This one just broke my heart. I can’t rewrite it to include Thomas (coz he’s busy with other things, if you know what I mean, nudge nudge, wink wink…)
Warwick poured two cups of wine and passed one to John. They sat down, glad of the stillness, their bones aching from hours in the saddle. It seemed to Warwick that he’d been on the road most of the last five years, a chair less familiar than a horse’s back. He closed his eyes and yawned.
“You’ve forgotten what it’s like up here,” John said. “Life in the south’s given you soft hands and a soft arse.”
“I’ve had to fight,” Warwick said. “And it hasn’t all been easy.”
“You’ve changed, though. Hard to put my finger on it. It’s not just the fancy clothes…” John snapped his fingers. “Got it! It’s like you’re only half here. Where’s the other half? Lying on a feather bed with your countess?”
“There’s more to life and marriage than that.”
John shook his head. “Then I’m not sure I’m going to enjoy either.” He took a mouthful of wine. “You must miss them though. Especially now you have Isobel.”
“Ah, she’s a bonny thing. Fair like her mother.” He looked at his brother and smiled. “She’s got a temper, though.”
“Like her father.”
He liked to sit her on his knee and kiss her soft warm face, his fingers catching in her curls. He liked to watch her as she slept, snuffling and stirring beneath the blankets. Such a little thing, he thought. So much like Anne. It amazed him still how the two of them had together made something so perfect.
“It’s a hell of a thing, John,” he said. “A hell of a thing.”