[Aside] A Sudden Invitation

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Straken
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[Aside] A Sudden Invitation

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“Caoranach!” came a booming voice from outside the cottage. Miss Carolyn was upstairs in the study helping some of the students under Ruarc’s charge. While the task was rather menial in her mind, she appreciated being a font of knowledge from time to time. Admittedly some of her teachings were tinged with the cut-and-dry Nature’s Wayaspects commonly associated with the Fey. Once the call sounded, Carrie made an over-exaggerated look of the jig is up. She stood up and made her way downstairs as the front door opened and closed again.

"Yes, Ruru?” Carrie said, her tone perfectly innocent and unassuming.
“Don’t you Ruru me. What’s the meaning of this letter,” Ruarc said, holding an envelope in his left hand as he leaned against the kitchen counter with a huff.
“How should I know? I haven’t read it,” the fairy’s eyes sparkled with a sly wickedness as her appearance became positively vulpine. Ruarc stared back, unamused but relenting at the fact that she had, in fact, not read the letter he had just opened. The man blinked slowly, and lifted the letter.
“To the esteemed Magister Ruarc Flynn, Seneschal of Safeholme Manor, and Anointed Guardian and Representative of the venerated Druid Order,

We are most pleased to inform you that your request to host the upcoming Equinox Gala has been approved. Few locations these days seem willing to act as accorded neutral ground for the Courts’ event, and fewer still meet our exacting standards. As such King Oberon, Lord of Air and Darkness, the Master of the Wild Hunt, the Lord of Winter; and Queen Titania, Lady of Light and Life, the Queen of the Evergreen, the Lady of Summer; do so ever look forward to meeting you in person and gazing upon the venue that which you have gracious presented for their use.

Signed,
Siofra, Head of Household
Ruarc folded the letter with a swift swipe of his thumb as he locked eyes with Caoranach.

“Yup, that suuuure is a letter,” Caoranach said, her quip juvenile. Ruarc pinched the bridge of his nose.
“Ya see, it’s funny,” Ruarc started, his own tone starting light, before becoming more stern. “I, for the life of me, cannot recall making any such application to host any manner of celebration. I s’pose I am almost thirty. My memory must be fading in my old age.”

Caoranach tittered at the pointed joke. Ruarc merely growled.

“Caoranach,” the Irishman continued, his tone serious. “Remember Ireland? When we agreed to be more transparent with each other for the sake of this?” Ruarc pointed back and forth between himself and Carrie as he enunciated the last word.

This,” he said, now lifting the letter for effect, “Is precisely what I meant.”

Caoranach considered Ruarc’s face for a moment before looking off to the side.

“I wanted you to meet my parents, and if you hosted a Gala you’d also be able to make a good impression on them,” Caoranach confessed in a flat, single-breathed monotone. Ruarc smiled slightly.

“I figured as much,” he said with an air of victory, raising a finger as Caoranach looked like she was about to say something edgewise. “I just wanted to hear you come out and say it.”

With that, Ruarc sat the letter down and went back to pinching the bridge of his nose. “That said, I would have liked to have had a say in the matter. I’m familiar with these Galas. I’m also aware of what happens to hosts that disappoint King Oberon and Queen Titania.”

“Oh it’s not that bad,” Caoranach said with a dismissive wave of her hand.

THEY. GET. TURNED. INTO. HORSES,” Ruarc said, his voice pronounced and as hard as stone. Caoranach simply grinned, her smile once again wicked.

“I’m being serious,” Ruarc was unamused. Sighing, Caoranach walked forward and took Ruarc’s hands.

“I owe you an apology, my dear, for going behind your back on the matter,” Caoranach began. “As such I shall abide by one request of sufficient value to balance the scale.”

Looking somewhat exasperated as he released the tension from his shoulders, Ruarc scratched his head dismissively. “Later, I’m taking a shower.”

“Shall I join you and start balancing the scale?” Caoranach whispered.

Ruarc was about to say something until he noticed the number of shoes off to the side of the door. He gave Caoranach a look of reproach before his eyes began to sparkle in their own way.

“My request is as follows,” Ruarc began, pointing towards the stairs. “Help each of those students get straight A’s this year.”

Caoranach almost stumbled backwards, and moved her mouth as though to speak but no words came out. With a deep breath, the fairy pursed her lips, gave Ruarc a look of you’re missing out, and went back upstairs.
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