Not far behind Guen, ...April 2 2012 at 4:50 PM
|Lady Estressa |
Response to Tired eyes surveyed
Essa too filled her trencher and then made her way toward the table where sat the three Dragons. Seating herself between Lady Sarah and Lady Bronwyn, she commenced her meal. The Dragons seemed to be engaged in some kind of mental conversation, and that she was not about to interrupt. Instead, her eyes sought out the twins and their parents.
She observed, as only Essa could do. Each movement, every twitch of muscle, carried weighty news to her. Indeed, she probably could have given a fairly accurate account of what was being said or considered at that table, nearly as much as if she had been sitting there. All that, without hearing a word of it, or intruding on the mind of any of the quartet.
What she saw was reassuring. Ian was calm, but seemed to be in control of the situation at his table. Ainsley was reserved, save that she and her daughter seemed to be sharing an unusually close moment of companionship. Seanie seemed to be quite relieved. So far, no one had detailed what his consequences were to be for his escapade. Essa knew of the dangers of it, for her sharp hearing had taken in the whispers in the stairwell. She was, as well, quite relieved that Sir Ian seemed to have no interest in reprisals upon the she-wolf who had crossed the path of the twins. That intrigued her.
Looking inward and grasping the threads that only she could see, she caused her mind to drift away for a bit, leaving behind only enough of herself to continue to eat, quietly and methodically. Outward she cast, racing in spirit toward that rill of water on the back side of the Eildons. Sensing spoor, she followed it and soon found her sense of perception several miles away. The she-wolf had denned in a small cavern in the side of another hill, and was busy nursing her cubs. Looking over the young, she saw that they all were reasonably healthy.
One was small, the runt of the litter, but given enough nourishment she would survive. A sense of pixie whimsey caused Essa to issue a tiny charm. The fattest of the cubs suddenly backed away from the largest teat, astonishment evident. Hesitantly, he tried to latch again, and found that he could not. Given a clear opportunity, the runt made a dive for the exposed breast and latched it. As it nursed thirstily, the fat one wriggled over to the hind teat and reluctantly continued there to try to assuage its own hunger.
Almost unheard chimes of laughter sounded in the cramped den. Essa left the little charm active, assuring that the smallest cub of each litter that this she-wolf bore always would have access to the richest nursing. Essa watched for a while, until the cubs dropped away one by one and rolled up in a squirming pile to sleep. Her heart felt a pang. When would she bear a child? Who would be the father?
At the age of fifteen, these were important questions to her. Two years gone she had made the swift change from girl to woman, and even now and at a distance her breasts felt sympathetically swollen and in need for being suckled. At last she tore herself away from her observations.
Bringing her self back across the moor, she dropped neatly into her own mind and body. Then she sighed softly and smiled slightly, content with the idea that the she-wolf would be all right and her cubs would have a fighting chance at survival.
Later, she and Guen might speak of this incident. Then they could think on how interesting were the imperatives of the fight for survival of the fittest.