Finishing his report, Bran glanced around the small camp while Carey thought about the news. His eyes fell on Shari, cradling Ryan in her arms. From this distance, it was impossible to see anything of the baby.
Carey noticed the look. “You haven’t had a chance to meet my son yet, have you?” He grinned. “Come on.”
A bit reluctantly, Bran followed him. He’d avoided Shari and her baby as unobtrusively as he could; naturally, Carey had noticed it anyway.
Shari looked up on their approach and smiled. It was a smile that encompassed both of them, and Bran started to relax. Apparently, Shari was growing more comfortable with his presence. Either that or she figured that having Carey around made it safe.
Carey slipped his infant son from his wife’s arms, giving her a quick kiss on the forehead. He straightened and turned to Bran. “Meet Ryan.”
Bran looked down at the tiny bundle. Wisps of red hair covered a small, round head. Every bit of the sleeping baby’s chubby features was tiny, from the ears to the mouth to the nose. One hand had slipped out of the blanket wrapping him, the miniscule fingers clenched in a tight fist.
With his nearly flawless memory, Bran could barely remember the last time he’d seen an infant. He thought he remembered some of his siblings as babies, but that was long ago. He started to reach forward to touch the tiny hand, but pulled back.
Carey saw it, of course, and a slightly wicked grin crossed his face. “Here, Bran. Why don’t you hold him for a bit?”
“Me?” Bran took a half step backward. His eyes darted over to Shari, hoping that she’d protest and take her son back. To his dismay, she didn’t look disturbed at all. Instead, she looked…amused. There would be no help from that quarter. “I’d probably drop him,” he argued instead.
Carey gave a hoot of laughter. “You? I’ve never seen you come even close to dropping something you didn’t want to.”
Most things he carried didn’t matter so much if he dropped them. Unfortunately, he couldn’t think of any other excuses, good or bad.
Carey didn’t give him time to think, either. He stepped forward and calmly deposited his son in Bran’s reluctant arms.
A vague memory of holding one of his little siblings came back to him. He’d probably been no more than eight. It made him feel more confident, though, and he gently touched Ryan’s little fist with one finger, marveling at how small and soft it was.
Ryan yawned, and then his eyes flickered open, revealing them to be a soft blue. The baby regarded Bran’s face for a bit, and then smiled. It was a giant, toothless smile, and it was hopelessly contagious. Bran didn’t even realize he’d smiled in return.
Another yawn split Ryan’s face, and he closed his eyes, wriggling slightly, before dropping off to sleep again. Bran handed him gently back to Carey. “If you don’t need me for anything else, there are a few things I’d like to go do.”
“Go right ahead,” Carey said, his tone slightly odd. “Try to be back in time for supper, though.”
The corner of Bran’s mouth quirked slightly. “Of course.” He bowed slightly to both Carey and Shari, and then turned and left.
Shari looked up at Carey, putting the question in both of their minds into words. “Was it only my imagination, or did I just see Bran Emlyk smile?”
So, Bran doesn't smile much, obviously. He's essentially trained himself to show no emotion, ever. There are reasons behind that; Bran possibly has the most tragic and horrifying past of all my characters. No guarantee, though. ;)
This scene might be cheesy, but it makes me happy. On the other hand, Bran and Carey make me happy...
Anyway, mostly posting this because I want to post something. I ought to work on something new to go here, too...