Jon: Thoughts and Scenarios

Long before the sun rose, Katrina wandered downstairs. It did not surprise me that she couldn’t sleep much, either. Thoughts and scenarios had plagued me the entire night. Katrina found me sitting at the bar nursing a strong cup of coffee. Besides the two of us, no one else was around. Even the bartender had fallen asleep in a back room.

“Did you get any sleep?” she asked, hopping onto the stool next to me. After I indicated that I had not, she had another question. “Did you find out anything?”

“There has been some travellers headed to the garrison,” I said, taking a sip of the hot liquid. “Ah, bad stuff. I am probably the only guy in Handrin that doesn’t really life coffee.” I put the mug down on the counter and wiped my mouth on my sleeve. “Anyway, I think our friends are at the garrison.”

“That’s good news, isn’t it?” When I wasn’t so quick to agree with her, she continued, “What’s wrong?” I sat there in silence for a moment, taking another sip of coffee to give myself time to think.

“I knew this venture was going to be dangerous,” I finally said, “but we are almost at the point of no return—for us, anyway.” Her expression told me that she didn’t follow. “We could turn around right now and go back to your farm, but that would risk the lives of Eliza, Alex and those Handrin women that risked their lives to help us.” I raised a hand when she tried to say something in reply.

“I am not about to leave them high and dry,” I continued. “However, willingly putting your life in further danger is about the hardest thing anyone could ask me to do.” I felt a lone tear rolling down my cheek. With soft hands, Katrina wiped it away. Before she was able to take her hand away from my cheek, I began gently caressing her, my fingers exploring the contour of her hand.

“It would be seriously remiss of me if I never got a chance to tell you how I really feel about you,” I said, holding both of her hands firmly in mine. Her eyes were wide in anticipation. “I love you, Katrina Elliot.”

She hugged me, stroking the hair on the back of my neck. She whispered, “What took you so long?” I didn’t reply. I didn’t have a reply. She brought her face in line with mine and got so close that the tips of our noses touched. “I love you, too, Jon Hanway.”

The End

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