“Duncan, can I help you set the table?” Danica asked, eagerly.
Nodding the young man practically thrust the dishes into her hand, who’s stupid idea had this been anyway inviting the Darkfires for Christmas dinner. He didn’t really need to ask, of course it had been his mothers. She was a Hamdun after all.
He’d done as she’d asked, he’d spoken to Tarik and made arrangements to marry Danica and Tarik had agreed in principle though no formal agreement had been made. He suspected this was at least in part due to the fact the news of his and Alices involvement had reached the king.
None of that however seemed to phase his mother, the meddling woman was determined to get a formal agreement by the end of the holidays.
Danica looked like a weasel, Duncan decided a weasel with wavy hair. Where on earth did the young girl get them from anyway both Tarik and Jasmines hair was straight. She had followed him around like a bad smell all day. He took that as evidence at least that she knew somewhat of the possibility of the arrangement and her interest perhaps would not have bothered him so much if Quillen didn’t find the whole thing so amusing.
It was the worst Christmas ever.
Even Meagan’s presence hadn’t lifted his sprit’s. He didn’t know what her problem was but it was clear her and Christopher where in the middle of some huge fight, she’d point blank refused to open any of her husband’s gifts and the only time he’d heard her speak to him it was to mutter that fact that she hated him.
However perhaps the crowning frustration of the day was the fact that Alice wasn’t here and that even if she were he knew she’d have barely spoken to him. These days all he got from her was glowers and snide remarks. She maintained that she and Farid where still just friends but every time he caught them ‘talking’ he knew there was more going on than that. Perhaps the bumbling idiot had yet got up the courage to ask her yet… but he was building up to it and Duncan no longer had confidence she would reject him.
“Duncan… you coming?” Quillen asked suddenly running into the room and towards the front door.
“Where you going?”
“To the pond, It’s frozen over Ailith is going skating she said we could come”
“Sure” Duncan nodded eagerly, dumping the cutlery for dinner unceremoniously on the table.
“Can I come” Danica piped up.
“No!” Quillen interrupted sharply, “I’m not spending the whole time looking after you, while you whine about it being cold”
“Aww..” she protested “I won’t whine I promise! Besides Duncan wants me there, don’t you Duncan?”
“No!” he scoffed, frankly relieved that Quillen didn’t want his weasel faced sister hanging around. This was the first chance he’d had all day to get away from her. It wasn’t so much that she was annoying it was more that she was simply ‘very annoying’
Not waiting her reply, he grabbed his coat hearing only Danica whine about the unfairness of it all as he ran out the door after Quillen who hadn’t even waited to listen to his sisters protest.
Reaching the pond Duncan and Quillen came to a screeching halt to find Ailith wasn’t alone, behind her stood a large boy, with silver white hair. “Who are you?” Duncan demanded not recognising the boy his heckles instantly rising.
“Tristan” the boy smiled, holding out his hand in welcome. Despite the silver hair the boy was no-more than a year or two older than Duncan, he was however of a much stockier build and his hair formed a stark contrast against his strongly tanned complexion.
“He’s a Silent Strider” Ailith explained, Duncan didn’t know precisely what that was he’d heard mention of the name once or twice in Garou story’s and that was enough to tell him all he needed to know.
“Oh right” he mumbled, “So what are you doing here?”
“Just passing through” the boy replied, “My tribe are traveller’s we don’t stay in one place long”
“That’s good” Duncan decided, before suddenly realising how rude he was being. “I didn’t mean that how it sounded” he apologised quickly.
“Yes you did” the boy grinned, “It’s alright”