“Achen!” Luenda set mallet and chisel down atop her workbench, peeled safety glasses off, hung them on the pegboard and stepped away from shaping staves for a new drum. “This is a welcome interruption, I should get up a fire and make tea.” She brushed wood shavings from her leather apron before giving the visitor a hug.
“Don’t bother. They filled me up at the Hearth.”
She made a silly chuckle: “Thanks, it’s too warm to light the stove anyway.” She led the way out of her shop and they sat on a log bench that viewed the little mesa and the Hall.
“Peter took him up to Taralisa and Suthra’s. He has his own cabin there. Close to his new babies. Did you go by Branch House? How is Sunrah?”
“He’s doing great. I’ve moved there—I’m the lead teacher. That new two room cabin? My billet now: classroom in front, office and bed in the rear. I have the boy full time, Synoveh drops by for the feedings. I think Marcus is a little jealous.”
“Don’t be ridiculous. He knows that you aren’t a threat.”
“Not for his wife,” Achen smiled. “Marcus is really fond of Sunrah, doesn’t want to see him go.”
“Marcus has Luvin. And the boy should be with his Dad.”
“Yeah—but I’m not his Dad, not anymore. I will always call Sunrah Gardul’s son—not mine. We mixed the semen, and I never want a blood test. I don’t want Sunrah to forget his father just because he never got to know him. I’ll have him call me ‘Uncle’, not ‘Dad’.”