“So where is she?” Tarik smiled towards Falcon as he stood in the Kitchen of the Downsbrooke Farm.
“Upstairs somewhere Fussin” Falcon replied, “I’ve never seen her this way….she’s… well almost like a girl” he chuckled.
“Not possible, not our Asha” Tarik laughed, it was a strained sort of humour. Whilst there was no bad blood between them the relationship between Falcon and Tarik had never truly been comfortable. It was hard and as the twins had aged it had become increasingly difficult between the pair. While Falcon had found it easy to play father when the children where small, he’d found it difficult once they grew old enough to ask questions and more so when Asha in particular had shown interest in developing her mage side. While he had never said it, Tarik knew that as they grew Falcon in many ways had begun to resent him or at least resented the way he understood their children.
“I like Faulke…. “ Falcon replied, his voice trailing off. The statement lingering in the manner of a statement that held the meaning of words at last moment retracted.
“…. But you’re not sure he’s right for her?” Tarik dared to finish the tavern keeps sentence. Faulke did seem to struggle with Asha’s magical nature. Which struck Tarik as strange, Faulke had grown up in the company of a Vampire, is brother and Sister werewolves he would have thought it would have seemed fairly normal.“
“It’s hard being married to mage” Falcon agreed, echoing Tarik’s own fears. “Even when you accept their nature 100% completely…its difficult. Your wife.. Jasmine.. she still doesn’t know does she? I mean about you?”
“No she doesn’t” Tarik agreed, guilt washing over him. It had not been an easy secret to keep and far too many times he had resorted to magic to keep it from her.
“How does that work?” Falcon now dared “She is your wife, I could not imagine keeping such a secret from Daisy”
“Daisy knows?!” he demanded, immediately on edge and failing miserably to hide it.
“Yes of course… but she understands. She won’t tell”
“I hope not” he replied, calming himself. He understood Farids gift was hard to hide, especially when the boy had the uncanny knack for saying just the wrong thing at the wrong time.
“Jasmine is Daisy’s sister… Daisy understood perhaps Jasmine would too?” the Tavern keep offered helpfully.
“It’s too late for that now” he sighed resigned, “Too many years, I could not hope to explain a secret like that”
Falcon nodded seeming to understand and yet he could not begin to understand the truth over the guilt. Tariks eye’s drifted to where his wife stood talking to good Lady Downsbrooke. She seemed together enough right now, but it was only a matter of time before the cracks began to show. Of all people, he had damaged her most of all. Falcon was right he should have told her the truth years ago, but instead he had hidden it and everytime she asked the wrong question or saw the wrong thing he’d wiped the memory from her mind and now her mind had begun to break. At first it had been little things, muddling up the names of her children or forgetting what she had gone into a room for but now the confusion was spreading, some days she did better than others but even Quillen was starting to notice something was amiss in his mother’s mind and he could no-longer ‘joke’ it off as her simple absent mindedness.
“We aren’t burying her” Falcon chuckled bringing Tarik from his thoughts.
Laughing feebly Tarik understood the Tavern keep had thought him thinking about their mutual daughter. “I know that” he replied, not wishing to correct the man. “I just can’t believe she’s marrying age already”
Falcon nodded. “It won’t be long before you have another to deal with” he chuckled nodding towards Danica who as usual was following Duncan around like a love struck Doe.
“Bless I think she irritates him terribly” he managed to smile. “She doesn’t realize he only sees her as a child”
“And yet I bet her Da would rather see he as a child for the rest of her days, I’d wager”
“Oh heavens yes… oh why can’t it be legal to lock daughters in boxes until they wrinkle and boys no-longer chase them”
Falcon chuckled “Now there I was thinking you a king, can’t you just decree it law?”
“Alas … I dare say my wife would see me whipped if I tried”
“Whipped you say? Perhaps I married the wrong sister” Falcon grinned as Danica broke off from the group of teenagers with a huge squeal, stomping towards her father with purpose. “You appear to have a visitor, I’ll leave you to deal with her”
Rolling his eyes Tarik nodded, allowing Falcon to take his leave. “Whatever is the matter?” he declared, “And what is with the squealing? You sound like a stuck pig it’s not at all Lady like”
“It’s not fair!” Danical protested, “Quillen and Duncan are taking the Twins to the barn but they won’t let me go?”
“And what reason to they give?”
“But it’s not fair, I am older than Blithe and Garrick, I can climb just as well”
“What reason did they give?” he asked again.
“Oh but papa it isn’t fair!”
“They said no girls allow… that I would muss up my dress”
“Well barns are dirty and smelly places” Tarik agreed, “Perhaps they are merely being gentlemen and not wanting you to spoil your pretty clothes?”
“But I want to go!” she wailed mournfully.
“Where does she want to go?” A quiet voice suddenly asked, spinning around Tarik met gaze with Alice sitting at the table behind him. He had no idea how long she’d been there but there she was and truth be told chances where good she’d been there the whole time.
“The boys are going to the barn”
“We are going to see the cows” Danica corrected, “But the boys won’t let me go because they say I’ll muss up my dress”
“I’ve got a dress she can wear” Alice offered, “I still have some clothes in my wardrobe upstairs from a few years ago. Im sure they would fit”
“Oh Pa can I go then, If I change?”
Tarik smiled, truthfully he knew that the boys reasoning had little to do with dresses “Yes of course” he nodded, deciding it was time that Duncan learned that Danica wasn’t disappearing, that he’s made an agreement and the king meant to see him uphold it.