Chapter Twenty

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Well, i do believe this is the chapter that most of you have been waiting for. It only took me twenty chapters to get there, but then i love my slow burn stories so yay!

 This chapter is dedicated to Isaintilus for your hilarious chapter commentary, it made my week.

Chapter Twenty

Aurelia had the pleasant surprise of entertaining Kailen's sister Elwyn, her husband Niclas and their two year old son, Trystan (named after the deceased older brother of Kailen and Elwyn) that afternoon in Kailen's hut.

Aurelia immediately liked Elwyn and Niclaas upon meeting them. Elwyn for her kindness on the first day Aurelia had arrived in the village and Niclas for his easy quiet companionship. Where Elwyn was teasing, Niclas was serious. Where Elwyn was talkative, Niclas was a man of few words. They seemed to be the opposite ends of the personality spectrum, but together they balanced each other out harmoniously. They had that easy going way with each other that spoke of a long happy marriage and the love could be seen in every glance and every touch.

Their little boy, Trystan, seemed to take after his mother. He was a very curious soul, hands touching everything within reach, speaking the language of the very young, and very affectionate towards Aurelia. Within a few minutes of being introduced, Trystan was clutching at the folds of her dress and demanding to be held in her arms which she readily obeyed.

It was at this point that Kailen walked in and found Trystan dozing quietly in her arms as she gently rocked him back and forth.

It took Aurelia a few moments to realise that silence had descended on the hut and, glancing up, she met his eyes from across the room.

He seemed transfixed by the sight, his eyes constantly wandering from her face to the small child in her arms and then back again. The charged silence seemed to stretch between them to the point that it was fast becoming uncomfortable for all that were involved.

She struggled to think of what to say to fill in the gap. "Do you, uh, do you want to hold him?"

Her words seemed to snap him out of it as he rubbed the back of his neck in a self conscious gesture that didn't really fit with what she knew of him. "He looks to be quite content in your arms, bright eyes." the nickname sent her heart into quick time. "I wouldn't want to intrude."

"Little Trystan gets cuddles from his Uncle Kailen all the time," Elwyn said with a small smirk. "I'm sure he can give up some of the time to you, Aurelia."

"I'm not going to lie, it would have been a wrench on the heart to hand him over," Aurelia teased, resuming her soothing sway back and forth.

"Motherhood would suit you," Elwyn said from her seat by her husband, his arm slung loosely around her waist. "Wouldn't you agree, Kailen?"

"I think it suits her very well," Kailen said in a choked voice, shooting a scathing look at his smug sister. "Far better than you, sweet sister."

"In sibling speak that means Kailen loves his sister very much," Niclas said to Aurelia with amusement. "It's all about the feelings behind reverse sentiment. Insults are simply veiled compliments."

Aurelia laughed softly. "I can imagine."

"And to what do i owe the pleasure of my family's company today?" Kailen asked quickly to change the subject. Aurelia found it incredibly endearing.

"Merely a social call, brother." Elwyn answered with an innocent smile. "And to see if Aurelia is settling in and needed anything."

"That and Elwyn wanted to check up on you," Niclas said to Kailen cheerfully. "She's worse than a curious neighbour."

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