Monday, March 17, 2014

Short Story Post 4

Before reading this, please be sure to read Post 1, Post 2 and Post 3. Or you can click on "Short Story" on the menu for the full story.

It did not take long for them to walk across the small port town to the stables. Jaina was true to her word. Supplies were waiting for them set against the wall of the stable. Beside them, two of the most beautiful horses that Erik had ever seen were tied to a post. The stable master was carefully checking them one last time before their departure. When he saw them approach, he hobbled around the horses to greet them. He had a hunched back and a bad limp, favoring his right leg. That did not stop him from smiling widely as he welcomed them. He was obviously good at his job.

“Lady Jaina,” the man bowed a little lower than one would expect his body to allow. “I have been expecting you. It has been far too long since you have graced us with your presence.”

“Good to see you, dear Tagron. I would love to stay and talk, but we must be on our way immediately.”

Without complaint, Tagron went to work on loading the horses practiced efficiency. He introduced the horses as he worked. “This fine beast is Brannon. He is very strong, but stubborn. You have to watch your supplies because he likes to steal food.” Tagron turned to the other horse with a beautiful brown coat, “This is his beautiful girlfriend, Briella. She is more elegant but will keep Brannon in his place. Together they will be a great team and you will travel fast.”

Erik took a step forward, admiring the tall strong creatures. He reached out to place a hand on Brannon’s neck. The horse responded with flapping lips and stomping one foot. “He likes you.” Tagron said. “What is your name?”

“Erik. My name is Erik Steele,” he replied.

Tagron squinted as he looked at Erik curiously from head to toe. “You are not related to….nevermind. You have to excuse an old man.”

Erik silently gave thanks to Teylon for the man not pressing him further. Steele was a common name in the Gaena Province. Very few people would draw the connection between him and his father Devlin Steele, Leader of the Assassin’s Guild. Erik did not look like his father which helped him deny any relation. Where is father was tall and lean, he was short and muscular. His father had long black hair, a well-trimmed beard and dark brown eyes. Erik had light brown hair, no facial hair and blue eyes. In fact, if they were in a room standing next to each other you could only seem a small resemblance in the nose.

“Thank you again, Tagron.” Jaina said in a sweet voice. This was definitely a side of her that Erik did not expect. Jaina reached up to kiss Tagron on the cheek. “My father would be most pleased.”

“Anything for the daughter of House Claymore,” Tagron smiled and bowed again.

Once Tagron was finished fussing over the two horses he took a step back nodding his approval. Jaina mounted Briella with the ease of a practiced rider. Erik fumbled with the reins and barely pulled himself up in an awkward manner. The short laugh from Jaina caused his face to turn red. Jaina turned the horse, giving it a swift jab with her heel. Off she went down the narrow street in a full gallop. Erik looked over to Tagron who shrugged his shoulders in response. He rolled his eyes and started off after Jaina. If this was any indication of the trip to come, he was going to be frustrated for weeks.

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