“Let the boy enjoy his last day in Denerim, Eamon,” said Maric airily, ignoring the glower his brother-in-law was aiming towards him. “After all, it’s Summerday. One last day of freedom before he starts training.”
The elder Guerrin scoffed and left shaking his head. Maric just watched him go then smiled at Teagan, who was still standing nearby shaking his head in a completely different fashion. “Has Eamon ever had a day of fun in his life, Teagan?” he asked with a smile.
“That I can recall?” replied the younger with mischeivous smile. “Eamon’s always been a bit of a stick in the mud. He, thankfully, was the only one of us to inherit that from our mother.” Teagan then sobered and bowed before saying, “I’ll look out for the lad, Your Majesty.”
Arching an eyebrow, Maric said, “You can call me by my name, Teagan.” He had a good guess for the reasoning behind the sudden use of titles between them when Teagan had always been the most relaxed with him. Glancing pointedly towards the door of his office where Eamon had just left, he added, “I promise I won’t tell Eamon you’re butchering tradition.”
That made the younger Guerrin laugh and he nodded his head as he said, “Maric.”
“Thank you. Now, Eamon told me that you were going to be covering Cailan’s martial training while he’s at Redcliffe?”
Teagan straightened smartly as he nodded. “Well, as the overseer of the training at least. The real teachers will be our Knights, of course. Cailan will have company as well as you probably know.”
Maric inclined his head as he answered, “Yes, I know. It was actually at my suggestion that Bryce sent Fergus to Eamon.”
“I see.” Stepping forward, Teagan peered down into the Denerim market and smiled sadly. “I don’t think, however, that Fergus will be a replacement for his little brother.”
Shaking his head, Maric turned his attention back to the two boys, ages twelve and seven, who were darting through the crowds in front of the Palace with a pair of guards hurrying on their heels as well as the sedately walking Osanna. As they watched, Cailan hefted Alistair up into his arms for the younger boy to get a better view of the procession of white-clad boys and girls making their way through the city.
“Nor can anyone replace Alistair for Cailan,” intoned Maric quietly. He was setting himself up for a long stint of dealing with a very unhapppy seven year-old with his plans but Cailan already knew the ins-and-outs of the Palace. There were things that boys needed to learn from other places besides home. Thankfully, Osanna had already promised him she would do her level best to keep Alistair distracted.
Teagan shrugged helplessly before saying, “They’ll forgive you for separating them eventually.” When Maric made a face, he added, “Just think. The two of them will have the rest of their lives to bother each other and they’ll both thank you for the training they got.”
“Eventually,” repeated Maric.
“Such is the burden of fatherhood,” chirped the other man. “At least so far as I’m given to understand it.”
Shaking his head, the King turned to smile down at his children. Teagan was right, at least, in that fact that they would have the rest of their lives to be brothers.