"Born a full month before Gitara's Foretelling, Lan. A month!" Moiraine could not help but frown, serenity or no. "Whoever took that record deserves to be switched for such carelessness."
Lan did not rise from where he crouched to lay the evening's campfire, nor react to the snap in her voice. It was frustration that drove her anger, and they both knew it. Weeks on the trail of prophecy, nearly a month since the disaster at Chachin, and every boy-child they had tracked down was a resounding failure. "Where next, Moiraine Sedai?" he asked, snapping kindling to scatter it in what Moiraine had learned was a precise and efficient pattern.
"Sirion." Deeper into Saldea, and north. "A woman named Kyera Sinohan, in the town of Bhagenn. Closer to the Blight, which should suit you."
Lan glanced at her over his shoulder, impassive as usual. The setting sun lit his face in glints and shadows. In that dim light, she could see the way his high cheekbones would turn to harsh planes in time, the groove the hadori would draw across his forehead -- in a very few years, she thought, the way he lived. "Bhagenn is in low country, and damp. Later in summer the biting flies will be bad, but even this late in spring we should miss them." Moiraine was daily glad that she had learned the Aes Sedai trick of ignoring cold, even with her thick cloak, but Lan seemed to think the weather was balmy. "I will watch out for ponds on our way."
Moiraine stiffened, feeling her face heat. Furiously she forced the flush back and grabbed for serene composure, pulling herself up into her most regal posture. Ponds! "That will not be necessary, I think," she informed him coolly. "That day is in the past, and gone now. I will not speak of it again, and I expect the same of you."
Lan rose fluidly to his feet and bowed to her, touching his heart formally. "Honor to serve, Aes Sedai."
Moiraine narrowed her eyes, searching his face for signs of mockery, and found none. Even from the Warder bond she felt only calmness. Light! His meekness was more arrogant than the boast of kings. "Very well, then," she said icily, and turned on her heel to glide -- not stalk! -- over to her saddlebags. Burn and blast the man! An Aes Sedai could hardly set wasps or fire-ants to her own Warder, but she had to find some way to teach him a modicum of humility. For his own sake.
Only when she was rummaging in her bags, stiff with offended dignity, did Lan allow his lips to twitch.