[Author's note: my last post for the night as it catches this up to the story, and slightly beyond. I offer you some insight on Rosaline, in two parts. The first right before Phoenix Rising, Mirror Image. The second during Sarah's meeting of Lady Abigail (chapter name yet to be finalized). Rosaline is still being devleoped in my head, though I expect her to play a larger part in Pheonix Triumphant]
Roz stepped off the boat, taking a deep breath of air. It was always good to come home, she thought.
“You know when ye’ll be heading back down river Weather Mage Lynn?
“Not for a week, I think, Captain Keffer.” Roz turned to the captain who’d joined her on the dock. They stepped aside as the sailor began to un-load the cargo.
“Well the Kipper is always grateful to have you aboard weather mage.”
“And it’s always a pleasure, captain.”
They clasp arms for a brief moment before Roz turned and began her walk to the scout quarters. The shops of the town were just opening up. She smiled as she saw one of Mathew’s toy creations displayed in a window. Mathew; Roz’s thoughts turned to the past and the day she’d run away. It had been a long time since she’d thought of Mathew and Lordling Jason. If only Mathew had the pluck to get out form under the Lordling’s shadow. She still wasn’t exactly certain why Lordling Jason had become Scout Sergeant Phoenix, put the promotion allowed her to go home without fear of running into him. Of course it meant she didn’t see Mathew either. Not that she was trying to avoid them. Roz sighed. Don’t kid yourself, she admonished quietly as she stepped up to the door.
It was locked, so her father wasn’t at home right now. Fishing in one pocket of her robes she pulled out her key. Roz unlocked the front door and entered. She drew the curtains of the parlor half closed, her signal to her father that she was home. That’s when she saw the bed roll and heard someone.
Martha turned to Griffon. “She’s a bit like Rosaline, ain’t she?”
“More strength of character,” Griffon nodded. “Shame the two couldn’t meet.”
“Oh, speaking of which, your Weather Mage friend stopped by while Sarah was bathing.”
“Did he?” Griffon’s eyebrows went up. “Well, well,” he chuckled. Martha gave him a curious look, but Griffon only turned and left for the docks.
Roz was pacing an empty slip when she heard her father’s familiar voice.
How did he always manage to make that sound like her full name? Rosaline turned to face him. “Hello.” She hated talking to him in public. It was hard to keep her guise and not call him father.
Griffon came up and slapped her back. “How ye been?” he asked as she stumbled slightly. “Ye meet me guest?”
“Guest?” Roz’s eyebrows shot up. “Where’d you find her father?” she hissed as they walked to the far end.
Griffon threw his hands up. “Twasn’t me, Phoenix picked her up.”
“She claims to be his imaginary friend.”
“Aye, that’s what the two told me.” Griffon chewed his beard.
Roz looked across the river. “She said we looked like sisters.”
“Ye do a bit,” Griffon admitted.
Roz turned to face her father, “Sisters,” she hissed.
Griffon looked at his daughter and placed a hand on her shoulder. “Sarah spent three months with Troop Phoenix, wearing pants yet not binding herself an acting as if that were completely natural. I ain’t a bit surprised she saw ye for what ye are.”
“And what am I, Father?”
Roz turned back to the water. “She’s engaged to Lordling Jason.”
“She’s suited for it.” Griffon turned to gaze the same way as Roz. “Though I still can’t figure out why he kept her with the troop for so long when he clearly cares deeply for her.”
Roz shrugged as a breeze rustled her hair. “Only the Gods know.”
They stood there at the end of the slip each wrapped in their own thoughts. At last Griffon spoke. “I suspect they’ll be heading to the capital tomorrow.” He looked at his daughter with a mischievous grin. “Shame too, I’ll miss her cooking.”
Roz laughed. “I’ll stop by tomorrow evening if you promise Martha’s doing all the cooking.”
Griffon grinned. “Promised.” They gripped arms and Griffon departed.