“Still think he’s too old for you” Farid grumbled.
“Hush up” Asha snapped back as she hurriedly finished cleaning the last of the tables after the afternoon rush.
“What do you see in him?” Farid asked genuinely not understanding the attraction, as he stared at the large man sitting waiting to take his sister out “i don’t get it” he said shaking his head.
“I don’t expect you” Asha chuckled “and if you did I’d be highly worried about where your tastes lay”
“That’s not what girls want, is it?” Farid asked a little concerned, he himself had always been on the slighter side of average build and the man sitting at the table was huge by normal standards.
Asha threw down her cleaning cloth, and tucked her bucket behind the counter chuckling “Your quite right, girls don’t want big strong men to protect them” she replied sarcastically.
“Your quite capable of protecting yourself” Farid remarked.
“True enough “she grinned, turning her focus back to Wolf “still look at him… he’s… well he’s just divine… how can I not like it?”
“I just don’t get it that’s all” Farid replied “What it is exactly, that you like about him?”
Asha sighed “Even from here you can see he hasn’t got an ounce of fat, muscle upon muscle and a tan… do you know what that means?” Farid shrugged, “It means he’s a worker… he spends a lot of time outdoors you don’t look like that sitting on your backside having a woman tend to you, besides it’s a good look… and I happen to think it’s attractive”
“So” Farid grumbled “just because he’s a hard worker doesn’t mean he can look after you”
“Did you see him last night?” Asha asked “all dressed up, fancy … he was at the castle for the coronation and he wasn’t any servant”
“I don’t know what you mean?”
“He’s got money, not the kind nobleman have… there’s no silver spoon in his mouth… he’s earned it, you just have to talk to him to know he isn’t a nobleman. Then of course there the coronation banquet, even money doesn’t buy you an invitation to that sort of affair. He’s connected ,maybe he’s done a great service to the King? Either way it doesn’t take a genius, to work out that he’s a good catch, money and a hard worker that’s not the sort of man a woman with any sense passes up on”
“Doesn’t mean you’d be happy” Farid grumbled, in truth he was terrified of the thought of his sister leaving the family home, they’d always been a team. “Hard worker and money doesn’t make a good man, besides i told ya he’s in love with some girl called Raeanne saw it in his head bright as daylight”
“Perhaps” Asha replied “but at least that means he’s capable of love, too many men aren’t… besides maybe he loves her because that’s the only option he’s had until now. Besides there must be a reason they aren’t together… perhaps it’s just time for him to move on, maybe I can show him that”
“Still think it’s a stupid idea” Farid grumbled. “What if he finds out about you, what if he finds out what you can do”
“I don’t know” Asha replied truthfully, “I wasn’t exactly planning on telling him on our first date, besides the other gifted manage to keep it secret.. Am I supposed to spend my life alone just in case? ”
“I suppose not”
“Good at least we agree on something” Asha replied, putting her hand gently on her brothers shoulder “Please be happy for me, this is our first date I’m hardly walking down the aisle just yet.. but he’s the first man i’ve met, who isn’t already married or a waste of space. Do you remember Faron Carpenter? Do you remember the meeting father set up for me, that was a disaster he was a spoilt brat… I don’t want a man like that”
“Alright” Farid sighed.
“So is he nervous?” Asha grinned “Excited does he thing I’m pretty?”
“I thought you didn’t want me reading his mind?!” Farid grumbled.
“I don’t” Asha grinned” but I know you will have done it anyway? So?”
“Yes he’s nervous.. he’s worried about what he’s fathers going to do, whatever that means” Farid replied “And yes he thinks you’re pretty”
“Good” Asha grinned straightening her dress “Wish me luck” heading nervously towards the table where Wolf sat he heart furiously pounding, as for a moment she wondered herself if she’d bitten off more than she could chew. If all her observations where true, what an earth would a man like that, want with a tavern maid with a secret.
“Hey up” Wolf smiled as she drew closer “I dunno where ye wanna go… am, am not really used to takin lass’s out”
“Oh I don’t mind” Asha smiled “we could just go for a walk, talk some”
Wolf nodded “Alrite, not sure I have anthin interestin ter say”
A couple of hours passed quietly the pair did infact find plenty to talk about and eventually had settled down in the grass of a local field. “ser what do ya imagine fer ya future?” Wolf asked.
“What do you mean?” Asha asked “Are you talking about marriage? Children?”
“Aye, that … an what about work der ya like workin in the tavern? Think you’ll keep working there?”
Asha shrugged “I don’t know, women don’t tend to get a lot of choice I guess it will depend on who I marry”
“What about kids? An stuff?”
“I want children” she grinned “and marriage of course”
“What about the man? I’ve been told women usually have an idea of what type they want?” Wolf asked referring to the fact that Raeanne had told him on many, many, occasions that HE was not the type of man she envisioned marrying.
“That’s a personal question” Asha grinned “I didn’t realise we were going to be talking about future plans so early”
“Sorry” Wolf replied feeling rather foolish.
“Don’t be sorry.. ”She replied “I suppose it’s not so strange, I guess that’s what dates like this are all about finding if two people are suited”
“I guess am just cautious of chasin a lass, if I’m not what she’s lookin fer. I did that too much already”
“chasin?!” Asha grinned “is that what you’re planning? I like the sound of that?”
Wolf suddenly flushed beetroot red “Well, I was hopin ter see yer again if that’s alright?”
“I’d like that” Asha smiled, touching his hand gently, a tingle racing up her spine “So tell me about this girl you chased too much? Is that your baby’s mother?”
“Aye” Wolf replied suddenly feeling uncomfortable “it’s confusin, I just ain’t what she wanted”
“You have a baby? Surely you where what she wanted at some point?”
Wolf shrugged “I dunno, maybe..”
“Forgive my directness but how did you end up with a baby? I mean you where together at some point? But you didn’t marry”
“Oh we married” Wolf replied “ .. well sort of.. thats kinda confusin too”.
Asha chuckled intrigued “How can you be sort of married?”
Wolf sighed “Long story… me and my family’s not from round her”
“I would never have guessed” Asha chuckled.
“Well our traditions are different, it’s hard to explain but we ended up married by my traditions without her realisin, naturally I… well I treated her as me wife and she ended up with child, an well she wasn’t really seein us as married”
Asha chuckled “Im not at risk of endin up married am I? Sitting here with you am I?”
“No” Wolf replied with a grin “yer safe”
“I’m sorry I’m intrigued now” Asha apologised “what are your traditions? I’m having a hard time picturing ending up married by accident?”
Wolf chuckled “Well we sort of have a banquet, where the man makes his feelin’s about the woman clear to their friends and family.. Which I did”
“So you announced to everyone that you liked her?”
“Yea, and that I wanted to make her ma wife”
“Ok I’m with you so far” Asha nodded.
“Then … well the next bit is her acceptance”
“She announced that she liked you? And accepted your proposal?” Asha guessed.
“Erm not really” Wolf blushed “The acceptin bit is abit more private… it’s sort of how she ended up wit child”
“Oh!” Asha blushed “So as long as i don’t.. Well we don’t …. I’m safe”
“Aye” Wolf replied “Don’t be worrying i’ve had enough grief the first time, i ain’t planning on marrying anyone without them realisin it again”
Asha chuckled “sounds complicated, but surely if she accepted you in ‘that’ way she much have liked you”
Wolf shrugged “I dunno, that is one of the mysteries of life… if yer ever work it out let me know”
“How long ago did all this happen?”
“Do you still see her?”
“Aye she.. well she still sort of lives with me and ma dar”
“Oh.. doesn’t that make life difficult?”
“Aye” Wolf chuckled “but wit Raeann everythin’s difficult”
“Is it over?”Asha asked “I’m sorry to ask.. but I don’t want to get my heart broken anymore than you want to chase a girl who’s looking for something else”
“Aye it’s over” Wolf replied, “ I hung on fer a while waitin see if she’d change er mind, but she’s made it clear and am done waitin”.
“I’m sorry” Asha replied.
“What about you, any husbands I should know about?” Wolf grinned.
“No” Asha smiled, “Never met a boy a liked enough for that” There was an uncomfortable pause, Asha’s heart beating fast and hard. She didn’t need to read minds like Farid to know he was debating kissing her. Oh how she wished he would, she’d never been kissed before but right now, there was nothing she wanted more.
Suddenly the silence was broken as Lar’s stormed into the meeting “Wolf Lad” he roared “Time for you ter come home”.
“Pa!” Wolf exclaimed breaking his eye contact with Asha to face his father “I ain’t comin home… can’t yer see im busy?!”
Suddenly it felt like the joy had been sucked out of the whole world as Asha stared up at Wolfs father, she felt herself shaking almost uncontrollably as shear panic and fear took her, in all her days in all the demon attacks and witch hunts Asha had never felt such fear. Looking around she could see the man wasn’t alone on the outskirts of the field stood a wild looking woman with blond hair and a older looking dark haired man.
“Yer comin home” Lar’s roared walking forward he grabbed wolf roughly by the tunic, hauling him to his feet.
“No!!” Wolf protested, knocking his father’s hand aside with more strength than was human.
“Don’t be messin wit me lad” Lar’s growled grabbing his son again.
“NO!” Wolf replied stubbornly “I know you want what’s best for me, but THIS is what’s best for me”
“Lad I ain’t talkin about this here” Lars growled indicating towards Asha.
“Ye can’t make me come” Wolf replied “I make me own choices”
“No ye don’t” Lar’s growled, unconcerned by Asha’s presence, confident the veil that protected mortal eye’s from seeing the truth of things, the veil that had protected both Kaitlyn and Raeanne on several occasion, would protect her from seeing what she shouldn’t.
He shifted into the battle form that held him between that of man and beast. Growling deeply to make his point to his son, HE was still pack Alpha and for now this decision was HIS.
“No” Wolf growled, shifting form’s himself to match his father he pushed him hard shoving the older wolf hard forcing his father to stumble backwards. There was a standoff for a moment or two as the two wolves eyed each other up. Suddenly Wolf dived forward knocking Lar’s to the ground they was a struggle as claw’s and teeth wildly tore into one another’s flesh.
Asha didn’t hang about to see who won, picking herself up she ran, ran as fast as she could until she reached the safety of the Tavern reaching the bedroom she ran quickly inside slamming the door behind her, before finally slumping to catching her breath.
“What happened” Farid asked entering the room behind her having followed her sprint up the stairs. “I don’t know” Asha gasped “but Wolfs not human that’s for sure”