Yearnings - One Journey Ends as Another Begins

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Yearnings - One Journey Ends as Another Begins

Post  Aasha on Sun Oct 05, 2008 2:29 am

This story takes place in Shrewsbury, Stafford beginning 2 Oct 1456

Background: This is one month after Aimar died, and TheRedChef has been teaching Aasha how to read and write in the tavern.




She had just left the orchard when a note was delivered. Taking the missive, Aasha smiled and thanked him, then looked down at the blob of wax. It was a seal she'd seen before, but not in a while. Her eyes shining with excitement, she whispered; Tiff

Tiffanyanne wrote:Dear Aasha and Aimar,
Long ago I promised a Dinner. I would like to have it now and catch up. Depending on how things are going, I may be leaving again and the length of the journey is unknown. I fear for England and while there is breath in my body, I will fight to make her a home worth loving. But until then, I miss my family. Please let me know if you are available.

All my love,
Tiff

Some of the words were too difficult for her new reading skills, but what she could read caused her face to fall. She'd forgotten Tiffany didn't know about Aimar. She wasn't in town when it happened, and Aasha had done her best to repress the memory. It came flooding back now.

- The afternoon was beautiful. She'd gotten an early start to the day and had a whole basket of fruit to show for her efforts in the orchard. Enough for her, Ellie and even Aimar. Excited, she'd rushed over to his cottage to give him a few before heading home.

The door was open, Pea was meowing like crazy, and a cold feeling of forbidding came over Aasha as she approached. Pillow was through the door first, barking like mad. Her footsteps slowed at the entrance, she could smell a stench that had her flashing back to the barn. The shovel connected, the pain in her chest, the weight on her, the blood everywhere. Closing her eyes tightly, she struggled to breath, forced herself to walk through the door, then opened her eyes.

Small pawprints tracked across the wood, dark indentations on the gleaming surface. Petrified, she went in further, straight back to the kitchen where the animals were now howling in symphony. He was there, lying almost totally face down, unmoving. A black pot lay by his side, a smear of blood on the counter. Pea looked pitiful, her fur matted with dried blood. It was a nightmare, worse because no matter how many times she tried, she couldn't blink and make it go away. She'd rushed over and knelt beside him, cradled his head in her lap and whispered his name. It was too late, he was gone...her whole life, everything she'd tried to accomplish...over...in what appeared to be a horrible accident. -


Pillow barked, pulling her out of the memories that tried so hard to cling. It had been a month, but Aasha didn't know where to write, so Tiffany didn't know. She didn't know how to tell her either, but knew she had to. Looking down at the note again, she traced the few words she recognized, then bent to pat Pillow's head. I can't read it all boy...an' I need to know what it says before I tell her. There were many other things to tell her to, like the fact that she could write her name, she could read some of this note. About how much time Red had spent helping her with her skills, about how oddly he'd been acting lately. About...there was just too much. But first, she wanted to read the rest of the note, be able to answer Tiffanyanne confident in what she was saying.

Wiping her eyes with the back of her sleeve, she headed towards the tavern, hoping to catch Red before she went to talk to Tiff. He'll help me read this...maybe he'll go with me too... She didn't know why she wanted him to go with her, but she suddenly realized she did.


Last edited by aasha on Sun Oct 05, 2008 3:29 am; edited 2 times in total
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Re: Yearnings - One Journey Ends as Another Begins

Post  Aasha on Sun Oct 05, 2008 2:31 am

TheRedChef wrote:Red sat in the tavern working on the final draft of the latest timber contract. He almost regretted trading his days of action for ones filled with inkstains and papercuts.

A smile flashed across his face, as he noticed Aasha peering about the common room. "Steady, man" he thought as he replaced it with a scowl. As she approached his table, he glanced at the parchment she clutched nervously, before returning to her pensive face.

"What's that, another letter? And in ink? I always knew you'd be an apt pupil!" No small bit of pride slipped into his voice. "Most would still be stuck with chalk and slate."
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Re: Yearnings - One Journey Ends as Another Begins

Post  Aasha on Sun Oct 05, 2008 2:31 am

It didn't take long for her to find Red. As usual, he had a bunch of paperwork and was only halfway listening to the conversations around him, too busy writing to notice much else. For just a minute she thought she saw the flash of a smile, but as she got closer there was no sign of it. - Trick of the light...or was it a glittering of tears she forgot to wipe away? -

The scowl was normal, a steadying influence after the emotional upheaval she'd fought and lost outside. This was something she could deal with, or so she hoped. Yah, it's a letter...but I ain't the one what wrote it. I ain't no ape pupil neither! Her face flushed, her eyes flashing fire, she glared at Red, ignoring the odd sinking feeling when she met his eyes. I done read mos'...but there's some of them fancy words like what yer always usin' an' I can't figure 'em...thought maybe ya ken helps me wit' the rest. The chalk and slate were in her pack, with all of her precious keepsakes, but it wasn't something she was prepared to tell him, nor would she admit to having swiped the book Kerri attempted to take. Gifts were gifts, and these were hers, she wasn't giving them up even if she was told they weren't ladylike. - I bet men made up all these darn rules just to drive ladies nuts. -
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Re: Yearnings - One Journey Ends as Another Begins

Post  Aasha on Sun Oct 05, 2008 2:32 am

TheRedChef wrote:"Apes? What on earth are you blath-" he caught himself just in time, "Nevermind about that." Red impatiently motions for Aasha to take a seat. "Let's take a look at that letter."

He smooths the crumbled parchment on the table, and chuckles softly as he reads it. "I see you've been accorded a great honor!" Ye gods! A formal dinner, that poor girl. Slowly they go over the words and their meaning.

As he listens her to her give voice to the last few words, Red takes a lead stylus out of his satchel

"How'd you like to give a surprise to our dear Lady Tiff? I think you''d be up to it."
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Re: Yearnings - One Journey Ends as Another Begins

Post  Aasha on Sun Oct 05, 2008 2:34 am

She wanted to stay mad, being called an ape didn't set right, but the letter had her curious, and it was from Tiff. She'd missed the woman greatly, even getting to know Ellie better hadn't helped, especially after she'd almost set the kitchen on fire and the other woman had barred her from the room. Still, the impulse to stick her tongue out at his back was too strong, and she didn't fight it, but did wipe her face free other than the twinkle in her eyes before she sat. - Bossy fancy talking man, just what I need, another to teach me more blasted rules. -

I've been a courtin' an honor? Her nose wrinkles in confusion, wondering what the two have to do with each other. Pushing back that confusion, she listens closely, trying to absorb the meaning of each word he points out. The more engrossed she becomes, the closer she scoots, until by the end of the letter she's pressed tight against and leaning halfway over his arm.

She almost toppled into his lap when he moved, not prepared for him to reach into his satchel. Trying to concentrate on his words even as her face turns bright red, she finally whispers; I'm up fer anythin'...what am I doin'?
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Re: Yearnings - One Journey Ends as Another Begins

Post  Aasha on Sun Oct 05, 2008 2:34 am

TheRedChef wrote:Red's jaw went slack. His mind blindly groped for words. When did she get so close.

"Well, er, I...that is you, uh..." Stupid fool, you're not some whelp from Dorchester anymore.

He clears his throat, and glances away for a moment to collect his scattered thoughts. He starts shuffling his papers as he regains composure.

"I just thought you might want to write Tiffany back," he says as he digs for a clean parchment.
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Re: Yearnings - One Journey Ends as Another Begins

Post  Aasha on Sun Oct 05, 2008 2:35 am

- Up for anythin'? That sounds great Ash, especially after you practically fell all over him. Whats wrong with you girl? Its Red...the same man who felt sorry for Aimar for having to put up with you...the same one who sees you as the idiot urchin you really are. - The blush didn't recede though, being so close, feeling off balance, she looked blankly at the floor.

Almost falling again when she heard him stutter, eyes suddenly open wide, she looks over at Red again. He was acting oddly, just like he'd been acting in the tavern lately.

- He's the same Red he always was, except now he feels like he's got to watch out for you, just like he said the other night.

Well, I don't want him to. I don't need taken care of. I do fine on my own. Why does everyone around here treat me like a child? I'm not a youngin', I'm a grown woman.

Can't make him stop though.

Yes, I can! This is silly, he's not my pa, I don't want him to watch out for me like a father.

But you are coming to him for help now. How do you want him to see you? -


The argument did nothing for her flushed face, and left her feeling even more off balance than before. Without thinking, she blurted; I ain't no youngin'...stop treatin' me likes a child!

Eyes going wide, she waits for a hole to open beneath her. His calm comment about writing to Tiff making her feel a bigger fool, she pivots and runs out of the tavern, ignoring Pillow as he bounds over to her side the moment she was through the door.
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Re: Yearnings - One Journey Ends as Another Begins

Post  Aasha on Sun Oct 05, 2008 2:36 am

TheRedChef wrote:His shock at her outburst gave way to anger.

"Running again, Aasha?" he called out to her with a sneer.

"It looks like I was wrong about you. At your very core, you're nothing but a half-drowned waif. I never should have wasted my expectations."


Red noticed that she had left her letter on the table and he cast it aside with utter contempt as he sat back to his work.
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Re: Yearnings - One Journey Ends as Another Begins

Post  Aasha on Sun Oct 05, 2008 2:36 am

She'd not gotten far when his words hit her hard. Her heart felt like it'd been stabbed, the pain was nigh unbearable. - How dare he? He knows nothing, NOTHING of what I've been through, NOTHING of why I've done anything. He has no idea what I've faced. Half drowned waif? -

Much to Pillow's surprise, she turned back and took a deep breath. Eyes glittering with unshed tears, the sneer cutting her to the quick, she almost regally walked back into the tavern. Stalking back to him, her fingers twitching madly, she grits out; Wrong 'bout what? You don't know nothin' 'bout me, but yer gonna judge me? Gesturing to his nice clothes and fine possessions, she continued in the same vein. Yer used to havin' things yer way. Lookin' down on me cuz I ain't learned like you are. Not everybody gets stuff easy. Some of us gotta fights just to survive. You, an' most of the folks here thinks cuz I ain't as old as ya are, that I'm just a child ya ken push around an' make feel stupid.

Tears were flowing now, though she didn't feel them on her face. She was too wound up, too caught in her emotions. Ya looks at me an' what do ya see? I ain't got no fancy learnin', but I tries. I'm tryin' to learn yer damn rules what don't make sense, I'm tryin' to 'member 'em an' be better sos all of ya ken see me like anybody else, but ya don't wanna let it go. Don't wanna look past what ya thought afore.

Bending, she picked up the letter he had cast aside. Lady Tiff...she cares an' I'm tryin' to show her I'm worth carin' for. Tried showin' Aimar...tried... a sob caught in her throat ...tried...showin'...you...

She turned away, her shoulders trembling, hands stiffly clenched at her sides with the letter practically balled within. Might not be good 'nuff...but I'm better'n... She couldn't finish, didn't even know how to, just stood, waiting for another sneer behind her.
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Re: Yearnings - One Journey Ends as Another Begins

Post  Aasha on Sun Oct 05, 2008 2:37 am

TheRedChef wrote:Red tried to fight back the cutting cruelties that were ready to fly off his tounge. Her tears wracked him with their resonance. This is not how it was supposed to be.

"Rules?" he asked mockingly. "As if I've got nothing better to do then push around someone's unwanted wastrel. Tell me Aasha, did I waste my time keeping you from the gaols?"

"Show me? Show me what?" he spits out. "A child's trick of scrawling your name? They've got a monkey in Bristol that can do that. And that's all you offer? That's the sum total of your worth?"

"HA! For a moment, just for a moment, mind you, I thought there was a glint of something greater in you."
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Re: Yearnings - One Journey Ends as Another Begins

Post  Aasha on Sun Oct 05, 2008 2:37 am

Too many emotions were welling inside her at once, anger yes, but not just anger, fear, pain, a sense of loss, confusion. Why did she even care what he said? Why wasn't she walking away from his cruelty? She didn't deserve this, or did she?

Her voice, though shaky, stayed quiet. She wasn't sure if she wanted him to hear or not. She'd say her piece and walk away, prove that she didn't run even as every instinct inside told her she should. You tell me Red...why did ya keeps me from the gaols? She met his eyes then, the pain reflecting in the depths of her irises unmistakable. Ya ain't gots to want me...nobody else never did...but I ain't a waste. If'n ya can't see...then it don't matter...

She shook her head in denial, and laughed bitterly. I was proud of what ya taught me, even if its a child's trick. Its me tryin' ya know...learnin' stuff nobody never took the time to teach before. I ain't offerin' nothin'...ain't gots nothin' to offer nohow. But I'm still greater'n you. I don't looks down on nobody. I sees past what shows to find what they are inside. You...you don't scare me none, an' ya been tryin' since I met ya. Throw me in the gaols, use yer fancy words and fancy writin' an' write me out...nobody done asked ya to care.

She glanced down briefly and took a shaky breath, then met his eyes once more. I been runnin' fer a long time Red, but I ain't no more. This..this is my home, an' I gots friends for the first time ever. Yer not gonna be the cause of me losin' nothin' else in my life. I thought...thought ya was one of 'em...thought... Shrugging her shoulders, she shook her head. Yer the one what I wanted to ask fer help when I couldn't figure all the words. Yer the one I wanted to go wit' me an' tell Lady Tiffany 'bout Aimar...to even go wit' me to that dinner she's havin'...guess that proves there ain't nothin' great in me don't it? Proves I ain't so smart, jus' like ya thought.
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Re: Yearnings - One Journey Ends as Another Begins

Post  Aasha on Sun Oct 05, 2008 2:38 am

TheRedChef wrote:Her rebuke reeled him. Wanted me to go with her... He'd been too harsh and quick to rail against her, but there was no way he could admit it.

Red took her by the shoulders and fixxed her gaze.

"Listen to me, Aasha, I don't know exactly what you did or why you did it, but I know the men who search for you and it would not go well for you.

"Maybe you're done running in body, maybe not. But one look gives you away. You've got the eyes of the hunted. Jah knows, I can't force my help on you. All I can do is wait and hope you realize that I would gladly share your burden before you find an ill end.

"I don't mark you by letters and dresses and curtsy-if-you-please. It's enough to me that they matter to you. I see more in you then you realize, I wouldn't have bothered with you otherwise, but what you've got is wrecked by doubt and shame.

"I can't keep you here, make you go, or take what you got, nor would I try, but I....I-" The words died in his throat.
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Re: Yearnings - One Journey Ends as Another Begins

Post  Aasha on Sun Oct 05, 2008 2:38 am

Athorgate wrote:Athorgate had entered the town a few days ago, a quick stop on a long journey. One day there and then back on the long road. That is until he once again met some very interesting people. He was surprised to meet Kerri there as well as her better half, another man named Theredchef and a most interesting girl named Aasha.

The little one, and her adorable little fox, brought a grin to his face each time he happened up on her. Her innocence and her rough edge hid something from the rest of those around her and it drove him nearly mad to know and discover this side of her.

Having already sent a letter to her, and having gotten no response, he decided to write yet another, to give her yet another chance to shake the dust of this town, lovely as it may be, from her shoes. Taking his quill and parchment from his pack, he sat under one of the many fruit trees in the orchard and began.

Aasha,
I am not sure if you have already read my first message, but to ensure that I have given you every chance I could I write this one as well. Granted I don't know you all that well, nor your position here in the town, I feel that a trip could do you a world of good. Again, I extend my hand to you to accompany me on a little jaunt across the kingdom.

I of course will understand if you have other previous engagements, or if you feel ill at ease travelling with me, but I would enjoy your company on this journey. Please consider this and let me know of your intentions.

I will remain in town for another day, maybe two before I am ready to go, so you will be able to find me in a tavern over the next couple of days.

Athorgate

Sealing the letter he takes it to her house, finding it with great difficultly, but find it he did, and tacked the envelope to the door, and once again walked quietly away.
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Re: Yearnings - One Journey Ends as Another Begins

Post  Aasha on Sun Oct 05, 2008 2:38 am

Jasmyne wrote:Jas never was one much for knocking on doors, if she knew you, she let herself in
Jas poked her head in the door and saw Aasha and Red talking and said. Aasha, Tiff still wants to have the dinner now that she is home but i gave her something to knock her out for awhile, poor girl looks like she was trying to take on everyone in the worlds problems so dinner probably wont happen till tomorrow, nevertheless your still invited regardless.

Jas then noticed Red. Red dont you be pesterin the young lady ya hear me or youll be answerin to me. Looking to her side she noticed a note tacked to the door. Aasha looks as if you have a note tacked on the door, but i must head back to heero, we have plans for the evening so bye.

Jas looked sternly at Red as if to say you had better not hurt her feelings and headed down the road
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Re: Yearnings - One Journey Ends as Another Begins

Post  Aasha on Sun Oct 05, 2008 2:39 am

She was lost in thoughts, still trying to figure out why his words bothered her so much when he approached. Not expecting it, she jumped when his hands covered her shoulders. She had always been on firm footing with him before, knew exactly where she stood, even when he'd started teaching her to read, but the last few days things felt different. He'd mentioned something about feeling fatherly towards her since Aimar died, but she sure didn't look at him as a father. - How do you look at him Aasha? Whats wrong with you? Why so unsure around him now? Why did it feel so different? -

She tried to concentrate on his words, but the tingling sensation from where his hands lay had her distracted. She shivered, trying to chalk it up to his mention of her running, but she had serious doubts about that being it. It took a few minutes, but the words I would gladly share your burden finally penetrated. Eyes widening, she met his gaze as a sinking feeling overcame her. - Sounds like he cares for me...and not like a father either... - Finding her voice, she stepped a little closer and whispered; But ya what Red?... Taking her courage in hand, she continued; ...I can't makes ya go neither...but...will ya go wit' me?

So caught up in the undercurrents with Red, she totally missed the tavern door opening until she heard Jasmyne's voice. Face flushed, a vague guilty feeling overcame her, though she didn't know why. She refused to step back regardless, she wanted to hear his answer, desperately. I'll gets the letter when I gets home...an' see ya there... Her eyes never left his face, not even when the door swung shut behind Jas as she left.
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Re: Yearnings - One Journey Ends as Another Begins

Post  Aasha on Sun Oct 05, 2008 2:39 am

TheRedChef wrote:It was a moment of suspended clarity. He could see everything and comprehend almost nothing. At the center, was this- this wounded sparrow who transfixed him. I should cast you aside and let your troubles take you. I would've...yet...


He could feel her shiver and draw closer. Don't do it. Don't you dar-

"I...I would gladly go with you."
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Re: Yearnings - One Journey Ends as Another Begins

Post  Aasha on Sun Oct 05, 2008 2:39 am

She was still drowning in emotions and the tingling under his hands had not stopped. A feeling of elation washed over her as she noticed he hadn't moved away, even when Jas entered. Eyes locked with his, oblivious to the strain she was putting her neck under looking up so long, she waited for his answer. But when it didn't come for so long, she began to think the silence was her answer, and steeled herself for rejection.

Finally, he spoke, giving the answer she longed for, but didn't expect. You will? Oh Red, thank you... Overjoyed, she wrapped her arms around his waist and squeezed. ...thank you so mu... It was then she realized what she was doing. Mortified, her face bright red, she loosened her arms and started to step back, losing her balance in the process.
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Re: Yearnings - One Journey Ends as Another Begins

Post  Aasha on Sun Oct 05, 2008 2:41 am

TheRedChef wrote:Aasha's embrace cast him from this world, but her mortification brought him back. Then nothing as she went slack and fell. Instinct broke impasse and drove action as he clutched her hands before she slipped away.

Confusion reigned, as he lowered her gently to a chair.

He risked one more glance into her eyes before looking at her with new appraisal. What have I done?
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Post  Aasha on Sun Oct 05, 2008 2:41 am

- Jah, why couldn't a hole open up before I act like an idiot? He said he'd go wit' ya, not to throw yerself at him. Then you go and fall? Bet he thinks yer a fool now...an' prolly wishes he didn't say yes... - Even thinking that, she refused to let him off the hook, she wanted him to go with her too badly.

Reaching out, she held on when he clutched her hands, not loosening her grip even after he lowered her to a chair. - Shouldn't have moved away girl...it felt nice...and if you'd stayed, you wouldn't have fallen... - Feeling his gaze on her, she raised her chin. Guessin' I owe ya 'nother thanks...umm...I...I'm really glad yer goin' wit' me.
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Post  Aasha on Sun Oct 05, 2008 2:41 am

TheRedChef wrote:There was no going back. In for a penny...

He gave her hands a gentle squeeze. "No need to thank me. I am honored that you even thought to ask me."

He sat for a quiet moment still trying to figure her out. There were so many sharp edges to hide behind.

"I think we better 'répondez s'il vous plaît'," he winked, "otherwise Tiff will find herself short a plate."


...in for a pound.
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Post  Aasha on Sun Oct 05, 2008 2:42 am

Wondering if she could get by with keeping their hands clasped, she slowly smiles. - Even thought to ask? How about only thought to ask you? - There were times she was glad no one could read her thoughts, this was definitely one of them.

The language he spoke was one she'd not heard before, nor did she understand. We're gonna responda sis vu play? His wink brought the fluttering back, she felt her cheeks burning and lowered her lashes, then murmured; Ain't it easier to write her then do that sis vu playin'?
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Re: Yearnings - One Journey Ends as Another Begins

Post  Aasha on Sun Oct 05, 2008 2:42 am

TheRedChef wrote:"That was French, the language of..." He stopped, not wanting to drive her away again. "On second thought, maybe it would be easier to write"

Red waited, savoring the moments. For once, at ease with the situation. An easy grin slipped on his face.


"I think," he whispered, "we'll need our hands free for this.
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Post  Aasha on Sun Oct 05, 2008 2:42 am

As passages of the book flash through her mind, she mentally finishes his sentence. It was a struggle to keep her mouth from hanging open in shock, she glanced at him with new eyes, even as she wonders this might be connected with the odd feelings she's been struggling with. She finally sighs, then absorbs his smile.

Yer sayin' ya wants yer hands back? There was obvious reluctance when she loosened her grip, letting her fingers brush the back of his hands before releasing them completely. The moment was etched in her mind, to pull out and examine when she was alone and could allow her thoughts free rein.

Her voice pitched low, she scooted her chair close enough to watch if need be and whispered; Is you writin' or me?
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Re: Yearnings - One Journey Ends as Another Begins

Post  Aasha on Sun Oct 05, 2008 2:43 am

TheRedChef wrote:"I think you should," Red said, as he offered her the stylus.

He moved closer, towering over her, and cupped her hand in his, to guide her in the strokes of formal calligraphy.

They formed the first letter and then the next.

Together, they began to write.
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Post  Aasha on Sun Oct 05, 2008 2:43 am

She had to write? With him this close? And holding her hand? Taking a deep, steadying breath, Aasha nodded and tried hard to concentrate on what she was writing. After a few letters, her hand steadied in his, and she began to really enjoy the motion of their hands clasped. What was even better, her hands weren't covered in chalk dust, just a bit of ink. Of course, if she'd have written by herself, she wasn't sure Tiff would understand what she wrote, let alone have it sound as fancy as Red could do.

As they wrote, she questioned what each word meant, and tried to remember their meaning, but kept getting distracted each time she looked up at his face. At the rate she was going, she'd be hard pressed to remember her own name when this letter was through, it took her a few seconds to get back in the swing after noticing how near he was, his breath on her neck, his hand in hers... - Stop it Ash! What's wrong with you? You're doing it again! -
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