Sarah stood frozen as she listened to the person move about below. Her hand had automatically gone to her knife. The floor creaked as she took one step towards the stairs.
“ ‘enry is that you?” The person was now at the foot of the stairs.
Sarah tried to relax her grip on her weapon. If the person knew Henry they weren’t likely an enemy. Still Sarah was hesitant to respond. She stayed back as footsteps sounded on the stairs.
“Father?” the voice was now definitely female, and concerned.
The woman was at the top of the stairs now, in an outfit Sarah hadn’t seen the like of before. The shapeless robe gave no indication of gender, though through the lower slits Sarah could glimpse pants. The woman turned to Sarah, causing them both to start. Sarah immediately gripped the bed post with her right hand.
“Who are ye?” she demanded, recovering first. “What are ye doin’ in this house?” The woman’s hands came up to cup a tiny whirlwind.
“My name’s Sarah,” Sarah began, still not sure how to take the fact that this woman looked like her mirror image, perhaps a bit older, but still; Sarah blinked. “I’ve been staying here for the last three weeks or so, helping Martha and such.”
“Ye seem a bit old ta be engaged ta Henry.” The woman’s gaze was focused on Sarah’s ring.
Sarah laughed. While Henry was probably more mature than any other fifteen year old Sarah knew, the thought of being engaged to him sounded like madness. The woman continued to look at Sarah critically.
“No, no,” Sarah replied through her laughter. “Griffon just offered me a place to stay and, well,” Sarah sighed. “It’s a long story.” She looked the woman in the face. “Who are you?”
“I am,” the small whirlwind doubled in size, “Weather Mage Lynn.” She dropped her hands letting the wind disperse gently about the room.
“Aye,” the woman’s right eyebrow raised in very Griffon-like expression.
“As in Rosaline?” Sarah asked getting a startled expression in return.
As impossible as it might seem, Sarah was certain this was Griffon’s daughter. After all, Sarah thought, he was the only one living in this house old enough to have a daughter Lynn’s age. Not to mention Jason had talked a lot about Rosaline back when he’d been courting her. Sarah held out her right hand for a handshake.
“I want to thank you for lending me your clothing,” Sarah stated.
“You should thank my father,” Lynn replied warily. “He’s the one who kept it all.” Her brow furrowed as she studied Sarah. “No one,” she began, “no one’s called you Rosaline have they?”
“No,” Sarah said as she dropped her hand. Turning back to the clothing on the bed, she wondered if Lynn could help her. Then she remembered something from that morning. “Mathew did call me Rosa once.”
“He did?” Sarah nodded as Lynn took a step forward to grip the bed post. “But not Lordling Jason?”
“No,” Sarah shook her head.
Lynn’s brow furrowed. “But they are here?”
“Well they both went with Griffon to see the Scout Commander.” Sarah looked back at Lynn who had gone pale. “Are you okay?”
Lynn blinked. “Yes fine.” She let go of the bed post and straightened up. “When do you expect them to return?”
“After my bath,” Sarah said cheerily.
“A bath?” Lynn’s face betrayed the same puzzlement Mathew, Ryan and Griffon had expressed earlier. “Why?”
“Well,” Sarah laughed, “I’ve been sick in bed for what feels like eons and I’m supposed to go meet Jason’s mother this afternoon and...”
“You are meeting Lordling Jason’s mother?” Lynn interrupted.
“Yes,” Sarah began again.
“Oh, then you are engaged to a knight?”
It was Sarah’s turn to be puzzled. “Jay’s not a knight as far as I know.”
Lynn shook her head and grabbed Sarah’s hand. “Then,” she examined the ring, “Lordling Jason gave you this?” Sarah nodded. “And he wears one of his own?”
“Yes,” Sarah nodded again, smiling at the memory of that odd morning proposal.
“Does he,” Lynn paused. “Do you,” she let go of Sarah’s hand. “I mean,” she tried again but seemed to be struggling. “He’s known for…”
“Disappearing unexpectedly?” Sarah prompted. Lynn sighed and nodded. “I know,” Sarah picked up the gown with the lace and began to head downstairs. The bath water had to be heated by now.
“And you do not mind it?” Lynn asked.
Sarah stopped at the top of the stairs. This was Griffon’s daughter. She probably knew half the story already. Only one way to find out, Sarah thought. “You’ve known Jay all his life right?”
“Well I haven’t seen him since,” Lynn’s voice trailed off.
“When he was younger did he ever mention a, um,” Sarah smiled remembering Griffon’s description, “pant wearing girl who liked to hang upside-down in trees?”
Lynn’s face broke into a smile. “Oh Gods yes, we used to tease him about her until he stopped talking about her all together.” She laughed. “To think, imagining a friend, who’s a girl in pants, and climbs trees!”
Obviously Lynn found the scenario humorous. Sarah frowned. She knew exactly what it must have been like for Jay. “Well,” Sarah’s hands went to her hips. “I’m not imaginary anymore.”
Lynn’s laugher immediately ceased. She looked at Sarah, “Oh?” Her hair seemed to rustle with an unknown wind as her eyes focused inward. “Oh!” She blinked and re-focused on Sarah. “You’re meeting Lady Abigail today?”
“Jason’s mother, yes.” Sarah desperately wanted to know what had just happened. Figuring it would probably just give her another headache, she didn’t ask.
“Here,” Lynn took the clothing from Sarah, “let me get you a more appropriate outfit.” Lynn put the gown back on the bed. “Go on, take your bath. I’ll bring it down to you.”
“Okay.” Sarah made her way downstairs to begin the tedious process of filling the tub.