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Scelt is a Territory in turmoil and peace is tenuously held together by the Sceltic Queens. Rivalry between the Clans errupted into horror for the Territory that resulted in many dead, on both sides, and culimated in Clan Sheane being outlawed in the Territory. Further troubles plague the Territory in a variety of manners - Landen villages are raided, Courts are attacked, and no one seems to be safe.
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Author Topic: Origanum vulgare  (Read 823 times)

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Offline Adam Rhyne

  • Character Account
    • white2rose
    • warlord
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      First Circle

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      Denford Province Court

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      Scelt

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      halyonix

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Origanum vulgare
« on: Jul 16, 18, 05:14:09 PM »
“Just because you’re uncertain of your welcome doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t go,” Adam told the plants in the garden that morning. The plants were having no problems going where they shouldn’t -- the oregano had just sprouted another dozen tendrils overnight it seemed and now it was spilling into the parsley. Adam carefully began pruning the former so that the latter didn’t choke.

Adam had been quietly mulling over the events of the market for days, maybe even a week now. It hadn’t gone bad at all but it hadn’t gone the way he wanted -- mostly because there had been far too many people with him and he hadn’t been able to be completely himself with Aeron. While Adam liked to keep his sexuality a secret from most, he tended to want to find out if his advances would be welcomed rather early on, to prevent heartache later on from investing foolishly.

The problem with this was that Adam was not a very direct person. He was too nice, too polite. Too demure in some ways. That worked just fine around his Queen, whom he served and was happily subordinate to. But tiptoeing around the matter of a relationship -- or even to get to a relationship -- was just too much.

With a sigh, Adam sat back and looked at the oregano. “If only I could be as bold as you,” he confided. Of course, the oregano made no reply. It just sat there, taking up as much space as was allotted (and a little more if it could) and it was perfectly content with its existence. Adam’s gaze shifted to the clippings nearby. Far too little of a yield to bring to market for a trade. The cooks at the estate would find something to do with it though.

Adam’s contemplations took him to a conversation with said cooks, who mentioned that they had run out of lavender a few days prior. They used lavender in the household for many things, but one of Adam’s favorite was a hot chocolate mix that Lady Taryn liked during the fall.

And Aeron’s shop sold lavender by the scoop and bucket. Dried and oiled. Whatever form desired.

He now had a reason to visit Aeron’s shop. Court reason. Somewhat. Keeping the Queen content was a Court reason, right? Feeling justified in his decision, he changed into clean but not too fine clothes, grabbed a carrisack for goods, and went to the stables. The lads there quickly readied a horse and it took a great deal of control not to race away giddily.

The purposefully slow pace actually gave Adam plenty of time to practice what he would say. “Good morning, Prince Clery,” he tried. Formal, a little too formal, but it had to stay that way just for a moment. “How are you today? I’m here for lavender. Do you have any fresh?” That part was easy. It was everything else that would be difficult. The “How is your family?” that would come afterward. And then the “Fine place you have here. Your Lady must be great with plants.” Assumptions, yes, but all things to clue Adam in. If Aeron started talking about a girlfriend, it would let Adam know that he was already taken and definitely not interested.

And if he didn’t, then Adam would have to figure out another angle, maybe even be so bold as to ask Aeron if they could discuss plants in another setting or to see one of his gardens.

“Bold like oregano,” the Warlord mumbled to himself as he approached and then entered the shop, looking around for the Prince.

Offline Aeron Clery

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    • yellow2ss
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Re: Origanum vulgare
« Reply #1 on: Jul 27, 18, 12:45:05 AM »
Aeron heard the slight jingle of the bell at the entrance of his shop.   A new addition he had perfected, rigged so that when the bell rang in the store, it also triggered a bell to ring in his greenhouse.  Always useful after several times he had emerged from deadheading some flowers to find order slips on his countertop from visitors who had grown tired of waiting for him to appear.  Not very professional of him.

This time he was in the front, crouched behind a counter organizing some empty jars on storage shelves beneath.  Handy to have ready when customers came without their own containers,  He had decided that he would charge a few marks for the containers but the fee could be refunded when the customer returned with their own.   It worked out for both parties and so far there hadn’t been too many complaints.   He rose from his knees, his head peering up over the edge of the counter and quickly he dropped back below sight.

Mother Night and all that was merciful, it was him!!!  The Warlord who had come into the shop just the other week with that young woman and older man.  Clerys, Aeron was certainly aware of the look of Desmond Clery, after all he was the Clan Laird much to Aeron’s father’s angry and drunken spoutings.  Aeron wasn’t even certain the older man had known who he was, much less that he was a part of the same Clan but given his father’s very violent and vocal speaking out over Desmond’s ascendancy, Aeron wasn’t too keen to remind him.

He had kept his manners professional and courteous and had tried desperately not to look to much or often at the handsome young man.  Mostly he had tried to ascertain his relationship to the woman, no Black Widow if her psychic scent was true.  He tried not to make flirtatious glances at young men who were taken, uninterested in other men, or generally in the company of others who wouldn’t not take to kindly to Aeron’s chosen bed partners.  He had learned that lesson very very quickly.

Still, he was here now and there was no one else.  Aeron rose up from his crouch, brushing his hands down the front of his trousers to wipe away some of the dust.  “Morning,” he greeted, giving his best friendly shopkeeper smile while hoping his heart wasn’t beating as loudly as it sounded in his head.    “What can I help you with?  Just had a nice shipment of cut flowers in if you’re looking for a gift for a lady, or if you’re looking something medicinal I just finished grinding some dried lemon balm to relieve some of those summer bug bites.  I’ve also got a bumper crop of mint ready to pick if you’re looking for something refreshing to drink.”  He motioned out the window to a yard of potted saplings and bushes.   “I also do garden consultations and landscaping, if your lady needs a hand tidying up outside.” 

Oh I really hope there isn’t a lady, he’s got the sweetest look to his face and those lips are just begging for a kiss.  Mother Night, give me strength to keep my cool but please don’t let there be a lady.


Offline Adam Rhyne

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    • white2rose
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Re: Origanum vulgare
« Reply #2 on: Aug 23, 18, 10:19:49 AM »
The moment Aeron rose from his crouch to greet Adam upon entry, Adam forget everything he had practiced saying. That welcoming smile took it all away. “What can I help you with?” Aeron asked and thankfully he went on to list a bunch of items he had for purchase or services he offered otherwise. It took Adam a long moment to find enough saliva to wet his throat again and he felt like his knees were made of jelly as he approached the sales counter.

He set down his carrisack. “I um...I’m looking for lavender,” he said. Wow, was that really his voice? He sounded so odd! Maybe he should elaborate a little. “My Queen, she…” No, that wasn’t the right way to start a conversation. Yes, he was here for a transaction but he was really here for a conversation and if he jumped right into the transaction then the conversation would be over with and he would be kicking himself over the whole venture.

Adam took a deep breath and centered himself. “Allow me to start again, please,” he said, with a shy sort of smile for his bumbling demeanor earlier. “My name is Adam Rhyne. I serve Lady Taryn Kerry.” There was no need to mention that she was a Queen -- everyone knew who the ruler of Denford was. “She’s a great fan of lavender and, sadly, my best efforts to grow enough for the estate’s needs aren’t there yet, so we ran out. The cooks use it for cooking, the maids use it for the linens -- the usual uses -- so I was looking for it in dried, fresh, and possibly essential oil form, if you have all three.”

He paused, remembering what Aeron had said about which plants he had in stock that morning, and added, “But the mint you have for sale also sounds interesting. Can I see it as well please?” While his knees still felt like jelly, his voice, at least, sounded more certain, and he didn’t feel like his heart was ready to escape his chest somehow. He focused on taking another breath to keep moving with that fragile balance. And tried not to focus on Aeron’s face too much.

Offline Aeron Clery

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Re: Origanum vulgare
« Reply #3 on: Nov 17, 18, 09:21:19 AM »
Aeron felt a natural smile slide across his face at the other man’s greeting. He seemed nervous, maybe he wasn’t used to asking about plants and such. Here though Aaron was in his element and lit up from the inside.  He could talk about growing things until boredom usually crept into the faces of his hapless victims but he just couldn’t help it, it really was his passion.  Well, one of them.  As he looked at this other man, he couldn’t help but wonder if that nervous sort of shift in his voice happened at other times.  There was a slight purr to it that curled playfully down his stomach and lower places.

“Pleased to meet you Adam,” he said, extending a hand in greeting.  “Anyone who serves Lady Kerry is always welcome in my shop.  Her court has placed some rather large orders with me in the past and so I am always very grateful to her for the business.   He stepped out from around the counter.  “Lavender huh?  Well it’s not quite the harvest seasons to cut and dry the blooms so I don’t have a large amount of the dried variety at the moment, but I do have plenty of young plants and some older potted ones that would do very well to be put into a garden while the air is still warm.  It’ll give them plenty of time to stretch out their roots and get used to their new home before the cold starts in.” 

He motioned Adam towards a side door that lead to his greenhouse, “Come, I’ll show you what I have and we can talk about the garden you’re looking to fill.  Why don’t you start with how many you have at the moment and where you have them growing?  Lavender is a really strong, hearty plant but when it’s young it can be a little temperamental and bratty, rather like children.  Once you get them comfortable and content, they will explode with growth and be rather resilient to all but the worst blight and hardest freezes.”

He walked as he talked until the two of them were standing in front of what looked like a field of lavender, if it hadn’t been indoors.  Smaller potted samples were sitting on shelves while the floor was covered with large pots of the plant, stalks of the light violet-blue flower just beginning to bud and bloom.   “I’ve got some oils that I made up last season, and I’ll be glad to give you as much as you want of the dried stock but it wouldn’t hurt to get some plants in the ground that will bloom so you can do harvesting of your own.   Fresh is always better, I think.”   He pondered a moment, rubbing his chin.  “Are you doing this yourself or is the gardener helping you?  I can always come and give a consultation for the area you want to plant them, help make sure it’s the right soil type and land elevation.  Wouldn’t want to go through the work only to find out your have poor drainage and the poor things would have root rot after the first hard rain of the autumn.”   And it would give him an excuse to spend more time around the very attractive man. Already he was breathing in the close scent of him, spice and male over the sweet and light delicate scent of the lavender.  One was soothing, one was starting to awaken parts of him.  He knew which one he liked more in that moment, and for just the briefest of seconds, he entertained the fantasy of crisp sheets scented with fresh lavender draped over Adam’s sleeping body, relaxed and sated…

He blinked quickly and turned to motion to another side of the greenhouse.  “Mint is over there.  It needs a different sort of care so you probably won’t want to plant it near the lavender.  The scents are too different.  Mint awakens, lavender relaxes.”  He led him over to the other plants, much smaller with dark green leaves with the sharp crisp scent of mint hanging in the air.  “I’ve got regular mint, spearmint if you prefer something a little gentler in flavor, oh and I just got in this interesting new blend, it’s called apple mint.  I’m curious to see how it could be used to flavor desserts.  Sadly I’m a bit of a mess in the kitchen, my mother used to say I could burn water,” he gave a sheepish little grin, “but I’d be willing to send you back to the Court cook with a sample to see if he can come up with something.   Always useful as a selling point with my other clients when I can offer uses.”  He licked his lips, “and I have a weakness for sweets.”

Realizing he had been chattering on,  he blushed slightly and stammered, “I’m sorry, I get a little over excited when talking about my plants.   Was any of that helpful to you or did I just bury you under too much information?  Did you have something more specific in mind?”

Offline Adam Rhyne

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    • warlord
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Re: Origanum vulgare
« Reply #4 on: Nov 26, 18, 10:42:18 AM »
Adam took Aeron’s proffered hand and tried not to linger too much on thoughts about the feel of that hand. It helped that Aeron immediately started talking about what he had available, so that forced Adam to focus as well. “Potted lavender would be acceptable,” Adam said, “with winter coming too soon for me to do a new planting.”

When Aeron asked if Adam was doing the planting or if he had help, Adam chuckled and rubbed the back of his head sheepishly. “I’m the gardener for the Court, I guess you could say. I’m part of the First Circle but I’m no fighter so I serve in other ways.” He then thought about all of the ways that could be misconstrued. Reddening, he quickly added, “Not, um, that way. Bedroom ways. I mostly organize servants and make sure they have everything they need stocked for whatever Taryn needs.”

Well, that had been rather awkward. Adam could feel his cheeks warm like a sunburn.

“But I’d gladly like another pair of eyes looking over what I have for the garden,” he said, jumping on Aeron’s offer eagerly. They moved over to the mint plants and Adam fingered a leaf of the apple mint, thinking. He sniffed the plucked leaf, then tucked it into his mouth for a taste. There was a burst of flavor similar to mint but more gentle. Adam knew that the cooks at the estate would find a use for it easily, probably in some sort of bread or butter compote.

“I have a few ideas on how it could be used,” he said, thinking about cooking and desserts. He smiled at Aeron’s sheepish admission about rambling on too long. “It’s okay. I’m…” He chuckled, trying to relieve some of his own nervousness. “I’m the same when I’m talking about plants. Taryn knows almost nothing about them but she’ll listen to me ramble on because she likes hearing about something that isn’t paperwork sometimes. She’s just glad to see the garden thriving and gets to try all of the herbs we pull from it.”

Adam fingered the apple mint again. “I’ll take some of this, and a few of the potted lavender until I can transfer them to a new bed,” he said with certainty. When he met Aeron’s gaze, he was suddenly keenly aware of how close he was and his nervousness flared, intertwined with an anticipation that he could not fulfill just then. Adam licked his lips nervously. “And, uh, yes, if you’d like to come review the beds at the estate, you’d be more than welcome. I’m sure Lady Taryn would, um, love knowing that her gardens were looked over by a master.”

He was standing so close and even though there was no one in the greenhouse, Adam dare not loosen his hold on his sexuality. Not just yet! He’d have to, one day. Take that risk. Maybe get rejected.

Hopefully not rejected.

“D-do you have anything else you’d like to show me?” he asked, wanting to still converse but not sure what about! “Maybe...maybe other plants that the cooks could use to spice up some meals?” If Aeron would keep talking about plants, Adam would happily listen. Anything to spend just a little more time with the other man, to gauge interest or attraction or lack thereof.

He didn’t think it was the latter but, until he took the risk, he wouldn’t know.

Offline Aeron Clery

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Re: Origanum vulgare
« Reply #5 on: Nov 28, 18, 11:55:45 PM »
He was the gardener?!  Aeron felt his heart skip a beat at the serendipity of it.  He loved plants too!  It made him wonder what other things they shared in common.  He felt the heat and the pulse of the other man in his grip and almost didn’t want to let go of that touch as he began to pull his hand back.    His hand was just the right size and seemed to fit perfectly into his own.  Of course, he was probably just giving into a little romantic flight of fantasy.

The man was so blasted hard to read.  Probably came from his time and training with a Court, but Aeron just couldn’t figure him out.  Most of the time, borne from necessity he was usually a pretty good judge of interest.  Served him well in finding romantic partners, not that he had had that many of those, but he usually had a good eye.  Adam was friendly and warm and interested...but interested in the plants. 

Aeron could have huffed with a small annoyance at this ignorance and pushed it down to give all his attention to the other man.  He watched as he flushed with embarrassment at the way he misspoke his duties for Lady Taryn and wanted to reach up and press his cool hand to that red cheek.  It was positively adorable and just made him want to wrap his arms around him and cuddle him.

Damn Aeron, get a hold of yourself, he thought as he felt his own cheeks flush before giving a light little laugh.  “Oh,  that must be an exhaustive task.  I bet there are lots of people to chase around for your work.”  He shifted his feet and gave him a knowing smile, “I can understand, I’m not much of a fighter either...a bit of the odd son out in that way.”  He glanced away, suddenly feeling a little uncertain and ashamed as he always did when discussing the fact that he didn’t measure up to his father and brothers.

“Anyway, the potted lavender will do well.  Got some special pots made up so drainage won’t be an issue and they won’t eat up all the nutrients before the spring comes.  I find that if you feed the plant with nice rich mash of coffee grounds and crushed eggshells, you’ll get really full blooms in the summer.”  He gave a little bit of a shy grin, “but I imagine you already know that trick.  Sorry, I’m not really used to talking to someone who is actually experienced in gardening.”

Adam’s offer made him nod, “I’d love to help,” he said and then could have slapped himself.  He sounded like a child, even his voice pitched a little with excitement.   Damnit, he was going to scare the man off by sounding like a fool.  He watched him pluck a leaf and place it between his lips and forced himself not to stare at those soft lips and envy that little piece of leaf.   He busied himself by kneeling down and arranging some of the pots absently to give the heat in his face a chance to cool off.  He only looked up when he felt better in control of his impulses and gave Adam a knowing grin.
“Lady Taryn sounds like a good woman to serve,” he said softly, “I haven’t met her directly but I have heard good things.”  He rose up, vanishing some of the pots to be tallyed up later and lifted his chin to catch Adam’s eye.  He hadn’t heard the man step closer when he was kneeling down but he was aware that he didn’t have to move his arm very far before he could reach up and brush his fingers along Adam’s hand.  He suddenly had a momentary daydream, capturing those long fingers in his palm and pulling his hand to his mouth to kiss that earth-roughened palm.

Adam licked his lips and seemed to fluster himself, and Aeron felt his heart flutter with anticipatory hope. Maybe…. If he was finally fortunate… he held his breath as he held Adam’s gaze and let his mouth curve into a lazy, flirty smile.   His heart was pounding so loudly in his chest that he could feel the thrum of it in his ears.  “A chance to go digging around a Queen’s estate garden?!  You don’t know what you’ve done sir,” he said with a happy laugh, “you might come to regret opening that door when all is done.  I mean, I know I can get a little territorial with my greenhouses so you might have the urge to toss me out on my rear after a few hours.  I’ll try to keep some of my enthusiasm tempered though.” 

The last request, a welcoming one because Aeron didn’t want Adam to leave just yet had him reaching out to place a hand on his shoulder before he realized what he was doing.  “Well, if you’re not in a hurry to attend to your duties,” he said gently applying some pressure to indicate the direction they would be heading, “the apple mint wasn’t the only thing I picked up.  I managed to get my hands on some seeds from Raej for some extremely spicy peppers.  It might not be something your cooks are interested in, but with the winter chill coming, I bet a little heat in a stew would get the Court nice and toasty.”  His voice dropped conspiratorially, “and I also am working on my own strain of cocoa bean.  They won’t grow naturally in Dena Nehele, our soil is too acidic so I have them in their own special growing house with soil I had imported from Shalador.   Not for sale mind you, but more of a culinary hobby that I’m indulging.”  He regretfully let his hand drop from Adam’s arm as he turned to open a side door and lead him out to the large back area where he had his various hot houses set up.

Offline Adam Rhyne

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Re: Origanum vulgare
« Reply #6 on: Dec 21, 18, 02:52:34 PM »
“It’s refreshing, isn’t it?” Adam asked when Aeron apologized for not getting to converse often with someone regarding gardening. He gave the other man what was mostly a hopeful smile, though it might have been mixed with something akin to relief at having found someone equally interested. They really were two of a kind! Well, if nothing else, they could be good friends.

“I think you would like Lady Taryn,” Adam said after Aeron accepted his offer to come see the gardens. Oh, be still his frantically beating heart! Not too much too soon! This had to be a delicate operation. One did not court a paramour too quickly. It was like coaxing a seedling to bloom. Patience!

When Aeron inadvertently touched Adam’s shoulder, Adam tensed with elation but his expression showed only restrained surprise. “R-Raej?” he squeaked out. “Oh, I’ve never tried anything from Raej! I’d…tell me more about it.” When Aeron’s hand left his shoulder, it suddenly felt chilled, as though he had taken some of Adam’s warmth with him. Like a wraith lost, Adam floated after Aeron as he walked into the greenhouse.

This was maddening.

He had to know. He had to take a gamble. Be bold like oregano. No, it was too soon. What if Aeron was just being friendly? What if this was his style of dealing with customers? If Adam took a risk on the wrong thing, before he knew for sure, he could ruin everything! He swallowed nervously as he tried to get himself under control once again. No, patience. Be patient.

“How did you acquire seeds from Raej? And soil from Shalador?” he asked. Maybe if he focused on the logistics of gardening that would help him from getting distracted. “And what do you plan to do with the new strain of cocoa?” Bakers used different intensities of cacao in their cookies. That Adam knew. But there were many other uses for cocoa.

The various greenhouses interested Adam as well. Would Taryn let him construct one at her estate? That would be an easy, helpful way to keep plants alive during the cold winters. And would let him to grow more exotic plants if he wanted. He made a note to ask Aeron who had built the greenhouses for him.

By focusing his mind on gardening, Adam, almost instinctively, stopped closer to Aeron than was courteous. Not…intruding, just…close. When he realized it, he took a half step back, creating appropriate, chilled space between. This was most certainly maddening. How would he spend an afternoon gardening with Aeron and not make a move?

He wouldn’t. He knew it. Hopefully, before he risked something like that, he would know what Aeron’s intentions, and attractions, were.

Offline Aeron Clery

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Re: Origanum vulgare
« Reply #7 on: Mar 04, 19, 12:00:40 AM »
Aeron grinned brightly, “It is!  I don’t need to explain to you how much easier it is to talk about plants without having to backstep to explain a lot of things.”  He looked momentarily sheepish, “That sounds horribly catty doesn’t it?   I didn’t mean to sound that rude.”   He figured he didn’t have to continue down that unpleasant track.   “But enough of that, I can’t wait to go see the gardens!  I’ve heard they are just so lovely, and now I can understand why.”

Feeling his tongue catch at that momentary lapse of judgement before speaking, he coughed to clear his throat, “Well, that is a Queen is the heart of the land and a garden is usually where they like to spend their time getting in touch with the land.  So I would assume the gardens would be a reflection of their Lady’s care, so she must be a really wonderful person.”  There, that didn’t sound too contrived, did it?


He grinned in response to Adam’s surprise and excitement about the Raejean imports.  “Oh yes, I had to pull some very twisted strings to make those contacts.  I’ve always had an interest in collecting samples of plants from all over the realm and started trading with merchants and travelling traders as far back as I can remember.  My mother as well, and when she passed on her cuttings,  I expanded on it.   I had to save up some pretty marks to afford these Raej specimens though, and I didn’t go after them until I had a greenhouse in place that could keep them at the right temperature.  One whisper of chill and they wither and die.   The Shaladorian soil was easier.  For enough marks,” and a few other favors he wouldn’t mention ever in polite society, “having someone scoop up dirt while they travelled wasn’t as hard as you would think.  Just have to find the right people who actually travel that way.  Most merchants don’t take those routes.”

“Well, the cocoa I heard can be used for a number of things.   Besides the obvious for sweets, cocoa bean shells are great as fertilizer,  It’s supposed to be very healthy for animal feed, and even liquor.  I bet I could probably find a brewer who might be interesting in trying to make a chocolate liquor.  I’m just mostly excited about the food prospects.  Between bakeries, aristo kitchens and the ladies, I think it could be a great boost to my business.  Especially if I can do some crossbreeding to make something that is unique to me.”

He grinned with all the pride of a father, “Come on before I get a customer to distract me.”  He used a drop of craft to flip his sign to closed and lock the door.

Offline Adam Rhyne

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Re: Origanum vulgare
« Reply #8 on: Mar 24, 19, 08:33:33 PM »
When Aeron said that he was certain Queen Kerry was a wonderful person, a happy smile bloomed on Adam’s face, the unashamed smile of someone who was content with their lot in life. Except that it could have been misconstrued as a romantic happiness, which Adam didn’t want, so it became restrained and shy until the conversation shifted again. Thankfully.
 
“Why don’t most merchants take those routes?” he asked, trying to keep the conversation going so as to learn more – or anything – about Aeron and his life. A mother who did a lot of trading who passed along a love of plants to her son? That sounded familiar. Adam’s parents owned a bakery and a gift shop in the Denford Province and Adam’s mother had kept her own little gardens lush and large. He had always attributed his love of plants to her.
 
“I would love to travel to Shalador,” Adam found himself saying wistfully before he realized it. He clamped his hand over his mouth and then chuckled nervously. “Sorry, I…” Sorry for what? Mother Night, was he just going to keep apologizing for everything? Apparently. He cleared his throat. “I love seeing new things, new sights. That’s all. I hear Shalador is a jungle land so I imagine the plants there are…incredible.” 

Over the next few minutes, the two men chatted amicably about gardening, finding more common roots shared in their hobbies and passions. Until those minutes stretched closer to an hour and they both sheepishly realized that they had taken up a great chunk of each other’s time -- and still wanted to take up more.

Reluctantly though, they had to part ways, something that ended up being quite awkward at first, given how attracted each was to the other. But they made plans to meet up again in a week -- an eternity away, in Adam’s mind.

Still, they had plans to see each other. And that was more than Adam had ever expected to happen when he had ventured out that morning.