December 20, 2015

In Which Alina Gets a Reprieve

January 5, 1197

"So, what's this I hear about you pestering my parents' household every day this year so far?" Alina smirked as Gualtiero kissed her hand. "If your goal is to make it through next New Year's Eve, don't get your hopes up. My father would have had you barred from this place yesterday if my mother hadn't intervened."

"Well, that's a little harsh. It's not my fault that you never told me you'd be spending an extra few days with your sister after she gave birth."

"Well, it's not my fault that you never thought to stop by at Alya's."

"With a new baby there? The last thing they need is me causing any trouble."

Alina rolled her eyes. In truth, her new nephew was quite possibly the easiest, calmest newborn she'd ever come across. "You do realize that my parents have two babies here."

"Well, yes... but they can at least support their own heads."

"Doesn't change the fact that there are two of them."

"So the house with the childbirth and the days-old infant was a reprieve. So much for being on break." Gualtiero sighed, finally dropping Alina's hand. "I miss seeing you every day."

"Don't be clingy, Gualtiero. It doesn't suit you." His grin slumped somewhat--so she had to prop it back up with a wink. God, men were so insecure. "But I like seeing you every day too. Most days, anyway."

"Most?" Odd, how such a large man's features could contort like a confused puppy's. "Eh, I'll take what I can get. Anyway, since you've been stuck taking care of babies all break, do you maybe want to go down to the inn for a drink? Head-supporting or not, there shouldn't be too many small children around there."

"Now that sounds like a reprieve." And if she wanted to spend some time with Gualtiero, then it would probably be in everyone's best interests if it were somewhere away from her parents. "I'll go get my cloak."


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