Lys: Feast or Famine

The kitchen was a bit of a bustle- not everyone had the privilage of sleeping just yet. Women who had been cleaning up a few hours ago, and bandaging a few hours before, were now cobbling together some food for the hungry crowds that would soon be looking for food.

Aithne came in and immediately went to where Portia was working. "You go rest. Heaven knows you need it. I'll take over-"

Just then, though, Cathair cut in. "No you don't. Not before you eat."

"I'll eat while I work." she said, dismissing him.

"No, you'll sit down, and you'll eat now." He firmly guided her to a chair with a table nearby, gathered up bread, cheese, and apples, and brought them over. "Here. I'm not letting you get up until you've taken care of yourself."

She shot an apologetic look at Portia, who merely smiled back at her, then looked at the food. He'd given her a whole loaf of bread, albeit small, a wedge of cheese, and three small apples. "Oh Cathair, how am I ever to eat that much?" She took about a quarter of the bread, sliced some cheese and took an apple. "This is more than enough. Please don't make me eat more."

He narrowed his eyes at her, as if trying to judge whether or not she was just trying to get done faster. She didn't blame him. She used to have a better appetite. "Truly, Cathair. I can't eat more." Her outburst two days ago came back to her, and once more she felt the hurt that had come of it. She broke off, averting her eyes and looking at the rest of the food, wondering if she could manage it...


She did it again. She disagreed strongly enough at first, but now she looked as though she was afraid of him- afraid of what he might do because she crossed him. What had he ever done to make her fear him so? She had never feared him before. Never. And now the slightest thing...

"That's fine, Gra. Eat what you can."

She looked up at him with eyes so grateful he had to turn away from the sight. If one day he met whoever had done this to her, that person would welcome death before he had done.

He foraged for some food of his own. Just a bit, though- he did not want to take from the meal being prepared.


He was not angry with her. Not even upset. She could have cried at the joy it gave her. Someone who understood. She could speak to him, in Irish or Latin, and he'd know what she meant and how she meant it.

He turned away before she could thank him, and that bothered her a moment, but she let it go. He loved her- he said so- and there was nothing to worry about.

When they had both finished, Aithne again tried to help Portia, but she refused. Hopeless romantic, that one. She could tell by the look in Portia's eyes- she'd figured out what was happening and was determined to encourage it.

"Why don't you show him around the villa?" She lowered her voice in a teasing whisper. "That will give you two time to become acquainted." Aithne gave her a good-natured shove. "We already are acquainted, Portia. But I can see I'm not going to be allowed to stay, so I suppose I might as well."

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