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Gwynneth's Vista 2

 

 

Gwynn envied her sister's natural inclination toward leadership. Even when they were girls Grendel seemed to have a ready supply of solutions to any problem that presented itself. That and her status as first born always placed her in the lead role. It was that very ability to always have an answer to a complex problem that brought her here now to meet Grendel. The situation was made even more delicate due to Grendel's lost love.

Gwynn had wrestled with the presentation of the matter for days before concluding on this meeting. In the end the only thing to do was to come right out with it, letting her sister set the tone. Grendel in the interim was answering the question of the horse that Gwynn had provided as a gift upon her arrival. Grendel was providing a fair analysis of the steed from a purely pragmatic standpoint, confessing its strengths and yielding its shortcomings. Gwynn knew from her time spent rearing the steed that the account of its strengths and weaknesses was spot on.

Feeling impatient now Gwynn interrupted almost blurting out her words. "I am in love with a man!" With that Grendel stop her appraisal. Grendel made a sound that could only be a gasp, cut short by coughing caused by spittle entering her lungs. When she regained composure Grendel repeated the last words questioningly. "In love?" The wind picked up tossing loose strands of hair across Grendel's face. Using two fingers she brushed the hair from her face before continuing. "Well, well little sister, it seems war suits you. If I may ask, is he of patrician stock, or will this be a torrid affair with some pikeman." Though Gwynn knew the question was serious, her tone suggested a playful nature. Trying to suppress a flush of color to her face she responded. "A little of both. He arrived here with the troops, but is of noble birth." Gwynneth didn't really care about a person's origins or birthright. Experience had taught her that neither was a guarntee of conviviality. Even though such things were outside of her measure, her family would see anything other than a lord or princeling as beneath her station.

Grendel responded quickly now. "Why are you telling me this now? Are you gravid?" "No, no nothing like that! Its just that I have been content to keep my

 

feelings to myself on this matter as to avoid complica-" Grendel flared and interrupted. "He is not aware of your feelings?!" Gwynn could feel the conversation getting away from her and her sister's serious tone was making it harder to make her point.

Firming her resolve she spoke. Its complicated. "You know how thing are here. It kind of happened by accident, but now I can't stop thinking about him." So what is so urgent that you bring me out here to discuss it?" Grendel said with indignation sharpening her tone. "He is gone on a dangerous mission into The Grimme." Gwenn continued. "I had intended to make my feelings clear to him, but he departed in such haste, I.." Grendel snorted disapprovingly. "So you are smitten with a man and you fear he has departed not knowing how you feel."

Grendel stirred in her saddle, barely able to contain her annoyance. "How would telling him change anything. If he is killed and never returns he was not a viable prospect. If he returns and has other intentions the same is true." Grendel's brow crinkled as she leaned forward in the saddle. You need to keep focused on your duties and abandon your girlish fantasies. If, and when, he returns you may have the opportunity to indulge your fancy. Remember, we are at war and what hangs in the balance is greater than our individual needs or desires. I will hear no more of this and I expect to see no slack in your duties or keen to your focus. Are we clear!" Gwynneth exhaled a breath of air that seemed to flush the last of her desire for conversation. Dropping her head with a nod to her sister, Grendel departed.

"What was I thinking?" Gwynn scolded herself. Alone on the grassy plain she felt a tear well. Be safe my love." The words escaped her lips like a prayer.