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Difficult News

Writers: Miriah, Suzee
Date Posted: 18th July 2014

Characters: Vestian, Porenne
Description: Difficult News for the Master Harper
Location: Harper Hall
Date: month 7, day 10 of Turn 7

She hadn't seen him in hours, and her fingers twisted together with
worry. Almonteo had been such a force in the Harper Hall she had
difficulty remembering a time without him. But the apprentice who'd
come for Vestian had been frantic to get the Master to come with him
and knowing her husband, everything else didn't matter.

The children had been fed and put to bed. She had done her best to
keep his dinner warm but by now it was cold. She finally picked up his
plate and was about to put the food away when she heard the front door

"Vestian?" She came out of the kitchen with a towel in her hands.

Vestian came in, shutting the door behind him and moved into the
kitchen to sit. He didn't say anything at first, just staring at the
table with a distant gaze.

"Vestian?" She followed him back into the kitchen with a questioning
look. "Is everything alright?"

"Almonteo had a stroke." Vestian spoke slowly, as if absorbing the
information for himself. He frowned. "There's already discussion about
who his replacement may be."

"Oh my," her face clouded. She sat down heavily and then remembered
her husbands dinner. "Do you want me to heat this up or would you
rather just go to bed?"

He shook his head. "I don't want any thing." His stomach was roiling
at the possibilities of the future and his eyes were distant. The
position opening could mean the pinnacle of his career. He leaned back
in his chair, rubbing at his chin. "I'm not tired either. "

"Can I get you anything at all. Klah?"

"Klah is fine." His voice was still distant, as if barely paying
attention. "I could become the Hallmaster..."

She'd gone to retrieve a cup and poured for him. Her eyes widened at
his words thought "Hallmaster. Oh Vestian," she sat with a smile. "Do
you really think it's possible?" She would do whatever was needed to
advance her husbands career.

"Yes. I'm one of the ones who will be considered. That's why they
wanted me." He took the klah from her and took a sip, his eyes still
distant. "It what I've wanted for Turns." He drummed his fingers
against the table. "But it's less time for my art."

"Surely you could take your name out of the running if that's what you
want," she said and sat back down.

He finally looked at her. "Why would I want to do that. Becoming
Hallmaster would be everything I've worked for."

Her eyes opened wide. "I'm sorry Vestian. Of course I support whatever
decision you make."

As she should. He gave a short nod and took another sip of klah.
"It'll mean more duties for you as well as my wife." He continued
looking at her. "I expect that you'll be fine with that."

"Yes of course my dear," she smiled.

"Good." He rose, finishing the klah and held out his hand. "It's time for bed."

She froze the smile on her face knowing what that meant and took his
hand with a nod.

At the frozen look on her face, Vestian's lips turned downward and he
released her hand. "Nevermind. " He set down his klah. "I'll be in my
study. I'll see you in the morning, Porenne."

She gave him a troubled nod. "Alright." Not for the first time she
wished she knew what it was that other women knew. She just didn't
understand and her marriage had always been difficult in that respect.
Usually any sign of willingness on her part made him happy. She took a
deep breath and let it out slowly as she watched him retreat into his
private room. Her eyes were sad as she turned toward the steps that
would take her up to their shared bedroom.

Last updated on the July 28th 2014

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All references to worlds and characters based on Anne McCaffrey's fiction are © Anne McCaffrey 1967, 2013, all rights reserved, and used by permission of the author. The Dragonriders of Pern© is registered U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, by Anne McCaffrey, used here with permission. Use or reproduction without a license is strictly prohibited.