt herself warming further to Asa. "You're right," she admitted, laughing openly now. "No one ever warns you that the definition of polite talk changes so drastically, do they?"
Apparently that admission was enough to convince Asa to accept the invitation for tea. "That would be nice, thank you,” she replied, letting out a long exhale. "It would be nice to speak to someone who can answer in a dialect I understand.”
Waving her to follow, Delilah led the way into the house, leaving the door open so they could watch the two little girls, and immediately set to heating the water. She rummaged about in the pantry and brought out the scones which she had baked yesterday, anticipating Albert's return and ever-hopeful of a visit from Nathaniel. Setting the plate upon the table, Delilah invited Asa to take one. She spied James peeking around the doorway and purposefully placed a scone right on the edge of the table, just within grabbing range if he should wish to dart past and out into the garden to play with Abigail and Ylsa.
"How long have you lived in the city?" she enquired casually of Asa, bustling about her kitchen as she fetched the tea leaves. Another rare find by Albert. "Your accent is the country, isn't it?" Not that Delilah could claim to have a city accent either. Her time as a merchant's wife had enabled her to pick up a variety of inflections, but it was almost impossible for her to obscure the evidence of the endless tutors in the both in the sharpness of her pronunciation and the clarity of her enunciation.
"I've lived in the arling all my life," she offered so that the young woman did not feel as though this was to be an interrogation. "But I only came to the city to live four years ago." She darted a glance towards her son who had, as expected, succumbed to the lure of a scone and was now outside with the girls, diligently tearing the scone into the smallest pieces so neither girl might cough or choke.
Delilah waved her inside, content to leave the girls playing on the grass of the courtyard. Asa hesitated--she’d never let Ylsa out of her sight before--her heart hammering against her ribs at the thought of it. She took one more breath in, then out, and followed. Only mild relief settled on her when Delilah left the door open that they might still see them playing.
The soft clank of the plate onto the table drew Asa’s eyes away from where they were glued to the courtyard. She smiled at the scones, then up at the woman who had clearly baked them and was now indicating she should take one. Asa loved scones, and making them with her mother when there wasn’t skinning or tanning to do. Naturally she’d not done that in quite a long time, and somehow the ones she scraped money together for at the bakery were never quite as good. These were, and Asa’s anxiety lifted just a little as she tried one.
Asa tilted her head to see out the door again, watching as the two girls babbled in their own language. It must have been so nice to speak with someone who understood what you waid.
"How long have you lived in the city?" Delilah asked, once again pulling Asa from her thoughts. Asa looked down to see her scone had disappeared, and after a moment’s hesitation helped herself to just one more. "Your accent is the country, isn't it?"
“It is,” she confirmed. She chewed another bite as she saw James sneak in from the other room. He scurried up to the table, looking back and forth between Asa and his mother before snatching the conveniently left scone and scrambling outside. “We moved here a few months ago. Just after Ylsa’s birthday.” An unpopular decision with her parents, but Asa couldn’t live with them forever, could she? And it wasn’t as if she never saw them. She still helped with market days, earning coin from her father. It paid her upkeep enough, but left very little for any sort of creature comforts.
Like fresh scones. Oh, they were delicious.
"I've lived in the arling all my life," Delilah said, making this a conversation rather than barraging her with questions. Now it felt less like fishing for details, and more like being friendly. Which Asa could only assume was her goal. She seemed too nice to have any ill-intent, though Asa was not the best judge of intent. "But I only came to the city to live four years ago."
“After the Blight?” Asa asked. A lot of people moved during or after the Blight. Amaranthine in particular had its own share of upheaval, even if the Blight did not touch them directly for some time. She leaned in her chair again, watching as James offered bits of scone to the girls, something Ylsa did not have often. There was some comfort in watching how careful he was in doing so. She sat up again and looked back towards Delilah. “Our little farm is a ways away. I wanted to live around more people.” Her father thought for sure her choice had to do with hunting down Brecken; it did not. In fact, Asa had been careful to avoid him, staying well away from the guards when she could. “People are so fascinating.” She bit her lower lip as she looked down. Somehow her scone had disappeared again.
Post by Delilah Howe Price on Jul 9, 2017 17:42:48 GMT -5
It pleased Delilah to see that her scones did not go unappreciated. It was no surprise that James succumbed to temptation and had snuck through the kitchen, grabbing at the scone on the edge of the table and settling outside with the two girls, diligently playing the role of big brother. But the higher compliment was how Asa enjoyed the baking, eating one then another.
"After the Blight?" the young woman sought to clarify.
Having poured the heated water over the strainer containing the tea leaves and into the teapot, Delilah set it upon the table to stew for a little longer. She fetched two cups and put them down upon the table, ready for when the tea was to be poured.
"Yes, I was left with nothing except for Albert, my then-betrothed, after the Blight," Delilah explained, perfected evenness in her tone. "Although I was reunited with my brother during the following year."
Glancing away, Asa checked on the children through the open door. Somewhat belatedly, it occurred to Delilah that perhaps Ylsa had never played with other young children. Asa herself seemed to be quite isolated. But it seemed that the sight of James and Abigail playing quite contently with Ylsa reassured her. She turned back to Delilah.
“Our little farm is a ways away. I wanted to live around more people.” More people; different people. Not so vast a difference in motivation. "People are so fascinating.” Nibbling upon her lip, Asa glanced down to her empty plate, seemingly surprised to see her second scone had disappeared.
Sitting down on one of the worn wooden chairs, Delilah pushed the plate of scones towards her before taking up the teapot and pouring each of them a cup. She indicated the milk and honey by way of encouraging Asa to add whatever she prefered.
"Some of the kindest people I know live in this city," Delilah affirmed, a smile touching her lips. Her husband was one such person. But there had been others, both during the Blight and after it, who had shown their worth by caring for her and her well-being without expectation of recompense.
Letting loose a slight laugh, she added, "and half the city raise my son, as you've discovered. So of course I would have a good word to say about them."
She took up her tea and blew upon it before taking a sip. It was a fruit tea which Albert had sourced from somewhere or other, but one which Delilah rather liked. She hoped Asa would, too, but she would be mindful of any sign of distaste. It would never do to invite a guest into the house and then not cater to their tastes!
"You must have plenty of knowledge of the land. I'm surprised one of the farmers hasn't arranged for you to work for them." A fond smile curved the corners of her mouth. "I'm fortunate that my husband was patient when teaching me what was expected of a merchant's wife. I know a little of everything, but not enough to specialise in anything."
As if reading her mind, Delilah pushed the plate of scones towards Asa, inviting her to help herself. Asa might have laughed if she wasn’t red with embarrassment. “You’d think I never eat,” she laughed as Delilah poured tea for them. With a hand she gestured at the milk and honey to let Asa know she should feel free to help herself.
"Some of the kindest people I know live in this city," Delilah said with a pretty smile turning up her mouth. Delilah seemed like the sort of person who laughed easily. She certainly smiled often, and it suited her face of very nice features, including a strong nose that might not have worked on another woman’s face.
She let one of those easy laughs just then. "And half the city raise my son, as you've discovered. So of course I would have a good word to say about them."
How nice must it be to be so trusting? To not be afraid of every person who looked at you too long or to worry that your child would disappear if out of your sight too long? Asa knew her parents worked hard to keep her safe, and their caution came from a place of love. But wouldn’t it be nice to be a little more like Delilah? Maybe she wouldn’t let Ylsa run free around the city, but not seeing danger at every turn sounded… well a lot more relaxing than she was living now.
The tea had a fruity fragrance to it that pleased her nose. She added just enough honey to bring out the sweetness of the fruit. And then a little more, because the Maker blessed her with a sweet tooth. “Your own little community.” She couldn’t imagine someone as vibrant as Delilah living secluded in the woods without another person for an hour’s walk. Asa sipped her tea, tilting her head to check on the children who all seemed content in their adult-free arrangement.
"You must have plenty of knowledge of the land,” Delilah commented. “I'm surprised one of the farmers hasn't arranged for you to work for them."
“Some,” she admitted. “We farmed mostly wild pigs and nugs.” She brushed her fringe across her brow and smiled. “I know a little more about skinning and tanning. Not the most glamorous job, and wow does that aroma bring all the beaus out of the woodwork.” She shrugged. “I still do a little for my da when he comes to Market, but it’s harder as Ylsa gets bigger and wants to move more.”
Last Edit: Jul 11, 2017 2:04:41 GMT -5 by Asa Rowe
Post by Delilah Howe Price on Jul 11, 2017 17:36:01 GMT -5
Given how Asa readily added the honey to her tea and then sat back to sip it, Delilah judged that it was to her tastes and there was no need to fetch an alternative. She relaxed into her chair and stretched her legs beneath the table, hooking one ankle over the other beneath her brightly coloured skirts.
"Some,” Asa replied to the question of knowing the land. "We farmed mostly wild pigs and nugs.” Pushing her fringe out of her eyes with the tips of her fingers, a pretty smile lit up her face. It served to accentuate just how young she must be. Twenties, Delilah would have guessed, but no more than mid-twenties. And that was a push.
“I know a little more about skinning and tanning," she went on. "Not the most glamorous job, and wow does that aroma bring all the beaus out of the woodwork.” When Asa shrugged, Delilah gave a little snort of amusement. "I still do a little for my da when he comes to Market, but it’s harder as Ylsa gets bigger and wants to move more."
"She's still quite young to be let loose, too." A wry smile curved one corner of Delilah's mouth. "James swiftly demonstrated his penchant for a life of crime by slipping past both myself and my husband on a regular basis." She reached forward and claimed a scone for herself. "I'm dreading when Abigail realises there's a whole world beyond that courtyard." That may be the time when Delilah and Albert would have to revisit the viability of her managing the shop. But she would be loathe to give up the role; it was how she stayed connected to the community as well as helped Albert to earn his coin. She did not want to be reduced to being so reliant on another person ever again.
"Are you hoping to find a little work of your own?" she enquired, using a knife to slice the scone in half so she could spread some softened butter on it. "I could ask my customers about any little jobs which would be suitable for you and Ylsa if you liked?" What was one good turn when it required so little effort on Delilah's part?
She let out a soft snicker of laughter. "You're part of my own little community now, you do realise that?"
"She's still quite young to be let loose, too," Delilah noted. She was not wrong. Ylsa didn’t yet have the knowledge to know when something was too dangerous. All she seemed to understand was that the legs she’d been dragging around behind her for months now supported her and let her move much faster. "James swiftly demonstrated his penchant for a life of crime by slipping past both myself and my husband on a regular basis." Asa couldn’t help a small giggle at that. "I'm dreading when Abigail realises there's a whole world beyond that courtyard."
Asa watched out the door briefly again where Ylsa had managed to make a drooly mess out of the bits of scone James was giving her. She seemed happy, though. Asa hadn’t other children nearby to play with, and while she didn’t begrudge her parents the urge to keep her safe, especially after her magic manifested, she did agree that she would not do that to Ylsa. Though, those overly-cautious tendencies were difficult to overcome.
"Are you hoping to find a little work of your own?" Delilah asked, drawing Asa’s eyes back to her and the conversation. "I could ask my customers about any little jobs which would be suitable for you and Ylsa if you liked?"
“Oh, no, I couldn’t… I mean, yes, I’m hoping to find some work, but you don’t need to--”
Delilah didn’t let her finish her protest. "You're part of my own little community now, you do realise that?"
Asa blinked a few times, not sure she heard right. No, she wasn’t part of anyone’s community. Maybe her parents’, such as it was, which involved very few people outside their household. Once she’d thought perhaps Brecken would be part of her life, but that had been a foolish hope, knowing him as she did. Instead of dwelling on it she decided to focus on what they’d had instead of what they did not, now. But for someone like Delilah to make such a statement? Asa could hardly think of as a fact.
But it would be rude to say so. “That’s very kind of you.” She smiled, feeling very young and green in the world under Delilah’s gaze. “I don’t know what I could…” She stopped herself, reconsidering what she was about to say. “Actually, I guess I have a variety of skills, I just never thought of it.” She knew her way around farmwork, and of course tanning. She doubted her knowledge of nug husbandry would be a sought-after skill. And there was always housekeeping. She took a deep breath. “I’d like to not depend on my parents. Not that they’re not good people or that I’m unhappy, I just…” Asa wanted to be independent. She wanted to be able to take care of herself and her daughter, and make them proud to see that she could do it.
Post by Delilah Howe Price on Jul 18, 2017 16:56:34 GMT -5
Delilah's declaration of community resulted in Asa looking rather dazed. It was almost as though the thought had never occurred to the young woman that such a thing could involve her. But having experienced the isolation of being excluded from a community, from people who could care and protect, Delilah was not prepared to turn away from someone who may need that support. That, she had long decided, would be her legacy in Amaranthine. Maker willing it would come to be the one people would remember more often whenever hearing the name 'Howe'.
"That’s very kind of you," Asa smiled. A very pretty smile, Delilah thought, although she could hear how matronly that made her sound. There was not that much of an age difference between them! "I don’t know what I could…" Trailing off, she seemed to re-evaluate her skills. "Actually, I guess I have a variety of skills, I just never thought of it." A deep breath followed as Asa gathered her courage. "I’d like to not depend on my parents. Not that they’re not good people or that I’m unhappy, I just…”
"You want to depend on yourself," Delilah finished. She could understand that. In truth, she had never been self-sufficient; she had gone from the house of her father to the house of her husband, dependent on them to provide all she required. The difference was that Albert had taught her how she might be self-sufficient if the need ever arose. More importantly though, he had also shown her that there was no shame in being part of a partnership. She did not have his trading skills, but she did not sit idly by. She appreciated being able to contribute.
"Well," she lightly clapped her hands to rid them of any linger crumbs, "I'll certainly ask on your behalf. It's no trouble at all."
Leaning to one side in her chair, Delilah peered past Asa towards the children outside, watching as James cast a longing look towards the alley leading from the courtyard. She pointedly cleared her throat, loud enough for the sound to carry, and James spun around and gawped at her, torn between an expression of guilt and righteous indignation.
"I wasn't!" he insisted, forcefully enough that Abigail glanced up. She looked between her brother and her mother, seizing up the situation. Delilah knew what was to come even before it happened.
"He wasn't," she echoed with a solemnity which would have been endearing if it were not so misplaced.
Delilah nodded. "I'm glad to hear it," she informed the pair. Glancing towards Asa, she bit her lip to prevent her smile, though her eyes twinkled. "You'll have to come and visit more often. With you and Ylsa, at least I outnumber them."
"You want to depend on yourself," Delilah finished for her. She'd hit it right on the nose. Asa’s parents were wonderful. She never went without love or any necessities, and she would never be able to thank them enough for teaching her to handle her magic without sending her to a Circle. But Asa wanted to show them how well they’d raised her by succeeding at living on her own.
"Well, I'll certainly ask on your behalf,” she said, clapping, either out of excitement or to rid her fingers of crumbs she couldn’t tell. Either seemed equally likely. “It's no trouble at all."
It would be wonderful to have her own job. Earn her own money. Even if she never moved out of the tiny tenement, being able to pay for it without depending on her parents’ giving her work felt like it would be everything. That urge had long been hampered by her shyness and ingrained caution, and it was not the way she wanted Ylsa to grow up. So unsure of the world and how to build relationships that her head spun with the first show of affection given to her.
A moment later Asa leaned to follow Delilah’s gaze out the door. The two girls sat with the remains of their scone, oblivious to James’ appraisal of the alley. Delilah cleared her throat, enough to get his attention. James spun around, seemingly shocked to be thwarted again. "I wasn't!" he insisted.
"He wasn't," Abigail mimicked. Before long Delilah was going to have her hands full if her two children wound up colluding with one another. Asa did not envy her that at all!
"I'm glad to hear it," Delilah managed with the sort of humor in her voice that (hopefully) only another mother would detect, even one as inexperienced as herself. As if in answer to her question, Delilah turned back to facing her, lip held between her teeth as if to prevent the smile that was obvious in her eyes. Delilah could not have been much older than she was, but she seemed so much more collected and sure of herself. "You'll have to come and visit more often,” she said. Asa immediately smiled without thinking. “With you and Ylsa, at least I outnumber them."
“Well if all you need is numbers on your side, we’d be happy to help.” Another glance at the door showed Ylsa explaining to James, mostly in her own babble, some no doubt fascinating wonder about her bear lovey. “Though, I’m afraid to tell you they may regroup and turn on us.” She laughed into her teacup. “My mother says that’s why they only have me, because they wanted the advantage of numbers on their side.”
Her fingers fluttered against her cup in rhythm, top to bottom and then back again, as she contemplated the surface of the remainder of her tea. “I would like that, actually. Not just for the numbers.” She chewed her lip again and looked up. “I’m hoping Ylsa isn’t… quite so much like me. If she has my nose and my preference for sweets, that’s fine, but I’d like her to be better at making friends and trusting people.”
Post by Delilah Howe Price on Jul 23, 2017 10:19:48 GMT -5
“Well if all you need is numbers on your side, we’d be happy to help," Asa readily agreed, checking once more on Ylsa though the open door. From what Delilah could see, the little girl was chattering to James who, for all he was an insatiable explorer, was also patient with younger ones when he was of a mind to be. "Though, I’m afraid to tell you they may regroup and turn on us.” Lifting her teacup, Asa gave a light laugh. "My mother says that’s why they only have me, because they wanted the advantage of numbers on their side.”
Recalling her childhood and how her father regarded each of his children as commodities, Delilah could only offer a noncommittal smile. One banished, another bewitched, and the third intended only as a means of securing an alliance. Sometimes sheer numbers were not enough.
Staring into her cup, her fingers tapping out a rhythm, Asa mulled over the offer a little longer. "I would like that, actually. Not just for the numbers.” She nibbled on her lip before raising her eyes to met Delilah's. "I’m hoping Ylsa isn’t… quite so much like me. If she has my nose and my preference for sweets, that’s fine, but I’d like her to be better at making friends and trusting people."
Her eyebrows rose in surprise at the admission. That Asa was shy and quiet had not escaped her attention yet Delilah had not thought the young woman was hesitant to trust. Then again, the desperation to find a remedy for a sickly child often overrode everything else.
"Well, I've already let slip that my son is headed for a career as a criminal," she remarked with a soft smile. "I assure you, though, I will endeavour that he only ever robs from the rich and gives to the poor." She rose from the table and moved to fetch a fresh cloth, spreading it out across the table and placing three of the scones in the middle. "But if you can ignore that, I know James and Abigail would enjoy playing with Ylsa." She wrapped up the scones into a neat bundle within the cloth and pushed it across to Asa, intent that she should take the little food parcel home with her. "And I would very much like to have another friend here in the city." She could remember what it felt like to have none at all. More than that, she did not wish Asa to have to endure that feeling if there was anything Delilah could do to prevent it.
Raising a brow, Delilah tried not to let her eyes sparkle too much. "Now I know you love sweets, I will need to see if I can make some for your next visit." Maker help her at the state of her kitchen afterwards. Especially if Albert was not home to entertain the children.
A slight giggle escaped from her as an absurd thought struck her. "Just please never bring a nug here. I can't bear to think of how James would bond with it. I'm not sure I can cope with a pet nug."
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JWhitey: Is anyone around?
Sept 10, 2017 1:11:36 GMT -5
Innes Cameron: Hello, JWhitey! If you need to speak to someone, PM one of the Staff directly (if you haven't already!) ;D
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JWhiteyGames: Hello! And thanks! I did. I was just looking to see if anyone was on in general. After reading the guidelines and peeking a bit more though, I realized the box isn't used the same as before.
Sept 10, 2017 13:58:14 GMT -5
ann: *peeks head in* So, returning rp'er to the dragon age universe. I was wondering who of the staff one should poke about character concept? Just to run it by and get and oki.
Sept 17, 2017 11:35:05 GMT -5
Innes Cameron: Welcome to WV, ann! Feel free to PM any of us about a character concept and we'll get back to you shortly. If we need to consult with the other Staff about the idea first, we'll let you know ;D
Sept 17, 2017 14:01:09 GMT -5
Marius Whitby: If you're looking at a templar character, hit me up!
Sept 17, 2017 20:28:15 GMT -5
ann: I was originally but given the current state of timeline I went with a slightly different route^^ will keep it in mind, Marius!
Sept 18, 2017 12:00:52 GMT -5
Cyan: Wow I'm surprised this site is still active. Good job people.
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Hanamene Thornecroft: New to the game! Just wanted to say hello whilst I build my char profile. Any updates to the game's world state I ought to know about? In addition to the OOC info threads, I mean - i.e. active/major story-lines to consider. PM me for the latter.
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Sept 28, 2017 17:48:52 GMT -5
Fergus Cousland: In case anyone was wondering. Discord is currently reetting per their Twitter
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