"Pah." The sound of a slamming book startled the surrounding patrons at Fireside and narrowed green eyes sought them out individually. Eventually they all shrank back from the blistering search and returned to their merry making and the warmth of the fire. Slender fingers coveted every rune across the binding of the tome; almost lovingly and reverent. Yet her actions seemed to dictate a disdain for the pages within. With an uptick of full lips; almost deviant in their secretive summation, the Priest slid slippered feet back beneath the table and muttered into a mug of Silvermoon's finest wine. The soft rustle of shimmering finery against the firelight was drown out suddenly in shadow. As if the words from the pages she read leapt lift and snuffed out the warmth in the hearth.
"Ankhera.." But there was warmth to that voice that came with a familiar tingle along the spine. Without looking up, she could not yet tell if it was the pleasant sort. Not that she was used to pleasant interactions these days.
Ankhami could not yet tell what sort of mischief her twin sister was up to. She had that stern countenance that she wore most times but almost seemed surprised to see her. Leather creaking against the wooden chair, Ankhami seated herself quietly but never let go of Ankhera's stare.
"It has been too long since we were last together." Nervous energy escaped Ankhami as she swept a gloved hand across the paper littered tabletop. "You've been busy?"
Ankhera's gaze remained steady but untelling and her silence was lifted with a soft sigh. "Yes, it has been a long time." Ankhami seemed hopeful for a moment and she softened her words and voice. "I've missed you." Truly, the one elf in all the realms she did miss on a daily basis was her twin. How many times had they been together in the last three years? Less than she might have hoped for. "I despise this cold, dreary .. forever frozen and snowing place." Ankhera turned her attention to the window beside the hearth as slender arms folded across her chest.
"It's not so bad if you have fur." Ankhami nodded her chin towards the window where her companion, Shogun, appeared suddenly and snorted a blast of warm breath against the windowpane. Seeking a small glimpse of his mistress and finding her, he turned and disappeared beneath the blanketing snow. "Perhaps you need a warmer coat?" There was that impish sparkle in her smile, and Ankhera turned a sharp look to her sister. "Not all of us are meant to wear heavy armor. I'm ...delicate." Ankhami smothered rich laughter but the twitch of her lips left no doubt of her coming grin. "We are exactly the same, silly. You could wear leather you simply chose the robes."
"Did I?" Amusement gone in a flash, Ankhami considered Ankhera for long moments in silence. "No, I suppose not." They both knew it was their Father's grief over their Mother's sudden and untimely death that pushed them both into early adulthood. Responsibilities and constant schooling were the remainder of their youth. Wood creaked as Ankhami unconsciously mirrored her Twin's crossed arm lean against the back of the chair. She hated that defeated feeling her Sister surely felt. It was shared between them in silence.
"Enough of that. Let us have something warm to drink and share our most recent adventures, hm?" Ankhami lifted a hand to wave down the nearest server and shoved a booted foot into the adjacent chair, stretching comfortably.
Ankhera studied her Sister with a small nod and silence for a few moments. She had always been the strong, kind and warm hearted of the two. She forgave easily and smiled more often which often elicited unwanted feelings of jealousy. As Ankhami gave the server their order for drinks, she studied her movements and interaction with the server. Ankhami had always found interaction with different races quite easy and it showed now with her sisters quiet laughter as they shared an amused glance toward some rowdy young elves near the back of the Tavern. Why can I not be so easy in my own skin?
Gelthan and Ankhami had a loving, easy relationship and shared interests aplenty. Perhaps that was the source of her glow and smile? Hmph. Shifting uncomfortably in her chair, Ankhera waited impatiently for the interaction to cease and gave a long stare to the server who suddenly found need to leave.
"Why do you do that?" Ankhami turned to Ankhera and stared at her steadily. The same silent stare; less gentle, was returned to Ankhami as they assessed each other's mood. Ankhera seemed perturbed but that was ..well, always.
"Do what?" Ankhera fussed with a fold in her gown and averted her eyes. She was never more uncomfortable than when under the scrutiny of her own searching stare. The one she shared with her sister.
"Never mind.." Ankhami sighed and leaned back again, watching her sister nervously twitch and shift. "What have you been up to recently?" Though she doubted it would be easy for her Sister to share what troubled her heart, she hoped for it nonetheless. Her gaze wandered briefly to the inn where so many gathered to ward off the cold, searching for familiar faces.
"There is always some sort of preparation and repair on the fleet these days. I never intended to travel the seas you know.. " It was small consolation that she actually enjoyed it once the sails were set and voyage under-way. As the drinks arrived, Ankhera blessed both cups and lifted hers to Ankhami in as much cheer as the young Hunter had ever seen from her Sister. Ankhera was hiding something. Delicate brow arched, Ankhami murmured across the golden rim. "So, who is he?"
"Wh.." The Priest coughed and spluttered wine across the table and hand that attempted to catch the contents before she soaked them both. Ankhami let out a bark of laughter that joined the merrymaking at Fireside easily. Her sisters amusement was clear enough. How would she have known? "It's none of your business..." Ankhami watched as her Twin's gaze went distant and gentled at the thoughts running through her head. Was that.. a smile? A SMILE? Unheard of!? The Hunter leveled her cup to drown out all of the questions that came bubbling to the surface of her lips. Don't scare her off now because you'll never find out! "Will I get to meet him?" The question was out of her mouth before she could stop it and startled herself as much as it did Ankhera. "I mean.. anyone that is of that import to you should meet your family."
Ankhera leveled a look at her sister that could have melted Mithril - Meet the Family? "Have you lost your mind?" As soon as the withering glare was back the Hunter slid deeper into the creaking wooden chair with all resign. "Fine. Will I get to meet him?" Asked again, her sister gave a perfunctory nod and Ankhami was satisfied. The grin grew like a wild Dragon and another round was called for, in celebration, by the young hunter. "We need another drink. Perhaps that will loosen your tongue."
The warmth that infused her Sister's cheeks was genuine and sweet. It made Ankhera's heart skip a beat, much as it did when He was about. Staring into the light of the fire across the rim of her cup, the Priest considered all things. Would he even be interested in meeting Ankhami? The smile was replaced with a grimace before the cup was returned to the table and Ankhera responded with a sharp command. "Out with it!"
Another glare from the Priest, but it seemed resignation and anger mixed. YES! Perhaps she would get some answers, finally! Ankhami stared at her with a hardness she did not feel in her heart. Hope. It was definitely hope that her Sister had found someone whom she could love. "You already know him."
Now the Hunter's turn to nearly choke to death. Already knew him? Who was it?! Mopping wine from her lips with a napkin, Ankhami's chair squealed in protest as she scooted close enough to her sister to whisper. "You must tell me or I will bust here and now!"
The wicked grin that spread across Ankhera's lips said that she might actually enjoy seeing that and was likely envisioning it. "Evil wench." Followed by laughter from them both, they fell into comfortable accord in their chairs. There was enough time to speak once the returned server was gone again
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