Hushed Willows shimon
Rivenwood
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#1
All Welcome 
the day was dreary with rain, a cold sunlight attempting valiantly to warm the icewater droplets. thick willowbranches protected from the worst. boone and reverie had chosen a lovely place for their home, and heda wished them all the goodwill in her spirit.
but when she was not hunting, she was gazing in the direction of the ocean, waiting for simeon's familiar frame to approach. and when she was not waiting, she found herself wordless with grief, eyes dry for she could not allow her strength to fail. not now.
she was a thin silhouette drifting between the greenfall of the pretty leaves.
caracal had been gone just over a month.
Hearthwood
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Reverie had kept her distance from the wolves she'd allowed within their borders, sensing their grief would be best served by solitude. None of them seemed keen on company. Yet the woman remained in her thoughts, the widow, the Redhawk with sad golden eyes. They'd come from the sea.

Are you settling in alright? She called out softly when she spotted the woman. Her approach was slow, still hindered by the limp that might never leave her. Reverie glanced around for the children and did not find them; they were alone, for now, and maybe that was best. Maybe this way, they could have a true conversation.
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Rivenwood
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the gilted woman was approaching, reverie. heda noted her limp but made no point of it, instead offering a grateful expression to the kind words. "we're ... well." she hadn't meant to pause, her voice had only broken a little, but there it was. "i'm thankful you've allowed us to stay. we're waiting for a son of mine to join us."
in the meantime, she would hunt as much as she was able, replacing what she and the children ate.
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Reverie beckoned for the widow to walk with her, starting toward the lake she'd come to enjoy sitting beside at sunset. It's not any trouble, She glanced only briefly over the woman's expression, her sad eyes. You came from the ocean, didn't you? I lived there once. My brother still does, on an island. She sighed a little as she said it, thinking of the children who had almost been her own. Where were they now? Were they loved?

Is it far? Where you're going, I mean, Reverie asked a bit abruptly, suddenly concerned with the journey ahead of the little group. She was hardly in a position to offer to go with them, yet everything in her said that she should. But the urge died away as quickly as it had come; she would only hinder more than help, she knew.
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brother. island. brother — island.
heda knew, surely, yes? at least she understood there was some sort of connection between she and reverie and sweetharbor now, but she could not find a bare bit of strength to mention the island where her husband lay in a grave. "the sea, yes," strained, evasive.
"it's at least a week, i think. but i have john, and the — we can all travel," heda finished hoarsely, then tried to turn them to better things. "this is quite a pretty place. how long have you been settled here?"
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The widow did not linger long on the topic of the sea, and for that Reverie could not fault her. A widow was a woman who had lost her husband, and Reverie could not know that in some ways she shared this title, but had she not experienced a similar loss? Had he not died in her heart that day by the river? And she rarely spoke of the sea now, rarely even thought of it, she who had once been so captivated by the endless water and sound of the waves and salt smell in the air. In some way, she understood.

It is, isn't it? We've only been here a couple months, Reverie admitted, allowing the conversation to slide into a lighter subject now. But a few others have joined us now. I hope for this to be - a place of friends. A place to heal, and be safe. Purposefully she did not speak of the plans she and Boone had for the spring. She felt that it would only hurt the woman.

There's a lake just ahead, it's very quiet there, She added after a moment, thinking that quiet might be just what the widow needed.
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yes. she needed quiet. silence. and gratefully heda followed reverie. the sight of water that was not the ocean turned out to sunder her voice into nothing. there was no fragrance of brine here; she could not taste in the air.
amid the blowing branches of willow trees, her eyes turned to salt, and her shoulders shook. 
"it's been a while since i saw a lake." she said nonsensically, breath quivering; overwhelmed by being so far inland.
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Reverie watched her with a faint worried frown, feeling as if she should — do more. Say more. But what was there to say in the face of such loss? Nothing had soothed her when she'd lost Rose. Nothing had made the world bright again when she'd lost her first husband. Nothing but time and the tearful mornings and fitful nights, and that lingering limp ache like something stretched past its limits.

In silence she reached out to offer a soft embrace, if the woman wished it. She wanted to tell her that it was alright, that she didn't have to pretend to be okay, not right now. But Reverie knew, perhaps too well by now, that sometimes that mask was the only defense against the threat of falling apart entirely. Sometimes that mask is all you have.
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in silence she allowed it, welcomed it. needed it, if heda was being honest with herself.
how odd that no one else would ever know her by the name she had taken for herself.
"god has called me to be a widow," heda found herself saying with a numb mouth. "i think a year of it." she glanced to reverie now. "but god calls to women in the springtime too. and i dread it."