Renetta is reluctant to get up. Being under the blankets with him is far warmer than the crisp, morning air. But alas, they must get moving. "Come on, sleepy head, it's time to get up." She wishes he'd slept more as they'd traveled. It's almost cruel to wake him when he's finally gotten a good night's rest.
The Wolfen gives a slightly annoyed growl, but she'll be able to tell he doesn't mean it. Instead, he nuzzles against her and licks her collar bone before opening his eyes. "Stay under the warm blankets. I'll get us going again." He tells her. Unless stopped, he'll slip away, and a short while later, the carriage will be moving again.
Renetta does as instructed. After he leaves she sits up and tightly wraps the blanket around herself.
They end up going down a wide cobblestone path that winds it's way through thee trees. It's quiet for now, but soon there are a few other people on the road. These are humans, wearing simple, worn clothes. They look at the wolfen curiously as they pass, but none pause in their daily routines.
Soon enough, they come upon their destination. It's almost hard to notice at first. The buildings blend in with the forest around them. Some are half in a tree and half made of stone, some wrap around the trunks and some disappear into the side of a hill. Everything's a little too neat to really feel natural, however.
Then of course there are the people. Here are the elves, dressed in finery coloured to match the forest around them. Unlike the humans, a few of which are keeping their heads down among the elves, they are always clean and well groomed. Where humans may look at Waterstrider with curiosity, the elves show disdain at best, if they acknowledge his presence at all.
Waterstrider doesn't bow his head at all. He had too much pride and self-respect to lower himself for them. He'll walk the mule and carriage a little ways into the town before stopping and checking in on Renetta. "Renetta? We're here. Do you know the way?"
The sight of a pregnant elf with him certainly draws a few more looks, but no one seems to recognize her. Most just busy themselves with their own business. They're nothing more than an interesting source of gossip for later.
Renetta takes a moment to take stock of her surroundings then points. "That way. Come on." And off they go. The elf will walk right beside him, as close as she can without getting under his feet.
"Because." He tells her with a teasing smile and leaves it at that. He could have told her that it was because she gave him something beautiful to look at every day. That it was because being near her made him feel warm and whole. Or that he loved her.
He could have told her all three.
But they were in her home, a place she may decide to stay in, and he couldn't drop all that on her. Not yet.
Renetta smiles back at him, and they continue on. It's not too much later that they stop before a building. The elf stops before it. "This is it."
The Oronar house fits the theme of the city quite well. much of the building is set inside a hill, a sheer edge acting as the front side of the building. Seated atop that is the rest of the building, ornately crafted of stone and spotted with large windows. As if growing from the building, a large tree sits on top of it, casting it's shade over the entire area. If they look closely, they can see windows in the tree's trunk. It's quite a large, rich building.
Renetta takes her first step onto the cobble path that leads to the building. Pausing for just a moment, she continues toward the house, presumably with Waterstrider in tow.
Renetta doesn't object. He'll feel just how tense she is. She looks at the large double doors, framed by two exposed roots, and takes a deep breath. She knocks.
The person that opens the door is a young, human man. He's quit handsome and dressed in well made, if simple, clothing. His eyes widen when he sees the wolfen, but that doesn't compare to his shock when his eyes settle on Renetta. "Lady Renetta!"
"Hello, Samuel. Would- would you please get my parents." The elf says, squeezing Waterstrider's arm.
"Of course, m'lady. It won't be more than a moment." He gives a brief bow before hurrying off.
After the look the man gave him, Waterstrider begins to feel uncomfortable. Not only was it obvious that he probably wasn't going to be very welcome in the house if the humans were like that, he didn't know Renetta was probably Upper Class from the looks of things. He gives the elf a small smile, but is obviously nervous as well.
Like promised, it isn't long at all before Renetta's parents arrive. Her mother first. She definitely looks related to Renetta. Her hair is the same red, though piled atop her head. She wears a green gown trimmed with gold. She looks like quite the dignified woman. Less so now that she's rushing toward her daughter.
"Renetta! Thank the Stars, we thought you were dead." She wraps her daughter in a tight embrace, not thinking about her swollen stomach, or her wolfen companion. It's not long before tears are streaming down both their faces.
Next her father arrives. Dressed in finery, much like his wife, and his blond hair is smoothed back. He surveys the scene with his cold, green eyes. He takes careful note of his daughters, and Waterstrider will find himself pierced by his gaze for a long moment. He moves to his wife and daughter's side and places a hand on Renetta's shoulder. "Welcome home, daughter."
Waterstrider looks the two parents over before stepping aside a bit to give the three their room. He knows when he shouldn't be involved, and this is one of those times. After a moment's thought, he heads back to the carriage to grab Renetta's bag. Out of the sight of the elves, he puts his pouch of gold in it too. He doesn't need it, and while he doubted she did, it felt better for her to have it.
Once he does that, he'll head back to the doorstep with her bag over his shoulder.
"Samuel will get the servants to get you something to eat and you can tell us what happened. I- I just can't believe after so long that you're back. We have so much to talk about." Lydia, Renetta's mother, reluctantly releases her daughter. They are about to go to the dining room, when she adds, almost as an after thought. "You are of course welcome to come too..."
"Waterstrider." Renetta finishes for her. She turns her smiling face on the wolfen.
"Yes, it would be a pleasure if you'd stay. I'm sure we'd both like to hear from the... man that brought our daughter home." Ardrim, her father, says.
Waterstrider gives Renetta a slight smile before giving a deep nod to her parents. "Thank you. I promise I won't be a burden on you." He offers before following them inside. He guesses that the father calling him a "man" was for Renetta's benefit, but he really does appreciate the gesture.
They makes their way into the large dining room with an equally large table. They all take their seats clustered around one end. Renetta winds up between her mother and Waterstrider while her father is seated opposite of them. Food is soon served to them. It's high class eating... but not particularly filling.
Renetta only nibbles at her food, more focused on the coming conversation. It's only a matter of time before she's asked why she disappeared. She doesn't go into any great detail of her time in the slave caravan, only saying that she was abused. She speaks of their rescue and briefly of their time in GLoG. Even telling them in such minimal detail brings her to tears. Lydia comforts her and best she can.
"Where do you come into all this, Waterstrider? As I understand it, you were taken into slavery as well? It was very noble of you to come all this way to bring Renetta back to us." Ardrim's mind is already racing ahead to other, more important matters, but all in due time.
The Wolfen doesn't eat much of the food either, but goes about nibbling on it anyway. When asked the question, Waterstrider takes a deep breath before going into his own story. "My brother and I were out hunting when we were drugged and captured. You can probably figure that Wolfen make good laborers." He explains. "Most of the time, we were locked up with a family of halflings, and protected them as best as we could, but were eventually chained up tighter than we could fight." He admits. "During that time..."
The Wolfen shakes his head sadly, not caring to repeat it all. "My brother and I promised ourselves that we'd make sure that all the others would be free and taken care of. When we were freed, I decided to help Renetta." He tells them while giving her a gentle smile. He's leaving out the parts about how he fell for her, and Renetta would know it, but he's doing it so she can tell them in her own time.
"Thank you, sir." Waterstrider gets the hint and his ears fall back slightly. He was only going to be allowed the one night here. That much was clear. It seemed he wasn't wrong in the promise to Lily. He was going to be returning much sooner than anticipated. "If I may suggest, while it's been a long time since you've seen each other, she should probably rest. Or at least lay down somewhere comfortable. Is there a room I should take her things to?"
Well, this seems obvious. They're going to have to confront the man, aren't they? Durin takes a few steps toward him, sword ready. "We need out, and you are going to let us out." he informs the man.
The man finishes his music and finally turns around to look at the three slayers. He has a large unkempt beard and a wide smile, with fangs.
"Oh! Am I now? And what makes you think I'm going to do that?"
He gets up and stands up straight. Dang, he's tall. He crosses his arms across his chest and gives them a lopsided grin.
"So, did you manage to get that vampire, then?"
The Rot in Durin's head stays silent, again withholding information unless the drowpire actively seeks it.
Avatar by Gulaghar. Yeah.
Originally Posted by Julius Caesar, Shakespeare
Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste of death but once.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
It seems to me most strange that men should fear,
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come.
Waterstrider takes Renetta's bag up to her room and stands, watching her patiently and nervously for any sign of her needing him. Regardless of whether or not her parents were watching, he saw it as his place to help her with anything she required.
It's a bit of a walk to Renetta's room. They go up a couple floors, then a spiral staircase. Off a small landing is the door in. The inside of the room is spotless and unlived in. It's likely that the only reason it doesn't have a layer of dust over everything is the servants coming in every so often.
Renetta and Lydia move into the center of the room, while Ardrim, and no doubt Waterstrider, stop at the door. "We will leave you two to get ready to sleep. Goodnight, Renetta."
"Goodnight, Father." Renetta looks to Waterstrider, hesitant. She moves toward him and tries to wrap her arms around him. "Goodnight, Waterstrider. I'll see you tomorrow."
Her father waits by the door for Waterstrider to finish and follow her out. He can't completely hide his frown.