As you can tell from the last name, Stace and Rowen are brothers. Rowen is the older of the two and Stace is quite a bit younger. Stace has a kind heart hidden beneath his outward appearance as one of Merek's men. Stace and Henry are Merek's messengers and are often sent out to do whatever various jobs and assignments Merek thinks are necessary. Though, unlike Henry, Stace doesn't particularly enjoy the assignments. Henry looks down on Stace, seeing his kindness as a weakness. Though, there is one more sore spot for Henry. . .Stace can always beat him with the sword.
Stace is tall and muscular with brown hair and grayish-blue eyes. There are two excerpts today because I need them both to help show Stace's character. Both have to do with Eira's rather unfortunate cooking. ;)
Eira was startled by Merek’s voice as he walked over to her, “You girl, go and make us some soup. My men have fish and I want to have a warm, home cooked meal for once in my life.”
Eira looked at him blankly, “Uh, sir. I can’t walk. My ankle. . .” her voice trailed off and Merek’s gaze traveled down to her ankle which had already swollen to twice its normal size.
Merek swore under his breath and Eira looked at him, startled. “Haven’t you been taught not to say such things?” the words were out before she could stop them.
Merek simply stared at her and she squirmed under his gaze. She liked the yelling Merek better, when he was quiet it seemed to signal that he was extremely angry with you. . .and his eyes further confirmed the fact.
“I--don’t like--to be questioned.” his words were carefully measured and controlled, “is that clear?”
“Now, I will help you over to the fire, and I want that soup. Have I made myself clear?”
Once again Eira nodded, not bringing her eyes up to meet his. She felt his arm go around her as he helped her over to the fire. The fish had been cleaned, and when she glanced around to see who had done it, she caught Willem’s grin from across the fire.. Of course, Willem! I certainly hope he can help me with the soup. The last time I made anything mother proclaimed it not fit to be eaten!
As Merek left her alone, she tried to catch his eye without making it obvious. When softly calling his name didn’t make a difference, she picked up a pebble from the ground and tossed it at him. She missed and was just about to try again when a soft chuckle made her look up. Stace stood behind her eying her in amusement.
“Would you like me to get your brother for you?” his eyes twinkled merrily down at her.
Eira’s face flushed red, “You saw all that?”
He laughed, “I did.”
“Yes, I would greatly appreciate it if you could get Willems attention for me!” she said as Willem walked into one of the huts.
He winked at her, “Wait here, I’d be happy to.” He walked over and entered the hut, reappearing a moment later with Willem.
“Do you need something, Eira?” Willem asked as he hurried over to her, Stace leaned against the side of the hut and watched them with, Eira noticed, the same twinkle in his eye. She tried to block him out as she turned to Willem. “I’m supposed to make soup and--”
“You'd rather not have Merek’s fish become ‘unfit to eat’?”
Willem grinned, “All right, I’ll help you and then I’ll take a look at your ankle. Merek told me you fell and needed help.”
Eira grimaced, she’d make sure Willem got the whole story about what exactly had happened.--Excerpt from The Silent Blade
Eira looked around in dismay. Fresh fish had been caught just that morning and they were tossed haphazardly in a bucket, still whole. A knife nearby told what she was expected to do. Her eyes scanned the men who were talking quietly among themselves. Willem was nowhere to be seen.
She picked up a knife and gingerly picked up a fish. She had seen her mother clean fish lots of times. It couldn’t be that hard. . .could it? The knife slipped easily through the scales and cut the fish’s body in two. She turned the halves over and laid them on the ground.
“Want any help?”
She turned toward the voice, Stace stood there, his eyes silently laughing at her. Why is he always around when I make a fool of my self? she wondered.
“Yes, please,” she glanced sheepishly down at the bucket of fish.
Stace sat down on the ground next to her and, taking a dagger from his pocket, began to slit the fish and remove their insides.
“I’m assuming you didn’t cook much at home?”
She shook her head, “Not at all. Mother’s tried to teach me, but I just can’t seem to get it!’”
“Well, when Merek hurried your brother back to Arden I figured you might need some help. Especially after last night.”
“You, um, won’t say anything to Merek, will you?”
He shook his head, “Merek doesn't care much what the rest of us do as long as he doesn’t need us for something. So when your brother’s not here, I’ll be happy to help.”
She gave him a small smile, “Thank you. But what is Merek after anyway? And what does it have to do with Kevin?”
At this, the smile left Stace’s eyes.
“If your brother hasn’t said anything to you all these years, then I figure he doesn’t want you to know. Here, you’d better watch how this is done just in case there is a time neither Willem or I am here to help you.” He abruptly changed the subject as he chose another fish in the bucket and began to cut it open.
Eira sighed silently as she watched him clean the fish. What could Kevin have done to deserve this sort of anger and hatred? she wondered.
In what seemed no time at all, Stace had finished cleaning the fish and they were sizzling over the open fire.--Excerpt from The Silent Blade