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The Choice

 
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Addie MacKenzie
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:35 am    Post subject: The Choice Reply with quote

March 14th, 2018
Trash HQ, Seaside, Rhy'Din City


"I take it this isn't gonna be a place I'll get to see you in a bikini, is it?" It was a casual tease, delivered with a gentle squeeze to her hip as Ro slipped from their bedroom, back down towards the kitchen. His bags were mostly (sorta) packed but he had breakfast (for dinner) cooking in the kitchen and he had only been able to spare a few moments to help with the effort before having to flit out again. Still in athletic shorts and a sleeveless tee, he continued to talk to her with his voice raised enough to carry as he started to mix up the omelets. "Did I pack the right stuff? I guess I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be wearin' and all."

"If we go down to the river, maybe." She laughed. This time of year, it would have been just on this side of too chilly for river wading though so he shouldn't get his hopes up. With most of her things packed and a minor nervousness she needed to work out, she zipped up her luggage and followed after him into the kitchen, intent on breakfast-dinner. "Yeah, it'll be lowkey, I promise. It's a lot of... blahblahblah ceremonial *** and a couple hours where I'll have to go sit with the elders and make sure I've made the right choice. It'll be... uh... kinda lame for you, if I'm being honest."

"But babe, your nipples are so cute when they poke through that flimsy material." Romeo offered up a crooked grin from where he stood at the stove, pouring the omelet fixings into the pan. It sizzled audibly in the preheated pan and he was quick to turn back to the kitchen island to finish mixing the pancake batter. When she got close enough, he nuzzled a kiss to the side of her neck. "It's goin' to be fine, mo chroi. We'll get to spend some time together in a new place and I already know whatever choice you make is gonna be the right one. You're a pretty smart girl, you know. No, smart woman."

"Then I suppose we'll just have to play pretend?" She countered with a laugh. Waiting until he had poured the omelet batter into the pan, she kissed him and then climbed up onto the counter, a few feet over from the stove. "You'll get to see Amberhelm... so there's that. I think you may actually like it. How much packing do you still have left to do?"

"I do like to play pretend with you." He made a pleased sound for the kiss. "Not so sound sappy, but I like most places you are. But yeah, it'll be cool to see what your homeland is like. I imagine it'll be quite the experience."

The notion made him wistful and Ro trailed off after a moment, lapsing into a brief silence. When he finally spoke again, it was to answer her question. "But need my skivvies to finish drying and then that's pretty much that. Then I'll just need to wash the stink off me and I'll be all polished up."

"Moreso mom's homeland than mine. I've only been there a handful of times in my life. Where I came from... um, after mom died the second time, I never went back. Just stayed in Nosgoth the whole time." She frowned and shrugged, glancing over at the skillet as the omelet sizzled and cooked. Looking back to her fiance, oh that was a good word, her smile lived once more as she caught the nostalgia limning his expression. "So we're pretty much set then. First thing in the morning then?"

"It's still your roots, mo chroi." He tipped another smile her way and turned back towards the pan, reaching for the spatula and folding the fluffy omelet over. In the other pan, he began to pour the pancakes, doling out little dollops of batter with his back to her. "We're set. We can make a quiet night in and get a good start on tomorrow. A little Netflix and, uh, chill?"

"It is, yeah." She nodded, taking a deep breath. Breakfast-dinner would be a nice way to get her mind off of the impending anxiety of it all, so she watched his methodical preparation and the formation of each pancake one by one. Beautiful, fluffy things, she had never had any better. "Netflix and chill would be nice. Ummmm, no guarantee on, uh, just how much privacy we might get while we're there. It's sort of a big deal and all, for all the low-key-ness it is."

"Hey," he shot a look over a broad shoulder, his mouth quivering. "I can bring the low-key-ness... with my penis. Just sayin'." And, without missing a beat, Romeo went back to preparing their supper. It didn't take much longer and in short order, the blonde bruiser was piling the shareable omelet and the pancakes all up on a big plate and turning back to Addie. "It's all gonna be good, babe. Tonight. Tomorrow. The days to come. We've got this."

"Romeo MacKenzie, you are the worst." She laughed, grabbing a nearby oven mitt and pitching it lightly at his back. Still giggling, she shook her head and slid off the counter, moving to the fridge to grab them drinks to go with their breakfast. Pre-made chocolate milk for the win. With two glasses, she sauntered to the breakfast nook and slid in on the bench, setting out a glass for him and one for her. "I'm sorry in advance for anything anyone might say. To me. To you. About us. Any of it. Okay?"

He followed along with the big plate and their utensils, setting them both off to the side. Sitting across from her, he reached across the table and gathered her hands in his, drawing them across the surface so that he could kiss her fingers. Once, then twice. "I don't give a *** what anyone thinks, Addie. No one but you. I'm happy with you. And me. And us. None of what anyone else has to say matters."

Offering her hands over quite willingly, she gave him a fond little smile when his lips brushed her fingers which soon curled against his jawline for a gentle scritch. When she withdrew, she did so to nab a fork and take a drink from her milk. "That's... not really what I'm worried about too much. Just that... uh... yeah. I mean, you're my Chosen one and Quinten, that's my mom's dad, is um... a prominent face. It'll be a lot of... when are we tying the knot... when are we having kids... all the stuff you'd expect from a family reunion... only from everyone even if they aren't related."

"People will think you require better. Or will require a better... Chosen." Ro reached for his glass and lifted it for a sip before be began to separate some of the food ont he plate for his own consumption. He watched her as he did, curious but not offended. "And as far as the 'whens'? Whenever you want. I want us and everything that comes with it, as soon or not as you'll let me. There's plenty I want, but I'm not on any timetable."

"Oh no. That's... nah. They won't care about that." She shook her head, waving off Ro's assumption. That boy had a chip on his shoulder a mile wide, she should have seen that coming. While he worked on separating things, she made it harder for him by reaching her fork over to stab away a hunk of omelet mid plate transfer. She's nice like that. "They'll just want to know when and whether it's sooner rather than later and if we'll be returning to Amberhelm when that time comes and... yeah. It's a very small community, everyone feels like family and really... if you look at the family trees, most everyone is descended from like... one of a dozen families." She just happened to come from two of the most powerful. "They just get nosy, that's all I want you to be prepared for."

"No? Huh. Good." He almost laughed at that. "When you put it like that, they almost sound like Clan MacKenzie, mo chroi." If it was a war she wanted, it was a war Adelaide was going to get. His own fork battled hers for dominance over the best pieces, before finally popping one in his mouth to chew. He spoke again after finally swallowing. "Sounds like everyone's business is Clan business. I can deal with that."

"We're much too small of a community to shun outsiders. Everyone seems to marry out these days, if only because marrying in is... kind of gross at this point." She laughed, poking at one of his pancakes with her fork as if threatening to steel it. In the end she relented, returning to her own plate to eat up. "Is that what they sound like? I think I'd be right at home then." There was a smile, soft and fond. "But yes, everyone is that nosy old lady that knows everyone's business. It's ridiculous. They'll know things about us even though we live six hours away."

"Then they'll know we're practicing real hard for makin' babies, won't they?" Stabbing at the piece of pancake, he offered it up to her mouth with a waggle of brows. His smile softened slowly and Ro leaned back in his seat to watch her. "I'd endure that and worse for you, Adelaide. You are my heart."

"Oh gods, I don't want them knowing that." She scrunched her nose but opened her mouth wide for him, wrapping her lips around the fork with overblown sensuality as she slid the bite of pancake free from the utensil. Winking as she drew back, she chewed and swallowed, washing it down with a swig of chocolate milk. "I know. You would, you have. I just wanted to, like, prepare you. Having to punch bad guys in the face is a little different than having to fake smile and nod when someone you don't know knows half your life, ya know?"

"No, now it'll be fake smilin' and noddin', but I won't be stealin' anyone's stuff." His brows bobbed again, but Ro was sliding slowly out of his seat to join Addie on her side. A big arm slipped around her shoulders and pulled her in, a gentle kiss pressed to her temple. "We'll make our own fun there, mo chroi. Make some fond memories. It'll be good."

"Thank the gods. Yes, keep sticky fingers to yourself. Besides, there's not a whole lot you'd wanna steal anyways. It's definitely not as... I dunno, flashy and progressive as it is here. They're very old fashioned, set in their ways." She nodded and leaned into him, forking up a bite of omelet to offer it up to him. "But yes, it'll be good. Wanna snag a shower with me after this?"

He was silent long enough to accept the large bite of omelet, smiling around the fork before chewing the tasty morsel down and swallowing. He was nodding to both the statement and the question. "'Course I do. I wash your hair better than you do."

“That you do, that you do. Eat up, we’ve got a lot to do still.†With a wicked grin, she promised more than words. A long night stretched ahead.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

March 15th, 2018
Amberhelm, Rhy'Din


It had been awhile since they hit the road like this, a long stretch of boring scenery and pleasant company, lots of music and plenty of snacks to go with some less than innocent shenanigans. But all good things must come to an end and eventually, the flatlands became hillier, the sparse vegetation filling out with high reaching coniferous trees, still full of needle laden branches despite the lingering winter of March. As they got closer, Addie got quieter, anxious in the subtle way she held onto her fiance's hand as he drove.

"Take a left up here... the edge of town is about a mile that way. The estate's on the far side, up in the hills." She explained quietly, shifting in her seat to take her feet off the dash.

It had been a good roadtrip and Romeo had commented more than once during the drive that it was something he wanted to do more of. Just the two of them. A full tank of gas, what little they needed in supplies, and a open road to... wherever. Certain shenanigans might have had something to do with it. Maybe it was just her. But as they drew closer to their final destination, the mood in the car grew more somber, and when she finally announced how much farther they had to go, he was slowly pulling off to the side of the road and stopping. With the engine still running, he turned to her.

"Not much farther," he echoed her previous announcement, gathering her slender hands into his and bringing them to his lips so that he could kiss the backs of her knuckles. His gaze linger on hers over the tops of their hands, a reassuring smile given. "No matter what happens, I'm by your side. For always." It wasn't that he thought anything bad was going to happen, but given her apprehension, he gave that assurance anyway.

"I know." She said softly, her smile twisting into a wan smile. Letting her hands linger in his grasp for a few long moments, she took a deep breath before withdrawing, one hand gesturing in front of her stomach. "I'm just... nervous, you know? This isn't a big deal. Mom had to do it. Her parents both had to do it... everyone before them too. Nothing bad is going to happen, I just... I dunno. Part of me wishes Mom could've come too, she would have been able to talk me through this, you know?"

"I think you've got this, mo chroi." Ro stretched across the seat to press a kiss to the side of her neck before withdrawing and adjusting his seatbelt. "No matter what you choose, you're still you. You'r always gonna be you. So do what you think is right and good, and everything else will happen like it needs to. You're due for some good things."

"I've got this." She repeated, leaning into his reassuring affections. Though she didn't sound as sure as the blonde in the driver's seat did, his presence was a calming thing. Sitting back in her seat, she too fidgeted with her seatbelt and nodded twice, turning her gaze forward once more. "The power of positive thinking... we are due for some good things. We're probably too late to grab dinner at the main house, but we might be able to grab something in town on the way."

Food made everything better.

"What bae wants, bae gets." He resumed driving with one hand and slipped the other over to rest on one of hers, squeezing. "We'll get fed and then get settled in. I didn't think to ask before but for the sake of not being disappointed before asking, I'm assumin' we're gonna be roomed separately?"

"Mom says there's a place in town that does decent breakfast for dinner a la Delia's." She smiled sidelong, tangling her fingers with his as they got back on the road. The trees got thicker at first, a dense canopy blocking out any hint of moonlight rising on the horizon. A little snicker sounded in the space between them. "Actually... no. There's a guest cottage on the grounds of my grandfather's estate. That's where we're staying. Just me and you. Though... the night of the Choice I'll be staying on my own."

"Sounds like a plan. Time to test some new pancakes, eh?" His sidelong look came with a crooked grin and a squeeze of her hand. Ro nodded along with the explanation, his attention directed back to the way ahead, winding the bar through the road that would take them into and eventually through Amberhelm. "Makes sense. Alone with the gods and all. Really feels like back home, though the memories are sometimes hazy. Been a long time. All I can do is to promise to be as much of a gentleman as I can when in the cottage."

"They won't be as good as yours, but it'll do. In the morning we can raid the pantry at the house and then just stay in and eat." She grinned. Likely they wouldn't get that lucky. It wasn't often that the Youngblood Estate saw company and as such, they were spoiled accordingly. That also meant with plenty of attention. It was a sleepy town, reminiscent of days long past, and at that hour, many of the homes and buildings were dark. True to her word, on the far edge of town, a wrought iron gate led them up a winding drive through the wooded estate. "It should split up here, take the right fork for the guest house. "I don't think you really have to worry about being a gentleman. Nobody here particularly cares, you know? They might ask a ton about when we're getting married but not for the sex or even the possibility of kids. They just see it as a higher form of connection in the eyes of the gods."

"Maybe your people will let me cook for them," Ro mused and seemed sincerely interested in the notion. "Brownie points for the wayward fiance."

Following her direction, he drove them through town and eventually brought then to, then through the gate, forking right at a gentle curve to propel them onward towards the guest house. Her explanation of the way of things around Amberhelm was worth an appreciative chuckle. "I wonder if your kin are descended from MacKenzies then. Because the Clan, well, it's pretty neo-pagan hippie free love with mine own kin. Usually things are very, very open 'til you finally find the one you want and then settle down. Then it's happily ever monogamous. All acts of love are rituals before the gods. It's the Lady's way."

"Babe, you don't have to go into this thinking they'll reject you. You're my person. You're not wayward, you're not bad, you're not anything negative. Plus you already got big props from my grandfather when... everything happened." She trailed off with a little shrug and a vague gesture of her hand. As they turned off, she settled, looking through the trees for the little bungalow cottage that was awaiting them. The front porch light was on, as was what she assumed as the living room light. It was supposed to be unlocked. "There are some neo-pagan roots to this, yeah, but they go back to Ancient Greek times. Amberhelm was formed by a coven of... they call us Asterians. Worshippers of the Goddess Asteria, goddess of falling stars and nighttime oracles. Like the Greeks of old, yeah, it's pretty free love until you bind yourself to someone else."

"Like I said," he murmured happily. "Good things ahead."

The car was pulled up to a stop before the cottage and before he got out, Romeo leaned to press another gentle kiss to her neck, offering up a smile. Then it was a collection of their bags, piling up as much as he could upon his strong frame and leaving Addie the hands to get them into their accommodations for the duration of the trip. "Sounds about right. While the MacKenzies are steeped in celtic roots, our religions pretty much keeps it open to fall pantheons of belief. Some worship the Norse gods, some the Greek, and so on. It's a pretty all-inclusive deal with them."

For a short stay, they needed only a few bags, but what they brought was packed to the brim. There may have been a gaming console in there somewhere too. Mostly because she thought Ro might get a little bored at some point. Closing the car doors behind him, she led the way up to the cottage, easing the door open and stepping inside to hold the door for him as well. It was modest but well decorated, almost like one might envision a country cottage in a fairy tale to look. Homey, charming. Addie liked it. She also liked listening to Romeo talk about his family, something he didn't do very often. "I like it. I think you'll like it here then. It's a little behind the times but Mom says while it's old timey, they aren't close minded and stuff thankfully."

He lugged the bags in and waited for her to lead him to their final resting place, eventually easing them down to the floor in a semi-neat pile that allowed Addie the easiest access to whatever she needed. Unencumbered, he slipped over to her side and put one burly around around her slender waist to draw her in, a kiss was pressed to her temple tenderly. "It's a great place. Quiet and comfortable. Not too out there or fancy. We can snuggled up in front of the fireplace and talk chat, coffee or hot cocoa in hand. It's nice to just get away from Rhy'din sometimes. We should do more trips."

The cottage had two bedrooms; a modest master bedroom and a tiny spare bedroom that looked more like a glorified walk in closet stuffed with a twin sized bed, side table, and chest of drawers beneath a narrow window. The master was a little more accommodating, sporting a queen sized bed piled with mismatched pillows and several layers of plush quilts. There wasn't a lot of space to move really, but it would do for a few days. Back in the living room, she snuggled in against his chest with a fond little smile. "There's a woodshed out back if we need it. But yes... it doesn't have to be off world, you know? Disney was a lot of fun... amazing fun, but this is... yeah, it's cool too."

"We could do that beach cottage again," he suggested, murmuring into her hair. "Or somethin' like it. Or skiing at some chalet. I don't much care where. The good time is wherever you are. All the beauty we get to experience together. But we can talk more about it when we're back home if you want. Plan somethin'. Maybe campin'. Been a long time since I've camped and you already love roughin it."

"That was a long trip but so worth it..." And also pricey, if she knew any better. While she definitely didn't hurt for dough, it was also because she was halfway careful with her finances. Wrapping her arms around him, she nodded. "We'll figure something out when we get home. Figure out when you can take off from work and then we'll go. And I love camping. As soon as the weather perks up, we'll go."

"Pretty sure Claire will be cool with it. Unless we're in the ring, she's been more generous than usual. We'll sort it out." He tipped her chin up slowly and pressed a soft kiss to her mouth. "Lots of fun memories to be made with the future Missus MacKenzie. Adelaide Victoria MacKenzie. I really like the sound o' that..."

"And what about Delia? I hate leaving her without help when she needs it." She said softly against his lips. Tracing her hands down his arms, she sought his hands for the sake of dragging him down onto an overstuffed loveseat. "We could always scout honeymoon spots... call it wedding research. How about that?"

"Delia would understand." She dragged and Ro went willingly, until they were a tangle of limbs on the loveseat and he was pressing gently, adoring kisses to the side of her face and her ear. "I don't think she expected me to stay as long as I have and I think she'd be happy that I was happy and out buildin' a life. Mmm, honeymoon. Where you wanna go?"

"If you say so..." She wriggled and squirmed until she found a comfortable spot on the unfamiliar piece of furniture. He made that a little easier and soon she settled in against him. "I dunno... Disney is tempting, just me and you. Though there are others on Earth too, like in Paris and Tokyo. Or we can go somewhere warm... or somewhere cold... or somewhere in space... the options are limitless."

"Hey," he teased. "I' marryin' into money. We could always take like two months off and do all of the above?" It was a playful pipedream but it made Romeo grin crookedly before he dropped a kiss to her shoulder. "Maye we could make a honeymoon bucket list."

"Holla we want prenup!" She giggled and turned her mouth to kiss the side of his head. What a dork. Her dork. "A honeymoon bucket list, I like it. Honestly anywhere we could go together would be perfect. Hell, even if we just holed up at home for a week just me and you, I'd be content."

"If he holed up at home, I'd never let you out of bed." He rumbled for the kiss. "Maybe just for bathin' and eatin', but that would be the same kinda fun."

"Be real, Ro. If we go somewhere else you won't let me out of bed either." More laughter to cap a tangled up evening that stretched late into the night before the early hours of morning called them to bed. It was a small dose of peace, a touch of calm before the inevitable storm.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

March 16th, 2018
The Youngblood Estate, Amberhelm, Rhydin


The next morning came far too soon. That far from more modern cities, there were no cars or foot traffic to wake them. It was different than waking up to the distant sound of the sea as they would have at home and instead, there was a crisp calm to dawn as it broke. Their accommodations were more than comfortable, making it all too easy to stay tangled up in the sheets until the rattling knock-knock-knock on the front door roused Addie from the depths of peaceful dreams. With a languid yawn and stretch, she began the reluctant process of disentangling herself from Ro's warmth. Along the way she smeared kisses up his chest and along his jaw, her sleepy words left beside his ear. "Time to get up... someone's knocking..."

It was almost like a dream, the quiet night spent on the couch, talking and enjoying one another until he finally carried her off to bed. Maybe not a dream. Paradise. Romeo had ignored the knocking at first, instead choosing to bury his face in the crook of her neck, and rumble lewd suggestions into her skin even as he started to doze back off. Instead, it was Pizza Girl who was rousing him from the warm perfection of their tangle, one eye slowly opening to stare at her way.

"Mmmf. They can come back later, right? Still need breakfast and shower sex to start the day..."

Dragging her fingernails down his chest, she grinned and pulled back, rolling over to swing her legs over the side of the bed. Addie sat up and groaned, twisting side to side to pop her back before getting to her feet to pull on something decent. "They're likely calling us up to the house for breakfast. Make yourself decent, I'll be right back."

She grinned over her shoulder and stepped out of the room. It wasn't a far trip to the front door, where she looked first out the window and then unlocked the door to swing it open. Before her stood a well dressed but terribly short wood drus, wrapped in fine silk and bearing a charming smile when he straightened from his bow. "Lady Adelaide. I am Themistoli. I do hope you found your accommodations to meet your needs."

"Lady... uh. Oh. It's just Addie." She quickly corrected, stumbling over her words with a glance over her shoulder. "The accommodations were, um, perfect. Thank you. How may I help you?"

"The Elder Magus has requested the attendance of both you and your betrothed for breakfast in the courtyard." Themistoli said, his tone indicating that this was no small deal.

"Requested or ordered?" Addie asked, clarifying accordingly.

"Requested, of course." The drus nearly looked offended by the implication. Addie snickered and yawned again.

"Give us... thirty to shower and get... presentable. Will that work?" She inquired.

"Yes, most certainly! We shall expect you accordingly." Themistoli bowed once more and simply disappeared with a pop, leaving Addie standing there and blinking at the space the drus had occupied a moment before. With a little snort and a shake of her head, she shut the door and headed back to her newly ordained fiance.

"I bought us thirty to get dirty... er clean. Or both."

"But I don't waaaannaaa be decent," he groaned, rolling onto his back and stretching himself out as he continued to blink the sleep from his eyes. There was a pinch at her rear end for the impending departure and Ro lingered in place for a solid minute or more before finally dragging himself from bed. Not even bothering with clothes, he shambled towards the bathroom door and stepped within. He had enough time to start the shower before sticking his head out the door to seek her out. "Thirty? We've worked with less time..."

His grin was crooked as sin.

Close to forty-five minutes later they emerged from the cottage, Cheshire grinning all the way up to the main house. It was just breakfast and Addie knew they should have tried a little harder to be on time, but it was early and they were young and in love. Surely the Elder Magus would understand. Right? As the winding pathway took them through the woods, they treeline broke and revealed a hulking estate that looked like it had taken all of its cues from the castles of olde and shrank them to a smaller scale. It even had a tower that stretched high above the rest of the house.

"Just be yourself, they'll love you." She said aside to Ro, though she may have been talking to herself too as her sneakers crunched over fine gravel and up to the front door, which opened before they reached it. Themistoli was there to greet them, still smiling benevolently despite their tardiness.

"Hello again, Lady Adelaide. And your guest must be Lord Romeo, yes? Do come in. We'll be right this way in the courtyard." The drus led them through the ornate entryway and around the formal living room area. The courtyard was exactly that, a yard set within the middle of the estate, wrapped by high stone walls but wholly temperate despite the lingering chill of a winter that wouldn't quit. It was accented by plenty of greenery and a set of wrought iron furniture topped with plush cushions. A large table to say the least, there were only three place settings, one of which was taken by a dark haired man with eyes just the same vibrant shade of sapphire as Addie's. Themistoli announced their presence when they made it to the courtyard's archway. "My Lord, your guests."

Unrepentant in love. That was them. The big blonde bruiser was still smile when he escorted Adelaide from the cottage, one of her hands in his as he lifted it to kiss her knuckles. Romeo stared up at the looming estate, undaunted. He too had seen great castles, though it felt now as if those sights were a lifetime away. While he was still himself, he had opted to swap out his jeans for a pair of new khaki trousers and a Team Dirty polo, showing more than a little bit of effect for the beginning of the coming days.

Being titled so prompted a subtle cough into his hand, before his smile turned towards Themistoli. "Romeo's just fine. Or Ro. I'm no one's idea of a lord." That same smile was turned towards their host.

"I already tried that, it didn't work." She said in a low stage whisper to Ro and paired it with a snicker. As they stepped into the courtyard, she released his hand and inclined her head to Themistoli, who gestured them onwards to the table where he pulled out Addie's chair for her. Ro, unfortunately, was on his own. Still she offered Quinten a timid smile as she sat to his right and scooted in with a thankful smile to the drus as he departed. It left the other setting across from her and to Quinten's left open for her fiance.

"I'm pleased you both came to join me. Hopefully you slept well?" He asked with a look between the two young adults. Addie nodded and glanced to Ro.

"Admittedly it's always odd to sleep in a new place. But it's... it was nice, yes. Thank you." Addie nodded. Not long after they sat, a spread of breakfast-ish foods were brought and set out for them. Waffles, pancakes, sausage, bacon, eggs, toast, fruit, the works.

"Yeah, but you look like royalty," he said aside to her and fought off the urge to steal a kiss before they were at the table. A light touch graced the backs of her shoulders as he eased around and towards his seat, but not before he was reaching out with a hand in an offer to Quinten. "I imagine her presence is a given, all things considered, but thank you for bein' gracious enough to welcome me too."

There was that MacKenzie charm bubbling up from beneath the surface, a certain affability that was the hallmark of his people a universe away, but showing through all of the rough edges as he showed his appreciation. And then, without further preamble, Romeo was taking his seat and panning a look between his fiance and her grandfather.

"Breakfast with an old man is hardly a requirement." Quinten chuckled and dished up a stack of bacon and a couple waffles which he proceeded to slather in smooth peanut butter and syrup poured from a little crystalline pitcher. To his credit, he hardly looked 'old' by any means. Especially not old enough to have a thirty year old daughter and a twenty-one year old granddaughter, though the latter was by fluke of time and space. Still, Quinten Youngblood had always been a strapping and strong man and at fifty-something, he looked a decade younger accordingly. "But after this, how do you plan to spend the day?"

"I thought maybe I would take Ro into town and let him see the sights." Addie suggested with another glance Ro's way before looking back to her grandfather.

"It may not be as interesting or advanced as Rhydin City, I will say. But Amberhelm is home to a rich culture and proud people. The New Moon market will open here in the afternoon too." Dragging his knife and fork through his waffle, Quinten cut it into pieces that oozed syrup onto his plate.

"Mom told me about the market, I think Ro would like it. He's not from the city either, right babe?" She turned her gaze to the blonde, her smile soft and fond.

He watched the two of them with a lingering smile as he piled food up onto his plate, polite in his silence as Addie and Quinten spoke back and forth, building something that seemed as though it might be long overdue. Or would be in the future. Thinking about the whole time travel thing made his eyes cross. At the mention of going into town, he lifted his attention from where it had stuck to the pancakes, brows arching in curiosity before she directed the question at him.

"Not from Rhy'din, no." He shook his head. "Earth. Or one o' them. In our history, the gods took technology away and even messed with some of the laws o' nature. No electricity. No working guns. Things like cars were just old pieces o' scenery and fantastic stories when I was growin' up. But I've had over a decade here to get used to them. But the market sounds pretty grand."

"The gods are fickle, flighty things, aren't they." Quinten mused with a knowing nod. All too well did he know that one. While he chewed down his waffles and bacon, a flutter of his fingers lofted a pitcher of juice which filled his glass of its own accord. "Amberhelm's patron deity has ties to Terran religions as well. I should be interested to talk further on it someday."

"Have you ever been to the Goblin Market?" She asked Ro between bites of fruit. "The New Moon market is kinda like that only less dangerous."

"Depending on what you find there, of course. Be wary, you get what you pay for and oft quality is commensurate with pricing." Quinten warned with a shake of his head. "The New Moon market should be a reverent time, not a time to hawk low quality reproductions."

"I wasn't the best student of religion," he offered back to Quinten, "but it was an important part of our lives and allowed for a broad interpretation of divinity with all schools of through included and welcome. I'd be happy to talk with you about it. Hell, over another meal if you're willin' to give me a go at your kitchen. I work some mean magic over the stove."

Addie's question drew him back to her like a moth to a flame, the mention of the Goblin Market making him grimace. "Once. Wasn't inclined to do back. Things got hinky enough in the hollows without adding the faerie types to the mix. But we brought a little chunk of money to spend, so if you see something you want..."

He shrugged and smiled.

"Surely you don't trifle with the fair folk, Addie." Quinten too grimaced and turned his attention to the girl as Romeo spoke. Addie quickly shook her head.

"Not if I can help it, no. Mom always said don't *** with the fae, pardon my French." She caught herself a little too late and sheepishly stuffed her mouth with a folded piece of pancake drenched in syrup.

"That does sound like your mother. But don't worry about money in the market. I've seen to it that any of your needs and wants are taken care of while you are here. While I hope you enjoy the town, please be to the Scales by sunset. The Lady doesn't wait, you know." For as casual as the rest of the conversation had been, there was a certain gravity in the statement that said there was far less wiggle room for being late this time around.

"Potty mouth," he teased her, hiding his grin with a bite of his own pancake. Despite what little he'd heard about Quinten before the trip, it didn't seem terribly surprising that the older man would be want to dote on his daughter's daughter, so the offer was taken in strike with a bobbing nod before the more serious turn of conversation. He glanced between the two, but didn't add anything to the subject. This deal was Addie's alone.

"It's not a potty mouth if I'm quoting someone." She grinned and stuck her tongue out at the man across the table from her before catching herself and sitting upright a little more in her seat. Turning a solemn nod to her grandfather, she glanced down at her plate and took a deep breath, exhaling slowly. "I won't be late. Not for this. I just... don't know what I'm going to choose."

"That's the whole reason you spend tonight with the Council; to see what speaks to you and makes you whole." He said, seemingly unconcerned by her anxious shifting in her seat.

"But what if I pick wrong?" She asked quietly.

"Impossible to do. The Fates won't lead you astray and even if you think they have after the fact, there's usually a reason for it that will ultimately strengthen your commitment to your chosen craft. You're also strong enough that if you were to reconsider after the fact, you could just as easily aspect yourself to a secondary path. I did." He set his fork down and looked her way.

"You did?" She asked. Ro would have to excuse her, she was having a bit of a moment.

"I did. I know your mother and I haven't always seen eye to eye on things, but I'm here for you, Addie. If you'll let me, I will gladly show you the Way without needless fear of being led astray. I swear it on my Name." He offered her his right hand, turned palm up in invitation. She eyed it for a moment before cautiously setting her own atop it with a nod. Quinten nodded as well and gave her hand a brief but weighty squeeze before releasing it. "I will be there tonight too. You needn't worry. However, with that said, I've a few preparations to attend to before then, you two, so do enjoy the rest of breakfast and whatever the day has in store for you both. And Romeo, you'll look after my girl, yes?"

There was nothing for him to excuse. While merely a spectator, along for the ride and there as moral support, he was well aware that his fiance as the central focus for some of the events surrounding there trip and it was easy enough to accept the fact that he was little more than scenery or background noise. So as she and Quinten conversed, he ate his breakfast and merely paid attention, educating himself as best he could on the situation, before her grandfather finally drew his back into the fold with a question. "I'll always look after our girl. Never worry about that."

Our girl.

"Of course. Enjoy breakfast. Let Themistoli know if you need anything else." Quinten noted Romeo's phrasing with a wan smile before scooting his chair back and setting his napkin next to his empty plate. With that, he rose and took his leave through a half obscured rear entrance to the courtyard, separate from where they had come in. As he left, Addie settled back into her seat with a piece of bacon in hand, slouching as she looked back to Ro.

"It's getting real. But hey, we survived breakfast!"

"We did." He grinned. "So we should finish here and go get showered up before we head into the city. We've got exploring to do."
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