Stabling the horses

Old Ben was glad to be off the coach. Sure, it was his job and he was grateful but that seat needed a new cushion and no matter how many times he asked that Oberin for a new one his request went unanswered. He parked the coach and saw to the horses. They were magnificent beasts, his pride and joy. He loved them as much, or more, than most people.

"Good night Annabelle, goodnight Clarice," and so on, wishing each horse separately a good night and well wishes like a father would to his children. He strolled up from the coach house past the garden where the new girl was, working in and around the garden. Calling her "new" still amused him as she'd been here a pair of full seasons at least and they were magical to say the least.

He avoided the font door of the manor at all cost even though it was the most direct route. Every time he stepped through it, it felt like he lost of a bit of himself and at his age he didn't have much left to give up. Round through the gardens and greenhouse and he spied her, dark and beautiful. He saw the faintest lines under her eyes and it saddened him.

"Still not sleeping well?" he asked.

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