... now they must watch their abundance of luxuries fall away, making room for the tools of survival, and witness this time of relative peace wither into the same fears that harper's ballads had warned them about for generations.
 
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 Bath Time for Sebienth

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PostSubject: Bath Time for Sebienth   Wed Oct 24, 2012 6:44 am




L'rue smirked from where he lounged at the water's edge, watching Jasilla attack Sebienth with brush and soap sand. Sometimes she reminded him so much of her mother it was painful, with her crooked grin and playful glint in her eye.

"Sebienth I can't reach the top of your head."

The bronze gave a rumble of amusement, lowering his head further. "Just climb on top of him hun," L'rue suggested with a grin, nearly bursting into laughter when the girl did so.

{{Thank you for that,}} Sebienth said, voice heavy with sarcasm as the girl sat directly behind his head and scrubbed furiously. He'd lowered his outer lids to keep the soapsand from dripping into his eyes. Despite the complaining, L'rue could still see the slowly whirling blue of contentment behind the lids.

"How do you get so dirty, Sebienth?" Jasilla asked the bronze, addressing him directly as a good weyrbrat should. "I'm not even this dirty after I get to play in mud!"

Sebienth gave a goodnatured snort, following it up with an almost purr. He was a quiet dragon, even with his rider, but if there was someone he would speak to it would be his rider's... not quite hatchling.

L'rue was lost in memories, of a cheerful girl not much older than Jasilla, helping her older brother wash and oil a quickly growing bronze dragon. And they looked so similar... the curled dark blonde hair, bright blue eyes, and laughter that reminded him of bells.

Sometimes it was painful to watch her, but he could never have imagined his life without her. Jasilla was all that was left of Milla, aside from a silly trinket he'd given her as a child. His hand went to the pocket of his jacket and he sighed.

He missed his sister.

{{Come help oil now,}} Sebienth demanded, sensing his rider's mood change. {{She is too small to do it properly, you must help.}}

One final pat at his pocket and L'rue slid off his jacket, then kicked his boots and socks off. The weather was hot enough still that even now, with the sun going down, it was warm. The water would be pleasant, and the company of his niece could never be beat. "Time for a good oiling Jas," he called, grinning when she took a flying leap from Sebienth's neck and landed in the water with a large splash.

"Come up out of the water a bit, big guy," he said, grabbing the oil pot and paddle for spreading as he approached. "And shake yourself off, Jas." The last he said with a chuckle that turned into a full blown laugh when she shook herself like a wet canine. "You remember how we oil, right?"

"Right!" Jasilla chirped, rushing to her uncle and waiting patiently for him to open the jar. "I get the small bits with my hands and you get the big bits with the paddle."

"Exactly," he said, ruffling her hair and smiling proudly at her.


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PostSubject: Re: Bath Time for Sebienth   Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:20 pm

“For Faranth’s sake she’s only four!” The Weyrwoman shouted to everyone in the vicinity. The drudges were rarely victims of the woman’s horrible temper but the moment someone said she needed new foster parents for her four turn old she could not help but snap. Turning to the Headwoman, she said, in an incredible attempt to curb her temper, “Figure it out. I’ll take Karene for the day. By tomorrow arrangements better have been made.”

She was almost more angry at the people fostering the child than she was at the child. How bad did a little girl have to be to lose two foster families in as many Turns. The fact of the matter was the little girl was entirely too much like herself. The only person the little girl looked at as an authority figure was Karene. Maybe it should not come as much of a surprise, Emerene was a wild child but in a more free-spirit sort of way. The boys were almost as bad. Brekkar was constantly getting other children in some kind of mischief, his brother Karevik among them. The youngest boy, Renette was very quiet and shy but he was quite willful and cunning as well.

She walked through the Creche annoyance clear on her features. Not a single drudge dared even greet her. She was livid on the inside but as soon as she saw her youngest child, she smiled. “Karene. Come here.” The tall little girl was the spitting image of her mother. Her eyes were a light icy blue; her hair was a light red color and straight as a line. The girl turned to see if it was who she wanted it to be and immediately came to her mother as ordered. “Mommeee!” When the girl approached, in an uncharacteristic show of warmth, the Weyrwoman enclosed the child in a motherly hug and lifted her up off the ground.

“Want to help me bathe Galadrieth today?” Although the girl had no real choice in the matter, the illusion of choice seemed to work on the stubborn girl. “Yes.” She decided quickly as her mother set her back down on the ground. “Alright, remember hold my hand tight.” Karene took the small white hand in her own and led her down the passage to the Weyrbowl. The lake was not too far for the four Turn old child to walk but Karene was beginning to think this was going to be a very difficult day. She really didn’t have time to watch over the girl the entire day and into the evening. The Headwoman was lucky she was giving her that much time to find little Karene a foster.

Galadrieth meanwhile soared above them, a little ahead of them actually. The honey hued Gold’s hide gleamed in the sunlight. Seeing the Bronze in the lake she made certain to land nearby. The Queen did not feel the need to announce her coming as she glided into the water. Her rider might not be pleased but since when did she decide whether Galadrieth flirted or not. Although she had brought the little one with her, so perhaps it was best not to anger her rider today. Good day Sebienth. The Gold greeted, as she waited for her approaching rider to get closer.

The Weyrwoman was not in the habit of bathing Galadrieth with help so this was not going to go smoothly. In fact she was worried the four Turn old would decide not to listen. So far though, little Karene was doing everything she asked of her. Seeing Galadrieth not five feet from a Bronze that was about the Queen’s size, she scrutinized his size and coloring to come up with which Bronze it was.

“See Kara, Galadrieth has found one of her Bronze friends. That one is Sebienth.” She spoke clearly but not sharply. “We have to say hello before we wash her because that is proper.” Karene’s daughter was nodding while eyeing the Bronze and Gold dragons. No doubt the child was a bit awestruck by their size in the lake.

“Beautiful weather we’re having. Wouldn’t you agree, Wingleader?” She said as she came up from behind the man and child washing Sebienth, Kara still holding her mother’s hand.


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PostSubject: Re: Bath Time for Sebienth   Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:39 pm




"Indeed it is, Weyrwoman," L'rue said with a smile, bowing his head to Karene courteously. "And a joyous welcome to you, young Karene." For the little girl he pulled off as much of a courtly bow as he could, waist deep in water as he was. He raised his eyes and winked at her.

"Lannie you're weird," Jalissa called from atop Sebienth, where she was just finishing up oiling his eye ridges and head knobs. It twisted his heart just a little, to hear his niece call him by the playful nickname his sister had used. "I'm done!" she announced joyfully, once again just sliding off into the water. She looked curiously at the younger girl, but then grinned. "Washing dragons is fun, isn't it?"

Straightening fully he rolled his eyes and stuck his tongue out at Jisalla, then turned and gave another courteous bow to Galadrieth. "And hello to you as well, Galadrieth. You're looking lovely today... your color is splendid." With those formalities taken care of he straightened and smiled more at his Weyrwoman. "How are you doing today Weyrwoman? We're just finishing up with Sebienth and would be happy to help you with Galadrieth," he asked while Jalissa tried to talk up the younger girl.

Two Turns at Fort and he still didn't really know his Weyrwoman: he got the feeling that she didn't care much for him. To be fair, though, he got that feeling from her with most other bronzeriders. He couldn't actually remember spending any time alone with the Weyrwoman. "In fact," he added, humor in his voice, "you might have to tie Jalissa down to keep her from helping. She's just reached the dragon mad stage." He smiled again, though the sadness reached his eyes. His thoughts were with Milla, poor Milla, who would never see her daughter Stand and Impress a dragon of her own.


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PostSubject: Re: Bath Time for Sebienth   Fri Oct 26, 2012 6:54 pm

Galadrieth dipped under the water, so that all of her surfaces were emerged. When she rose out of the water again, she moved closer to the shallower waters where her rider and posse were waiting. Meanwhile, Karene accepted the greeting from the Bronzerider watching her daughter’s own reaction to his antics. Where most young girls would blush and hide behind their mothers, her four Turn old stood there and curtsied properly in return then looked up at her mother. And Karene did not need to tell her what she had forgotten. “Thank you, Wingleader L’rue.” The little girl said and tugged on her mother’s hand.

The young girl watched the other curiously. “I don’t know about other dragons. Galadrieth is picky.” She shrugged while her mother was busy talking to L’rue. The Queen acknowledged the Bronze rider’s words with a dip of her great head. “I’ve been better.” Karene answered caustically. It was really no secret that the Weyrwoman’s youngest was trouble for foster families and since it was a mystery to the entire Weyr who the young child’s father was she couldn’t actually go and live with her father or his family. Karene’s family was estranged from her so the guirl could not be given to them either. None of this had anything to do with the Bronzerider especially not the fact that her staff was incompetent when it came to caring for a four Turn old girl. Her temper was burning behind her eyes when she thought of the entire situation.

“Sebienth looks well-tended and Galadrieth would be glad of a speedier bath, though I think the girls can handle her by themselves.” The Queen did not always speak directly with children but those who had an affinity for the telepathy and empathy riders were known for seemed easier to bespeak so she sometimes made exceptions. Karene knew the dragon would have no trouble at all ordering the little ones around. The Weyrwoman would go over the Queen’s hide when they were done.

Her daughter had helped with Galadrieth since she was big enough to hold sweet sand. “It’ll be easier for Karene to learn without me over her shoulder.” The red haired woman rarely smiled except at her lifemate as she did now. Young ones. The Queen’s strong, clear and calm voice broadcasted to the two girls and Karene. Come closer, now scrub as hard as you can on any patches you find, otherwise a light scrub will do.

“Your niece has adjusted well here.” She said as way of conversation. Karene had never been very good at small talk and she doubted that would ever really change. The woman was bold though and had chosen a topic she gathered the man wouldn’t mind discussing.


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PostSubject: Re: Bath Time for Sebienth   Sun Oct 28, 2012 1:12 am




Jasilla was absolutely thrilled to be included in the gold's conversation. "Thank you Galadrieth," she said, her voice squeaking in excitement. "I'll be sure to be careful," she continue, speaking solemnly as she made her promise to the queen. Then she looked incredulously at young Karene. "You get to help clean her all the time?" she asked, wonder in her voice. "She's so pretty, and she's even bigger than Sebienth!" The last part was whispered, before she realized that Galadrieth could hear her regardless. And she had been taught it was rude to talk about someone as if they weren't there. "I'm sorry," she said to the gold, bobbing her head apologetically. "You're just so... shiny and gold."

L'rue suppressed a grin, knowing full well how difficult the Weyrwoman's youngest could be. Jasilla loved to gossip about what was going on in the Lower Caverns during their time together. "She's incredibly polite," he said, letting her see the smile he was directing at the two girls. "Jasilla forgets her manners more often than she remembers them."

His smile widened even more when Karene mentioned Jasilla. "As long as she has dragons around she's happy," he said fondly, watching her carefully tending to the queen dragon. "And friends... she's gotten to know a few of your brood. Mentioned little Karene several times actually." Most of those conversations involved an explanation as to why she was in trouble, true, but he didn't feel the need to bring that up.

Watching her with Karene, laughing and chattering cheerfully to both Galadrieth and the younger girl, he couldn't help but remember the seven Turn old she'd been. When he'd had to explain that her momma wasn't coming to see her anymore. It was times like that that he understood why it was tradition to just let the foster families take over. His own parents were barely more than names to him. Perhaps Milla, and now he, were wrong in being so involved in Jisalla's life. But he was selfish, he admitted, and wanted that joy and love from her.

"I'm just glad to see her smiling," he finished quietly, coughing to cover up the slight hitch in his voice.

Sebienth had moved from the water to the shore, carefully laying down so that his new oiling wasn't ruined. {{She cleans well,}} he told Galadrieth. {{She will make you shine even more.}} And for the bronze, that was practically a speech. He rested his head down, watching his rider's almost-hatchling. Mostly.


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PostSubject: Re: Bath Time for Sebienth   Sun Oct 28, 2012 7:55 am

The smaller girl shrugged, “Of course. Galadrieth and mommy are life mates.” Karene was fairly certain that it would be common sense she would be permitted to bathe Galadrieth when mommy said she could. “Gold dragons should be bigger than Bronze dragons." She was being realistic about it. Still the girl had her dreams and she was certain one day they would happen.

" I’m going to Impress a Queen when I'm old enough.” The little girl said with such fierce determination in her voice that it was hard to nay say. She had been a bit obsessed with her mother’s dragon since she was a baby. The Gold never minded though. The only time she got a temper was when she clutched and even little Karene knew not to bother the Queen then. She was known to be aggressively protective of her clutches and had killed people before for being on the Sands when they shouldn’t be.

You may talk with little Kara about me Jasilla. It does not offend me. Yes, I am shiny… The smugness in her voice was directed at her rider whom she always included when she spoke with younglings. She never wanted to say the wrong thing around the little ones. The Weyrwoman rolled her eyes at the Queen. No doubt the Queen was hinting that she would be rising to mate sooner than later.

Karene really did not want to think about it. Instead she responded to L’rue’s kind comments about her child. “Hmmm, polite she may be however she is far from well behaved.” She loved her children in fact it she was quite a good mother when it came to Weyr parents. She never forgot their birthingdays and kept tabs on them to see how they were progressing. When she felt they were having trouble she made time to be with them and have a talk or go for a walk or spend time at a beach. Anything she felt was needed. Their fathers were all rather absent. And it was a fact that no one knew who little Karene’s father was not even little Karene. She was going to keep it that way too.

Karene looked over at L’rue, her face serious. “Children should be allowed to be children. I hope you aren’t too concerned about her manners.” Taking a pause to think for a moment about her fifteen turn old, she went on to say, “My eldest, Emerene was much like Jasilla when she was younger.” And although Emerene was a bit of a free spirit, people seemed to be happy to see the girl coming. She was helpful and kind and so much different from her mother it made Karene proud. She might not mind being who she was but she did not want all of her children to end up like her.

Despite being a powerful person who had a lot of drive and ambition, she was missing things that normal, less powerful people had time for. She didn’t want her children to miss out on the fun things in life. It was however becoming quite clear that her youngest daughter had every intention of being just like her mother. Even now, Jasilla was being a happy, chit chatting little girl while Karene was so focused on scrubbing properly she didn’t seem to be having nearly as much fun.

“Oh, then she must be getting into all kinds of trouble if the Headwoman is to be believed. My brood, to the last child, are considered to be pranksters, trouble markers, thrill seekers, plotters, rogues… the list goes on. In any case, you should keep an eye on her if she’s hanging out with any of them. I am sent reports from the Lower Caverns on the children daily and every day it seems one or the other has had an altercation with an adult.” Much like her it seemed, all of them except possibly Emerene had issues with authority.

“I guess I should be happy they are taking up leadership roles among the children but at the same time it does look badly on the family for all of them to be in trouble.” She couldn’t really blame them, they had a Weyrwoman for a mother and that meant they felt they had some authority over other people where they really had none. She never showed them any special treatment when it came to their punishments.

Karene nodded, looking away so as not to see him get emotional. She couldn’t stand crying and emotional people just made her uncomfortable. So she let L’rue have his moment and went back to watching the children.

I trust the younglings. Karene would not permit them to scrub me if they were not worthy of the task.The Queen was quite sure of the ones caring for her. After all, the girls would be riders one day themselves in all likelihood though the Gold was no Search dragon, she could be wrong. Galadrieth would be sure to tell them if they missed a spot and she really had just had a bath yesterday. The Weyrwoman had to watch her daughter today which meant they had to do something child friendly. Sitting in the records room, writing would not be something the child had patience for.


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PostSubject: Re: Bath Time for Sebienth   Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:07 am




"I'm going to Impress a green, like my momma," Jasilla replied, just as confidently. "I can be in your wing and be your support." She nodded sagely, as if that settled everything. "That's what my momma did before she died. My Uncle 'Rue says I'm just like her so I'm gonna do just what she did." She beamed proudly: she was weyrbred, and knew the hierarchy of dragons, and the placement of her chosen dragon. But that was the role she had decided was her's to follow long ago.

"And thank you Galadrieth. Arsiyth used to talk to me, too. She was my momma's dragon." She scrubbed silently for a moment, a little sad. "Sebienth doesn't talk to me, though. But Uncle 'Rue said he barely talks to him."

L'rue gave a chuckle, shaking off his melancholy and focusing on Jasilla again. "Perhaps she's being a good influence on them? The only complaint I've heard about Jasilla so far is she talks more than anyone can believe is possible." He had to admit, sometimes he felt the young girl would indeed never stop speaking. "Either that or she's getting away with things she shouldn't." Even the thought of that amused him: he'd raised quite a bit of commotion as a youngster himself, with Milla at his side.

"They seem to get along very well," L'rue continued, trying to steer the conversation in a more cheerful direction. "And Jasilla... she's always thought of herself as everyone's big sister." He left it unsaid that Jasilla might be a calming influence on Kara.


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PostSubject: Re: Bath Time for Sebienth   Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:48 pm

Made sense, the little girl nodded. “Your green will be beautiful and fast. I know you will fly well because you are brave and kind.” Karene having been around the other girl before figured they were kind of friends although Karene was one who did not have many because comments like that were few and far between. She only made comments if she believed they were true. She would never be dishonest even to be nice to someone.

The Gold rumbled amused by the young girl, Yes, Sebienth is a quiet one. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t listening. You could chatter to him anyway. The Gold encouraged.

And once again, Karene had no tact, in talking to L’rue she had many questions that were now cropping up. What kind of Weyrwoman would she be if she wasn’t prying into the lives of her riders? “You dote so much love and care on your niece I have to ask, what has kept you from having children of your own?” She was not the least bit apologetic when she asked the rather blunt question. If someone of her repute had as many children as she did someone like the Bronzerider should have twice that. He wasn’t much younger than she was. Not that she was encouraging him to make a child right this instant either but it was curious.

Maybe springing that topic on him wasn’t the best thing to do. Was it really her business? No, not really. There were many things she did not know about L’rue and she made it a point to know all the Bronzeriders. No matter how much she disliked them on the whole, she needed to know what they were like, what their policies were and what they wanted to do if they ever became Weyrleader. She had to protect the Weyr against power thirsty tyrants… one of her was enough!

She nodded, not really commenting on the two girls getting along. He spent more time with his neice than she did with any one of her children. Simply put she did not have time for it. She loved them, dearly, but she had always been glad of their Weyr upbringing so they would have more options for their lives. They had multiple parents, growing up at the Weyr meant the Weyr became your family. The largest family ever but you learned to protect everyone like they were your brothers and sisters.

Karene kept her eyes on the girls making sure that she knew where they were on the Gold’s hide. She did not want to micromanage them she just wanted to be certain they were safe.


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PostSubject: Re: Bath Time for Sebienth   Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:35 pm




"You think so?" Jasilla asked, eyes bright with excitement. In her imagination she rode a beautiful green, fast as any firelizard and a great fighter. To hear someone else, especially Weyrwoman Kearene's daughter, agree with her own plan delighted her greatly. "Thank you," she said, smiling brightly enough to light up the entire Bowl had the sun not been up. "And I know your queen will be wise and brave and as beautiful as Galadrieth." She patted the queen's neck gently... Sebienth liked that, so maybe Galadrieth would as well. "Sometimes Uncle 'Rue tells me what Sebienth wants me to know," she told the queen, grinning. "I'll just talk to him until he talks to me, then."

Sebienth gave a huff of mock annoyance, nudging out at Jasilla with his nose. {{Thank you,}} he told Galadrieth dryly, though there was a lot of love and amusement in it. Jasilla delighted him... she grew so different from the dragons, this strange little hatchling. And she did so love to scratch his itchy places.

Karene's question caught L'rue by surprise, and he blinked at her for a moment before letting out a small puff of laughter. "Haven't found a woman I'd want to try with yet," he answered candidly, "and in other incidents I wasn't really in a position to have a right to say anything. But I'm young. And my face doesn't scare women. Maybe soon."

He hesitated, sensing there was more than what she was saying. "I realize I spend an... unhealthy amount of time with Jasilla," he admitted. "But I assure you, Weyrwoman, my Wing is well drilled and ready for the return. I don't let her interfere with my duties."


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PostSubject: Re: Bath Time for Sebienth   Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:53 pm

“Course! Your mommy was one, so should you be. I’m going to be just like my mommy too.” Kara said with surety. Scrubbing the dragon as efficiently as she could being a small child. “That’s just silly. He should be brave and talk to you.” The girl added, her connection with Galadrieth was pleasant for both the dragon and the child. While dragons were not nearly as talkative as humans, the Queen would talk with her from time to time in her mother’s presence. The Gold knew her advice was wise. She was known to be very wise and logical and anyone who denied it was a fool or just her rider. You are welcome, Sebienth.

If her question had caught him off guard, his answer certainly did the same. He hadn’t found anyone suitable? The Weyrwoman knew then that something was wrong and it was not just that he spent too much time with his neice. He was still mourning his sister’s death, which was understandable but something she needed to keep an eye on. It was part of her duty to make certain the rider’s of the Weyr were well cared for. He needed someone to confide in who wasn’t a child. Although she wasn’t exactly the shoulder to cry on sort, she could find someone who was.

“Not sure I believe you.” She said, “Not about the women but about the scaring them.” Karene was teasing because Galadrieth’s mood was affecting her a bit. Smiling, “Trust me I would know if there were something wrong with your wing. I keep close watch on everything and everyone at the Weyr.” There were reasons she did not have a normal life and why days like these were rare. Keeping tabs on what was happening was hard enough but she trusted Bronzeriders about as far as she could throw them so she was always making certain they were doing as they should.

“I don’t expect everyone to live life as I do. I think you spending time with your niece is fine.” And here is where the filter turns off. “I think though you are replacing the loss you feel by filling it with your niece and that is what concerns me. You will not ever be healed from the loss, L’rue.” She said honestly. Karene was not known to sugar coat anything. “Your sister would however want you to live your life and not live vicariously through her child.” She paused, knowing he probably did not appreciate the conversation. However it was a rare show of caring from the Queenrider. She was not known to be particularly empathetic.

She touched his hand gently. Not saying anything more than what needed saying. If he found any comfort in her hand being there that was good but otherwise it was just there and he could accept what warmth she could offer or he could not. Karene did worry about his mental and emotional health. Perhaps she could set him up with someone sweet and kind to help him out of this depression.


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PostSubject: Re: Bath Time for Sebienth   Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:35 pm




Sebienth gave a good-natured snort as three sets of eyes turned to him. Instead of responding with words he wrapped the two girls and, by extension, the queen, with the warmth of love. He didn't have much to say, but that wasn't an indication of lack of feeling, something he tried to convey in that mental hug. He lingered longer with Jasilla, and even longer with Galadrieth. He was no hatchling, he knew the signs of a gold who would soon reach her time.

{{I do love you,}} he told Jasilla, making sure Galadrieth heard every word. Not that he was trying to impress her or anything...

Jasilla gave a little squeal and temporarily abandoned her ministrations on the queen and pounced the bronze, nuzzling against his neck. "I love you too Sebienth!" she declared.

L'rue didn't answer at first, though he did grasp her hand tightly for just a moment. He was watching Jasilla rough house with Sebienth, though he only saw Milla in his mind. "She was a wonderful rider," he said finally, a small smile on his face. "We talked about transferring before her accident, just to be somewhere different."

Too often he thought that they should have transferred, before the accident that had taken her life so suddenly.

"You probably would have liked her a lot more than you like me," he continued, grinning. It was no secret that the bronzeriders weren't her favorites, and he couldn't help but tease her slightly. "I guess you'll see for yourself in a few Turns. Jasilla is determined to Impress as soon as possible."

A lot of words, but he'd neatly avoided all of her direct questions.
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