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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:21 pm 
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Kate stopped playing an end song abruptly. She watched her father stand and attention was given as the Lordship spoke in a calm deep voice. The mage gazed upon her charges as each expression turned to marryment to distress. When the ball was mentioned.

Kate had seen all the orcs she wanted and agreed heartily with Matt they were big and ugly brutes, violent and scary. She placed her lute in the case and held Jasper's hand. She knew from his dreams he was forced to fight younger orcs in death matches. It was one such battle that led him to the warehouse in Wildwood just months before.

A trip to the palace would place Jasper in contact with courtesans and soldiers. They gambled and lusted for money of Lord Draco's pit fighter. The pleasures of Lady Malora's exotic pets, Jasper especially being a Savannah cat was a favorite. Kate reached over and held her lover's hand. She saw him lower his head and he looked down at the floor when her father stood. It hurt her to see him fall into old habits when Lord Lyons spoke. He was trying to remain seated the expression did not hide his feelings of shame and regret. His eyes revealed the emotions Kate sensed from his hand. The mage mind spoke to Jasper, "Your not what you were a fighter for sport and a pet. I will make sure you are not recognized."

Kate saw Abby was relieved she could dress as she pleased.

The mage held her father's gaze, "Papa, please allow them to stay at the inn and not the palace. Their lives have been made mizerable by..."

Lyons extended his hand, "I know what you want Katie. Your charges are part of the Lyons household. They cannot be hidden from the court. Jasper, You have Kate's favor and her life is in your hands. Come speak with me tomorrow in my study. You need to be prepared to be presented to the court."

Kate gasped and covered her hand with her mouth, "Papa! Are you sure Jasper is ready? He can barely look at me and cannot look you in the eyes. Being introduced to the King's court so soon. Someone will recognize him. Abby clearly detests nobles. Matt, He is not ready. Maybe next year."

"It is late and this family is going to learn to accept their place as free citizens. My decision is final. Lads and Abby, you will see the King as free citizens and my children or wards. I have documents for you to sign. Abby, you are a free woman and transfer of domicile is needed. Matt and Jasper, you are freemen once you sign the documents. I could not think of a better Winterfest gift."

Kate squeezed Jasper's hand and leans toward him, "Big step and dreams come true."


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 9:01 pm 

Star Spangled Man With A Plan

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It wasn’t the first time and it certainly wouldn’t be the last time that Jasper would react in such a way to a voice of authority. Head down, body tense, he awaited orders and accepted those he was given. Feeling Kate’s hand in his, Jasper felt it was the only thing keeping him from bolting to attention or dropping to his knees. He lightly squeezed her hand back, briefly making eye contact with the mage. His eyes once more flashed to hers when she mind spoke, reminding him of things he should already know at this point.

It was almost a relief when Kate interjected, trying to avoid the whole situation, but Lyons was having none of it. Jasper knew he was to protect Kate, no matter what, and part of him was curious as to what more Lord Lyons wanted from him. However, he also knew that whatever it was, he would do it.

Abby’s gaze went between both Lord Lyons and Kate, her arms crossed as she listened to what was said. Matt looked lost as he tried to keep up with it all.

The way it was put, it did seem like a great gift, to be free and able to do as they pleased, but Jasper was unsure of it all. He had been born and raised to serve, it was drilled into him and as they had learned, it was difficult to go against this. His ears lay flat as Lord Lyons concluded. Feeling Kate leaning closer, his gaze fell on her, exposing clearly everything he was feeling to the mage, though there was no doubt that she already knew.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2019 11:25 am 
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Kate sat still as she was filled with protest and protective. These three were her family yet her father always had to be in control. When he finished speaking she squeezed Jaspers hand reassuringly and tensed.
"Papa, Your intentions are good. This is not the time. She looked at Abby with a scowl and her arms crossed. The look on her face reminded her of her first meeting. She knew Abby was free and she chose to remain because of Jasper's situation. Kate was in love with the beautiful Savannah cat. Jasper was not cold-hearted or bloodthirsty. Kate kept Jasper calm and made sure he would not be in a position to fight. He fought his demons not kneel before her father.
Kate mind spoke to Jasper, "Your doing well, stay seated. I do not want you signing anything than your own free will. Not because Father is giving you an order. I will not have you on display before this or any court ever."

The mage glanced at Mat fidgeting with his empty mug as his eye could not focus on her father.

Kate held Jasper's hand tighter, "Papa, your intentions are well and good. What you are asking is more than Mat and Jasper can grasp right now. You are rushing this. Mat has no idea what freedom means. Jasper wants to be free but is fighting to unlearn all that he was. Serving you, serving King Atrius is more of the same. Following orders and commands. Give them the documents to sign so on paper they are free. Allow them time to acclimate and meet others."

The mage watched her father move closer to the middle of the room. All eye were on her. She stood up from the bench, "I refuse to have them on display at court. They will go as family members. As for eating at the King's dining hall, the decision is theirs. I have no problem with Abby and Mat staying in the suite. Jasper taking his place as my protector in the hall among the noble guards.
Papa, it is late let them sleep on this and experience WinterFest without pressure as I promised."

Lyons lowered his pipe and arched a brow at Kate, "You promised?"

Kate put her arm around Jasper, "Yes. I promised them fun and no work until the Holiday is over. Mat, baking cookies and tree decorating are fun. You are making good memories. Don't ruin this holiday. Please, no now"

Lord Lyons tossed ashes from his pipe into the fire and looked at the dying embers, "You have grown into your Mother, Kate, alright you may keep your promise. Till the end of the holiday. They still go with us to the King's palace for your performance and they will stay with Ann. Jasper is your protector and will be vigilant."

Kate grinned and rubbed Jasper's back, "He will be armed to his teeth and remain hidden."

Lions took a few paces forward, "Do any of you have anything to say before going to bed?"


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2019 6:04 pm 

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Kate’s hand in his own kept Jasper grounded, giving him something to focus on other than the overwhelming urge to fall into old habits. Listening to her stand against her father in such a way caused a jolt of worry to race up his spine. What if Kate got in trouble for this? Jasper knew in an instant that he would accept any punishment inflicted her way for her actions despite knowing that wasn’t how the Lyons family operated. Kate’s voice in his mind had Jasper returning to the present moment, his eyes glancing in her direction before return to the floor.

Matt was unsure what to say, or even if he should say anything at all! Choosing instead to direct his attention to the mug in his hands, he nearly dropped it. Clutching it close to his chest, his eyes wide, Matt first looked to Jasper, then Kate, and finally a quick glance towards Lord Lyons before he too directed his gaze to the floor. He was sure he had missed something, some part of the context, but he didn’t dare ask. Lord Lyons was different, more commanding, and it made Matt nervous. Seeing the way Jasper reacted to the older man’s remarks, Matt could only assume he was feeling the same way, and that was just as frightening. Jasper was familiar, like an older brother, and Matt looked up to him.

The sound of movement had all eyes looking to the source before quickly looking away as Lord Lyons approached. Abby, defiant as ever held her ground, watching the man carefully. She didn’t owe him a thing, she didn’t need to follow his orders. He had said so himself, she was a free woman.

Listening to Kate trying to reason with her father, Jasper nearly jumped when her arm moved around him. Leaning into the touch, he remained silent when the floor was open to any further comments. Matt followed suit, looking up through his lashes to Kate, his respect for her only growing.

Abby considered saying something, had had no problems with jumping in with her own remarks and opinions on the whole ordeal. She settled however for simply shifting her weight to one foot, her arms still tightly crossed, and her eyes slightly narrowed at the man. She wasn’t going to hide her anger, or dislike of the whole ordeal.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2019 2:36 pm 
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Lyons shook his head as he glanced at everyone. He was not surprised by the expression on the faces looking back at him and eyes cast down on the floor and a mug. "I am more accustomed to addressing soldiers as Kate knows. Abby, meeting the King is a rare honor. You have an opportunity to marry and meet people that can make you a wealthy and powerful woman. Play your cards right you can take advantage of those who wronged your family."

He stepped toward Jasper and Kate. Kate uttered a warning "Papa." He stopped in mid-step, "Jasper, are you ready to become a free citizen and take up the mantle as a member of The House of Lyons?"

He walked up to Matt, "Look at me lad? Do you desire to be free and accept my offer to make you my ward? You will be my son until you are 18. You are free to stay or make your way into the world. Do understand my request?"

Kate held a deep breath this was Matt's decision and she held Jasper's hand tightly.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 12:04 am 

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When she was addressed, Abby raised a brow at the man, not uttering a word until he had finished. She knew what he was saying was all with good intentions, to start her off on a better life, but it wasn’t what she wanted.

“As rare of an honour it may be, what if I don’t want it? What if I want nothing to do with any of it?” She asked, knowing she may be stepping out of line. She caught Jasper’s eye as he looked across to her, a silent plea in his gaze which she ignored.

“Why do I need someone else to make me anything?” Abby’s eyes narrowed once more on Lord Lyons as he moved on to her brother.

Tensing as the man stepped towards him, Jasper forced himself to look up to Lord Lyons, if only momentarily. Was he ready to be free? Maybe, but there was still so much he had to learn, and unlearn. But Jasper felt Lord Lyons was looking for a certain answer here. He swallowed before attempting to answer, his voice a little shaky as he gave his answer.

“Yes, sir.” He kept his head bowed, not able to meet the man’s gaze as he moved to face Matt.

When he was asked to look at Lord Lyons, Matt’s head snapped up. As soon as the question was asked of him though, Matt found himself looking quickly to the others in the room, looking for some answer. He didn’t know!

“I...uhhh….Yes? Maybe? I...I don’t know.” He started, once more looking to the others before returning his attention to Lord Lyons and dropping his gaze, fiddling with the mug in his hands again. “I mean, I think I understand. You’ll let me stay here, and then I can choose to go someplace else or stay, right? What if I don’t know by then? What if I don’t know where to go?” Was he asking too many questions? Should he just shut up and accept what was being offered?

“Sorry, I...sorry.”

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 8:16 pm 
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Lyons knew Abby wanted to be independent and her stubbornness was to either welcomed or admired. He pivoted to face her, "I can see you have no love of Nobles. You are a head-strong woman, Abby, you have a choice to stay as part of House of Lyons or remain as our guest. As our guest, you may stay at the Inn in Seville. I will not force you to attend the ball. I will give you a week to think about this."

He turned facing the nervous teen clutching the mug to his chest, "I trust in time you will not fear me. Lad, in the years to come you will learn to make your own decisions. By the time you are 18 you will be ready for the world and in time know your place in it. Never allow your past define who you are. I will adopt you as my son. Over the next few months, we will spend the time needed to bond. You will be given all the rights and privileges as a nobleman's second son. Indeed you have much to learn and the time needed to achieve them. Together we will find what you do best and hone those skills."

He stepped toward Jasper and swallowed as he remembered his painful past. He stretched his left hand on the piano, "The King sees you as having greatness you have yet to believe. I see much of myself when I look at you. Young, scared, and confident in fighting skills and survival. Untrusting and always on guard. I walked in your shoes. I once had the comfort of a Noble Healer Mage. She will never leave your side. I know your past will always haunt you. Kate will keep you grounded. Trust your gut, Jasper. Come to me when you are ready to accept your right as a free man. I will see you are given citizenship in the kingdom of your choosing. You will be fighting that gaze as long as you feel unworthy to any man. The truth is are other men worthy of your respect?"

Lyons embraced Kate and turned to the door, "This is a fine family you adopted Kate. Each has their own strengths. I could not be prouder. I bid you all good night and a Happy Winterfest."

Lyons sauntered into the great hall followed by Ann who stopped at the doorway and winked. "Good Night to ya and Happy Winterfest. Ya all did well tonight. These are the best ginger cookies." She entered the hall licking her fingers.

Jon stood and stepped toward Matt, "Well, it was fun while it lasted and good night. See you all at breakfast. Hey Matt, welcome to the family little brother."
Jonn collected Jasper's mug and saucer, "Jasper, Father must like you a lot. Never heard him say anything like that." He gave his mug and saucer to Kate. Kate frowned at him. She handed him her mug and saucer. Jon collected Abby's mug and saucer. "Thanks, Abby I don't suppose there is a smidgeon of a chance you come to the ball so I could dance with you?"

Kate rubbed her temple and gazed at Jasper, "Jon is right. Papa never talked like that to anyone. You do have an inner strength much greater than your outer. She pushed back a strand of his hair with the back of her hand slowly, "You can look at other men's eyes. You are better than most." Kate placed her palm in the center of his chest, "Here is where that strength comes from. You are no killer only forced to. You have a gentle nature and love those closest to you. One day you can say how you feel."

Kate held his hand and stood up. "Let's give them some privacy."
The mage turned her head to look at Mat, he stared straight at her. She held her arm out toward him and motioned for him to come toward her. "Come on were going upstairs. I am sure you have a lot of questions."

Kate stood up and holding Jasper's an and Matt's hand pinkie waved at Jon and Abby in the doorway. She swung her arms and stopped at the base of the stairs. "Both of you did well tonight. I know Papa can scare his own soldiers. You're not in trouble I want you both in my room. Jasper, I want you to turn into your Savannah cat. You need Lovins after all that. Matt, you have a million questions. Both of you please get ready for bed and come to my room."


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