"Jo! I'm so excited to be your apprentice! And I promise I will take good care of King, I'll make sure his legs are rubbed and..." Nathaniel was hardly able to contain himself after supper. Their father was giving him exactly what he wanted, what he had always dreamed of. Joanna tolerated it for a while, but soon she began to tune him out until she noticed he had stopped talking all together. She glanced over at him, to see he had fallen asleep in the lounging chair. After supper the family lounged around in the large living area. Their mother usually played a game of cyvasse with father, while the children read or played their own games. Joanna had sat down to watch their parents play cyvasse, her bear of a father handling the little pieces with care while his brow furrowed in concentration. Her tiny mother made each move look like it had its own important purpose. She didn't move her hand until she had decided which piece to move, and when she did she didn't falter in her movements. Mother always said a Lady never second guessed herself or gave the slightest hint of apprehension. Her face was smooth, showing neither triumph nor defeat.
"Father, Nathaniel has fallen asleep," Joanna said with a smile, "I'll take him up to bed," She said. Before she could reach for Nathaniel she saw Orren reach down.
"I'm headed to bed anyway," He said. Joanna smiled and settled back down in her chair. She pulled her legs up underneath her, earning her a disapproving glanced from her mother. Another thing her mother drilled into her head, a Lady was always sitting straight, there was no slouching, and the legs were never tucked underneath your body. She sighed and rested her head on her hands and watched her father pick up a piece and set it down, his brows coming together and pulling apart again as he focused. Lady Alyssa was a fierce competitor in the game of cyvasse, she rarely ever lost a game and she taught her daughters the secret, letting the boys figure it out for themselves. Orren had become a great player as well, but he still couldn't beat their mother. Joanna was good and she knew the secret but she didn't enjoy the game. She preferred to be on the back of a horse.