The King of Hearts was my secret card. I had it between two fingers and a thumb, rubbing it gently. I was trying to keep my facial expression flat, but I hadn't played cards all that much in the past.
With an utterance of excitement, I laid the card down on the pile of cards in front of me. I smiled, satisfied that I had won the game.
Luke Evans shook his head slightly. "There is one card yet un-played," he said as he held up a card, hiding its identity from me.
"Oh, you have the Ace of Hearts," I said, lowering my head in false dismay. Luke put the card on the top of the pile, and I covered my face with my hands.
Gathering the pile of cards into a neat stack, Luke spoke a few words that had been repeated in one form or another many times in the last few weeks.
"We have time to play cards because we are not fighting. I'm not unhappy about that, but part of me is tired of waiting."
"I know what you mean," I replied. "We kicked butt, though. That's where it counts. We pushed them back. Don't forget that!"
"Yeah," Luke said, "they seem to be happy to stay where they are, to stand their ground, which unfortunately is the pattern of this stupid war."
"I'll tell you one thing, though," I stated with an out stretched finger. "I'll be happy to play cards if it means we aren't pushed back into that swamp."
Luke nodded, obviously remembering the horrible condition our troops were in back then. The only skirmish of note for this campaign had been a roaring success in that way. We were no longer plagued by disease. I shuddered at the thought.
As if our thoughts were in sync, Luke whispered, "I miss my brother, and I worry about the rest of my family."
"I'm sure they are fine." I tried to reassure him. "They are probably playing cards back at the farmhouse." Luke laughed at the thought, and a smile briefly crossed my face.
Mr. Elliot, Luke's father, entered our tent at that moment. "There's movement," he declared. He continued after both Luke and I gave him questioning looks.
"Some Handrin scouts and a few swordsmen have ventured into the meadow."