01.09.3014: Thats My Girl
Summary: Ephraim and Lorelei have a meal with Ma and Da Quellton (Balius posing for parents)
Date: 5th Nov 2013
Related: None
Lorelei Ephraim Balius 


The Quellton Place
The farmstead/ranch/stables
01.09.3014

Today was the day, Ephraim was meeting the parents, officially. Not passing on his way to meet Lorelei, or spotted lingering somewhere on the Quellton property, but going to meet, talk with, eat with, meet the parents. He'd worn what appears to be his best winter type clothes. New cloak, new cowl, new doublet, new trousers, new boots, all lined with warm fabrics. Where he might normally have choosen real fur in the past, he's made the effort to use high end synthetics. He's not saying these were made specifically to meet the Quellton's, but they may have been.

Lorelei had gone to meet him at the ways and escort him back. They might be running just a touch late, maybe something kept him as he travelled the Ways from Beacon, but they are arriving at the family home. He seems in rather good spirits, if not a little red of cheek, most likely from the cold weather one might expect. He does look briefly at Lorelei, "And you're sure, I'm presentable?"

Lorelei chuckles softly, "Yes. You look fine. Don't worry." They're hand in hand and she'll give his a squeeze as they make their way up the path to the house. She's dressed in Chi's old hand me down cloak. It's not the prettiest, but it's the warmest she has.

As they get closer to the house, they can hear the usual hustle and bustle. Lorelei would be quite familiar with the sounds of parental arguing…or rather Hera Quellton fussing loudly while Pontus is likely sitting in a chair, the silent chamber holding in whatever is running through his mind. The door stands open and it's clear that neither has seen or heard the guests yet.

Giving a pause at the sounds of fussing coming from inside. "Maybe this isn't a good idea," says Ephraim, giving her's a squeeze as well. But by his smile, she might notice he's joking, he's ready as ever. Hopefully she notices his joking. He'll proceed towards that door, must be inviting, unless Lorelei holds him back. "I should of brought a jello mold or something right, I didn't check with our steward to see if there was some formal etiquette to this." If allowed, he'll just walk right in with Lorelei, hand in hand …

Eph is allowed, but she makes sure to move in first, shuffling enough that her parents should hear them. Loree takes deep breath,maybe for courage, "Ma! Da! We're here!" She'll give Eph's hand a squeeze and gives her brightest smile.

It is Hera Quellton who responds first. Brown hair down up all fancy, her ever-critical hazel eyes appraise them with a wide, over-exaggerated smile. She curtsies deeply. "MY Lord! How wonderful it is to have you in our humble home. We're simple folk, but I assure you the pie is heavenly." With a grand wave of her hand she motions them in. "Please, come in, come in. I hope your journey went well?" She gives Loree a quick, discreet - is that what you're wearing? - look as she moves back to the counter.

Pontus Quellton sits at the head of the table, reading something in front of him. He's almost non-responsive until Hera nudges him on her way back to counter. Blue-green eyes and slowly greying hair from Ponty as he regards the two coming in. He gives his daughter a smile. "See ya brought yer friend here. Well, come on in and take a seat. Ma's been a fussin' over that stove all day." He's wearing his riding suit and doesn't make eye contact with Lord Ephraim.

Grinning at the warm greating from Hera, Ephraim returns to her, "I assure you, Ms. Quellton, the pleasure is all mine. You have a wonderful home and if I had to guess by the smell, the pie is beyond heavenly." Not to mention, he's tried it before, in the form of leftovers. Grinning to look between Lorelei and her, it seems he likes Hera already. "All things considered, it was a pleasant journey with a warm destination, a good day indeed."

Then there is Pontus, who seems to only direct his comments at Lorelei. Even still, not taking a seat as it seems offered to Lorelei, he does offer a greeting, "And a pleasure Mr. Quellton." Continuing, between both parents, "A pleasure to finally meet you both. My apology it has taken this long for me to present myself to you, I am sorry for not coming to meet either of you any earlier and at your better convenience."

Lorelei hesitates, she wasn't expecting her parents to switch their personalities….Ma usually is mean and Da is usually friendly…She'll shrug off her cloak, revealing she's wearing her nicest riding outfit. It's still not fancy, but it's the nicest work outfit she has. She'll hold her arm out for Eph's cloak, not bothering to answer Ma's look over at her outfit, instead , "Ma,Da…This is Lord Ephraim Hollolas." The cloaks are hung up on a peg in the ball.

"Lorelei, be a dear would you, and get Lord Ephraim something to drink?" Hera is a flurry around the kitchen. The table has been set, but it seems as if she might be warming up the food that's cooled down, since the two of them were late. "You

"Lorelei, be a dear would you, and get Lord Ephraim something to drink?" Hera is a flurry around the kitchen. The table has been set, but it seems as if she might be warming up the food that's cooled down, since the two of them were late. "You're far too kind, my Lord. Please, have a seat." She insists again, pleasantly.

At being directed a greeting, Ponty will give a nod politely to Ephraim and puts away his old datapad. "The stables are what makes a Quellton, a Quellton, my Lord. And it's good you found time to visit common folk like us."

Moving to take a seat, Ephraim grins to Hera, nods to Pontus just the same. "Sir," he says, not out of since of byname or entitlement, but out of respect for the man, "I should have presented myself much sooner. I'd hardly consider either of you, or the livelihood you have established for your family here, as common. My time is no more valuable than your own." Looking to see how Lorelei is coming along, "And considering my intentions, perhaps my coming her is long overdue, out of a respect for the both of you." An eye is given first to Pontus, and then to Hera, indicating his seriousness in wanting to meet them, and that he should of came much sooner.

Again, Loree hesitates but will nod starting towards the kitchen asking Eph,"Would you like juice, coffee?" A frown appears when Da starts talking, She really wasn't expecting that tone. That's the tone he uses when he talks to Chiron. She'll offer from the kitchen, "Chiron's at training and Bey's at classes. He started this week."

Hera returns with plates to the table. "Lord Ephraim, you're far too kind. Lorelei has asked us time and time again. We just never could arrange for everyone to be here altogether. And those boys, running off, startin' their lives. My little squire and the student." She beams with pride and looks to Lorelei, stepping to her side. "And Lorelei here's always been a such a gem. And creative." Loree's heard that tone before…when Ma had to sell horses a few times.

Ponty gives his wife a look that causes her to turn a bit and move to working again. "Let's have some food 'fore we get to all that." He says dismissively as Hera brings him an ale.

"I'd love a juice," Ephraim replies to Lorelei with a smile. Still in a good mood. "I couldn't agree more Ma'am," he continues to Hera, "She's shared a few poems, and I feel priveledged enough to have been allowed to read them. And a gem indeed, I'd …" He might of been getting close to that realm where he finds a compliment for the parents in suggesting how much he appreciates all that Lorelei is. He is not catching onto the tone of 'selling the horse' coming from Hera. Though, as Pontus suggest eating first, Ephraim gives a slight pause. Redirecting, "I'm looking forward to enjoying a Quellton meal." Then as if to make conversation with Pontus, "You've done a lot with this ranch, I'm curious how you came to be in this business?" Curious if its family, or if he started it from scratch perhaps, or just to get him talking 'business.'

Lorelei bite her lower lip, trying to not be too embarrassed at whatever Ma was doing. When she come back with juice for both Eph and herself, her cheeks are only slightly pink. Loree will keep her eyes down, mind racing with how to redirect this into something good. The juice is set in front of Eph and Loree will sit down next to him. She'll glance up at Da's grumps, a small frown forming, "Is everything ok, Da?" Maybe something happened with the horses…

Hera's set the table and busy passing around food, making sure everyone gets plenty of what they like. She's attempted to discreetly have a cooler of ales sitting under the table next to Ponty…an encouragement of sorts.

"It's been ours for generations, least until now." Pontus grumps to Lord Ephraim until Lorelei asks him the question. A smile forms on his face for his daughter. He gives an excited shoulder-clasp. "I'm havin' dinner with my girl, couldn't be better!" It's a try and fail from the man to be positive. "I had your Ma make that casserole thing you like so much." He passes it to her.

Nodding in response to having the stable/ranch for generations, Ephraim might go on, but then, seeing the change in Pontus when Lorelei prompts him, he actually catches on to what the man might be going through. Not from personal experience so much, but an understanding that its the man caring for his daughter. A warm smile comes to him, and not wanting to get in the middle of this sort of bonding moment. He'll be content with juice and any food that makes it to the table. He doesn't know what to expect either, but differs to Lorelei for the moment, he's committed to not discussing his intent until after the meal. So, instead he turns towards Hera, "Its really a lovely home you have."

Lorelei frown doesn't leave, "Da…." She saw the books, and all the red… Her hand reaches for her father's, eyes full of concern. He had Ma make her favorite….and Ma made it? Is she dying from something? Loree actually looks panic for a moment, eyes going between all three people before she takes the dish, "Thank you Ma. It is my favorite, Eph, I'm sure you'll love it." She'll throw him a smile, it's not his fault her family is possessed currently by weirdness. Once she has her food, she'll pass the dish to Eph. "Ma makes everything pretty. You should see her cakes and flower arrangements."

"Why thank you, my Lord. We're Six-blessed, that's for certain." Hera says agreeably. "And I've certainly tried to pass onto my daughter the importance and benefits of such skills." She gives her daughter a pointed look.

Pontus will take his daughter's hand and give it a squeeze. "Eat up, my girl, afore it gets cold again." He gives her a reassuring smile as he starts to eat his food. "We hope this meets your high standards, my Lord." He adds, looking pointedly to his plate.

"Of course ma'am," says Ephraim with a grin, though not going into agreement with her in regards how much she has passed on to Lorelei, respecting Pontus' wish to enjoy the meal before discussing that himself. Then again, he brought up Ephraim's high standards. "Sir, I'd most likely have to set my standards higher, if the Quellton's were the bar. Its simply a priveledge to share the table, in a warm, comfortable environment." Er, maybe that was the wrong metaphor. Pondering what to do with his hands a moment, he considers his juice, the wonderful smelling food. "The home has been in your family for generations," he says, returning to that topic, "I'm hoping it will stay that way, family is important to me."

Lorelei wilts slightly at her mother's look. Her eyes go to her plate, as she pick ups her fork and pushes some of the food around. Even if it's her favorite, the tension in the air is making it hard to enjoy. She'll look up, giving a smile to Eph at his words. Eyes going between both parents, unsure who she should be trying to sway at this point, "Ephriam handles business for his father, shipping things."

Hera's practically beaming to Ephraim as she reaches her hand across the table. "Oh Lord Ephraim, you're far too kind. Lorelei said you were charming, but my goodness!" She gives his arm a reassuring, maternal squeeze before returning to her food.

Pontus gives a bit of a grunt to Ephraim's claims about family, a clear sign of disbelief. But, he'll look to the Lord and give him a forced smile, his tone an attempt to be polite. "Family, my Lord, is everything. If ya ain't got blood, well, I shudder to think of the human that's not got that." Words of…wisdom…from Ponty. "Shipping then? That must make you a nice profit in hard times like these." The tone is flat.

A warm smile is turned on Hera, a thanks perhaps, for the squeeze of his arm. Certainly she might be the matriarch in the family, but Ephraim was more concerned about the father and his only daughter and the squeeze was reassuring to him at least. A smile is favored to Lorelei for bringing up business, as if the was a brilliant idea he wasn't even considering, for dinner conversation. "Yes sir, perhaps not the happiest means to come by profits while monitoring various demands on the resources we have. But there has been a slight boon. Hollolas is carefully monitoring its gain versus contributions to the crown and the war efforts. We enjoy the profits, but we don't want it to come at the espense of the realms. A few new market analysis techniques are arising at the onset of the Hostiles that seem favorable to getting the right edge. I don't make the tools, I'm lucky enough to apply them."

Lorelei's wide eyed as she watches what may be the the start of first ever battle at the kitchen table that didn't involve Chiron, or Loree's eating habits. Something that Da says has Loree looking down again, the smile disappearing from her face. The fork pushes around more food and she'll nod with what Eph is saying. "The Hollolas family gave Chiron the medal…They help with the war efforts in a lot of ways." She's not exactly sure if that's true, but….

Hera seems a bit flustered with her husband and swaps out his ales in a quick motion. Giving him a stink eye that's not readily visible to anyone else before she turns to smile back at Ephraim. "And that's quite, well, noble of you, my Lord. Your family is well-known for their generosity and steadfastness." Nevermind until recently she thought all the Hollolas folks had lived on boats.

"My girl, you're right." Ponty says with a smile. "I'm sure the Hollolas family has been honorable in their commitments." He goes to finishing up his food, trying to avoid another dinner disaster.

Nevermind that the probably would live on boats if they could even, Erphaim nods to both of them, favoring Hera as she seems amiable to the conversation but not leaving Pontus out of his agreements. "Thank you, I'm glad that is our reputation," he says, versus some of the other things that could be more notable, if not favorable. "Our concerns are indeed focused more locally, including our vassals, but we make effort to contribute where we can, beyond our borders." Without going into much detail, some of which he might not be wholly aware of even. "And as for our commitments, yes sir, as important as the bond of family is, so is our word." Food is nearing done right, so he continues, "I was hoping to approach you with such a commitment." No need to go straight for the heart, but not to tiptoe around it entirely either. He could go on, but its sort of putting the toe in the water after Pontus wanted to enjoy the dinner without such talks, checking to see if the water has warmed maybe.

Lorelei glances over to Eph, wanting to take his hand, but thinking that might not be the best, with Da in such mood. She'll take a deep breath, and a sip of her juice, so she has something other than a few bites in her tummy. She'll force a smile at the 3 , sending of a silent pray to the Six that this goes smoothly.

Nevermind that the probably would live on boats if they could even, Erphaim nods to both of them, favoring Hera as she seems amiable to the conversation but not leaving Pontus out of his agreements. "Thank you, I'm glad that is our reputation," he says, versus some of the other things that could be more notable, if not favorable. "Our concerns are indeed focused more locally, including our vassals, but we make effort to contribute where we can, beyond our borders." Without going into much detail, some of which he might not be wholly aware of even. "And as for our commitments, yes sir, as important as the bond of family is, so is our word." Food is nearing done right, so he continues, "I was hoping to approach you with such a commitment." No need to go straight for the heart, but not to tiptoe around it entirely either. He could go on, but its sort of putting the toe in the water after Pontus wanted to enjoy the dinner without such talks, checking to see if the water has warmed maybe.

Lorelei glances over to Eph, wanting to take his hand, but thinking that might not be the best, with Da in such mood. She'll take a deep breath, and a sip of her juice, so she has something other than a few bites in her tummy. She'll force a smile at the 3 , sending of a silent pray to the Six that this goes smoothly.

"Then I'm supposin' we need to go for a walk, my Lord." Pontus gets up out of his chair, as Hera looks like she might throw a party. Practically beaming sunshine she is. As he walks to the door, he bends to kiss his only daughter on the head and opens the door. "Shall we, Lord Ephraim?"

Giving a look to Lorelei first, then to Hera, Erphaim nods in response. "Yes sir, a walk would be good," as if its seasonal, walking out into the snow is normal. Likewise, avoiding the topic in front of Lorelei, but smiling a little when he notices Hera's own smile. He'll take his cloak, and move to hold the door even, so they can have their walk. "Thank you again Mr. Pontus." For meeting with him, talking with him, maybe even the walk.

Ol' Ponty Quellton gives a nod and heads out the doorway with a sigh, taking long and slow steps. Once he turns towards the stables, his stoic face looks to Ephraim. "Alright, son. I imagine you gots somethin you been dyin' ta tell me, is that so?" He eyes him skeptically.

There is a nod from Ephraim, if he wasn't prodded, he probably would of begun on his own. That Pontus takes the lead, opens him up a little. "Yes sir," he begins respectfully. "Not so much tell you. Rather, it is to seek your permission, or approval. I would like to ask your daughter to be recognized as my Companion. I would like to make this commitment to her, and your family and I am curious what you would have of me that we may forge this union." As straight forward as he can be at least.

"What I would…have of ye?" Pontus gives him a confused look. "Are we tradin cattle or talkin about my daughter's future and happiness?" He takes a deep breath in an attempt to stay calm. "Alright, what about you makes you so deservin' of her? Tell me that first."

Shaking his head, Erphaim responds, "No sir, this is your daughter. I'm not asking to set a price or make a trade, simply what it would take for me to join your family — learning to ride horse, mucking stables, contribuing my share around here .. physcially." A pause as he considers the question, "But, yes, what makes me deserving. I can't say I was deserving, in honesty, as much as I appreciate how kind you and yours were regarding my reputation, I'm sure there are a few black marks out there. What I can say, is that your daughter has made me a better man. I have realized a love that is worth making a change for in coming to know your daughter. A love worth fighting for. Before, I might of hoped to take her away, to my home, to Beacon, but through her I have realized the importance of a family. I want to make her a companion sir, make her my family, not take her away from hers though. I don't know if I'm deserving, but am hoping to earn the joy of being able to spend a life with her."

Pontus walks in silence for several long minutes. Feet crashing against snow as a gentle breeze adds to the chill. He stops outside the barn and thinks long and hard. "A man who's just realized the importance of family is now off to talkin about starting one?" He says, hands deep in his pockets. Pa's thinking pose. "And a'course she's turned you into a better man, she's a Quellton for Six's sake. What I wanna know is, how do you make her better? I ain't a man to gossip, but the rumors been a brewin. And I gots boys that got a mind ta talk themselves. I ain't here ta judge, just wanna know what it is you proposin ta do for my girl."

A shake of his head, Ephraim responds, "No sir, I'm in no hurry to simply start a family. I would rather make a serious proposal to your daughter that she consider being my Companion. But that being her choice to accept. I would gladly spend time with you and Hera, to learn of your family. What I offer your daughter would be the attention and love she deserves. She spends her life doing all she can for others, her family, her friends, those in need, those simply willing to take that attention for themselves greedily even. She deserves someone who will be there for her, in the times she wants that someone, or waiting for her in the times she doesn't. But there, for her, reminding her how special she is, a rare gem. I don't want to take her from family, from you, your sons, your wife, because I've realized how important you are to her. I know with your sons leaving, she's worried about the stables, I'm willing to do what I can to assure your family stays here, for her, for grandchildren. I can provide for her, but only what she is willing to take, as for family and that future, it remains to be seen. I can offer, its hers to accept or decline, I only wish to seek your permission to pursue this course of action."

Ponty gives a rough sort of laugh. "I know I ain't of the learned sort, but shoot straight with me, Lord Ephraim. My daughter would make a great Ma, probably better than her own. But that secret we're both takin to the grave, ya hear?" He chuckles a bit as he looks to Ephraim. "But she won't have kids of her own, not as your…companion. And I'll have none of this talk of bastards. Six above, we've raised her better and you oughta respect her more than that. You gonna rob a rare gem of the joys and headaches of motherhood?" Ponty looks to him, no anger, his voice might be that of devil's advocate but is hard to tell.

A nod of his head, confirmations from him in regards to some of what they've talked about (he and her). Ephraim listens intently as if taking advice while they talk. Devil's advocate indeed. "Sir, I would choose not to rob her of motherhood sir, but I would also choose not to rob her of making the choice. As for children and bastards, I can only say on that account that I have spoken with my family of this very topic. I spoke with them about my desires as opposed to those of the family itself. No child would be turned away, my father would recognize the children, brought up as befitting, if not acknowledged outright in the lines of succession. He knows full well that this would lesson my value to the family as a potential for aligning ourselves with other families and, chiefly, strengthen bonds with the vassals. In honesty, I could hope some day my father would allow this Companionship to develop, allowing her into our house and a marraige, but I wouldn't bait that out there because that is a hope, a wish and a prayer. I can only say I would do all within my means to make your daughter happy sir."

"A dreamer…I see why she likes ya…" Pontus says. "But it ain't worth a hill a beans, Lord Ephraim. You've already involved my daughter in her fair share a scandal. Ya want my blessin'? Then ya move away from yer dreams and speak like a man that's gonna keep my Lorelei's name intact…" He sighs, hands still planted firmly in his pockets. "My daughter's a dreamer too. She's crazy about ye, that much is plain. But tell me, what's a Da ta think? You've got a reputation of a certain sort, and here ye come with all this talk of nonsense. How am I s'posed to know you and I's workin on the same groundin' here?"

"Sir," responds Ephraim, more deadpan then he may have been, which he has been quite a lot - more than his usual self. "I appreciate your concern. I can't outright ask for your trust, your daughter has taught me the value of earning that … trust. As much as I'd like you to accept my intentions at face value, or to use a few words to spin some tales of trust, my reputation does proceed me. I would like to earn that trust from you, from Hera, I would be glad to earn your blessing to proceed with my intentions." A pause, he walks away a moment, looking out over the farm, stops to look back at Pontus. "I can give my word that my intentions are honest, that six months ago, before I met your daughter … My reputation was earned, for all ill intentions. But, as much work as I've put into being a steward for Hollolas, I'm willing to put that effort towards you, so you may get to know me."

"And, I want yer word that ye won't go spoilin' my daughter's virtue in pursuit of what still could be crazy schemes. Naught good'll come a' that." Ponty adds defiantly. "S'pose the best way ta get ta know a man is through workin' or huntin'. We'll work out some trips for ye, and I'll show you some real stable work." He heaves another heavy, tired sigh. "Bought time to have some of that pie, I'm thinkin." He clasps his hand on Ephraim's back, even though Da Quellton is a bit shorter.

"You have my word, I have no intention of spoiling anyone's virtue, least of all your daughters, sir," Ephraim offers the words, still wanting to prove it over simply asking in one sitting for what he came in search of. "Its more than I could ask," hunting, trips, some work to prove himself, "But I thank you." A slight grin, he moves towards the door, hand welcomed to his back. "In fairness, if you arrange for a hunting trip, I would only feel right matching the offer with a fishing trip; my father might join if he can find the time with the war and all. If you're interested …"

"Fishing's a matter of patience over passion, could be ya might need to go fishin a few more times afore we talk about this again." Ponty remarks with a huff as he walks inside where Hera's been henpecking Loree and has set the pies out on the table…

Part I - to be continued ….

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