[Author's note: This one is for Spook. While I didn't write it for her, I think she'll appreciate it. (I don't - Mathew grumbles) This happens between Phoenix Rising Evading Martha and Midnight Confessions. Though in the end I edited out Sarah's knowledge of Lady Abigail's visit]
Even though she’d slept a lot of the day Sarah went to bed early. Jason was being distant again and Sarah didn’t understand why they were fussing over her. Really most of the fussing was Martha, but there was an odd standoffish air from Griffon and Bear and all of Bear’s boys, including little Ryan.
So that’s where she happened to be when Jason’s mother arrived. She couldn’t hear much of the conversation, though she did think about going back down, if briefly. But at this point she was already half asleep. Not to mention she was a bit on edge and she didn’t want to take the chance of offending Jay’s mom. Besides, she thought, Jay’s probably got it under control.
Jason was grateful his mother declined Griffon’s hospitality. That meant he could orchestrate her meeting of Sarah to his advantage. It pained him to give her the same logical explanation he had given Griffon. Thankfully Mathew kept his comments to himself, but the looks he kept throwing Jason irked him to no end.
“Are you trying to get me disowned and kicked out of the Scouts?” He hissed at Mathew after they had escorted his mother to her Inn.
“Serve you right for all the holy trouble you’ve put me through.” Mathew sneered back.”To think all these years you’ve been disappearing to see a girl.” Mathew’s tone of voice clearly indicated lude connotations.
Jason stopped and faced Mathew square on. “Just because the only language of Love you understand is lust doesn’t mean there isn’t more to love than that.” He’d had enough of his bodyguard’s wayward ways. “Sarah knows that.”
“Oh, I know she does, because I asked her all right and all I got for my trouble was being pinned to the ground. So you can have her. If you can have her.”
Jason decked Mathew, laying him flat on the ground. “You are not my bodyguard and you are getting a troop transfer.” Jason stormed off without bothering to see if Mathew heard him.
Mathew scrambled up from the ground ready to fight. He growled as Jason stormed away. ‘She Ain’t a Lady.” He yelled at him. Jason just walked on. Mathew turned and marched off in the other direction. Two blocks down and on the right was the Horse’s Skirt. To think all this time his Lordship had been disappearing to visit a girl. Mathew’s thoughts ran rampant. It belittled his whole job. Bodyguard, hah!, not like the Gods would let his Lordship die. No, Mathew was more like a babysitter for a skirt chasing pansy.
“I’ll take a pint of the strongest you got.” Mathew ordered form the bartender as he slapped a coin on the counter. The barkeep nodded and pour the drink. Mathew took it and found a corner to brood in.
Why the hell did Sarah have to remind him of Rosaline so much. Hell why’d his pansy Lordship have to chase Rosaline away. F'ng Griffon letting Sarah wear Rosaline’s clothing. Did the old fart realize how much like Rosa she was? Mathew should have quit that night, chased after Rosa. It would have served his Lordship right. The man was five years younger than him, yet Mathew had never been able to step out of his shadow.
Mathew downed his drink. He flagged the serving wench for another. At some point he ended up upstairs with one of the girls. His mind was a bit hazy on that.
Mathew picked himself off the ground for the second time that night. The proprietor was yelling at him to never come back if he was going to treat the girls that way.
The girl was bawling. Mathew shakily turned around and began stumbling back to the barracks. At least he could walk, he thought, right before he tripped and fell.
There was no way he could go back to Griffon’s like this. What if Rosa had suddenly come home. Rosa had been on his mind a lot since Sarah had arrived. Damn her. Did his Lordship love Sarah because she was like Rosa or had it been the other way around? Mathew looked up to find himself standing under the willow tree at the back of the barracks.
“Why?” He asked, his hands reaching out to the tree trunk. “Why?” he sobbed. His head towards the tree as the world spun around him and he passed out.