Sarah was surprised Griffon managed to eat anything at all during dinner. Trevor, Travis, and Ralph had him telling tales from the moment they entered his house. Ryan too, ate an impressive amount given how many questions he asked during every tale. Yet Griffon seemed primed for the task, seeing as he had an answer for every one.
By the time the meal was over, Sarah’s sides ached from laughing and her jaw hurt from smiling. The youngest of Bear’s boys were sent to bed and silence soon settled over the house. It was interrupted once as the eldest boys traipsed through on their way to bed. Silence fell again save for the occasional whisper floating down from upstairs.
The only thing that would have made the evening better, Sarah thought, would be Jason’s presence. Looking out the window she spied the Willow tree. It grew near the entrance to the Scout Barracks. Standing tall and proud, its branches trailed the ground.
It wasn’t the Grove but Sarah couldn’t help but wonder if sitting under the tree would allow her to talk to Jason as she used to. No, she ought to not bother him. He was probably busy with his men. A sigh from Griffon made her turn toward him where he sat at the table.
“Now tha was a right good dinnah,” Griffon told her. His hand rested upon his belly and his legs stretched out under the table.
“Not the best of my cooking,” Sarah admitted as she stood at last to collect the dishes, “there’s still a lot to learn.”
Griffin chuckled. “Ye get much better and ye’ll find ye-self head of the Scout kitchen where ever Phoenix’s stationed.”
Sarah sighed and turned from the dishes to look at him. “Any idea on when he might return?”
“Ah, now tha’s a tricky question,” Griffon waggled a finger at her. “He’s stationed in Verdas, which he’ll likely reach in another day or two, dependin’ on how they be travelin’. After tha I imagine he’s goh some explainin’ to do. His mother, the good woman tha she is, will believe him, but the Gods only know wha his father will say.”
Sarah returned to the dishes. “I’ve completely messed up his life haven’t I?”
She hadn’t meant to say that loud enough for Griffon to hear. Yet he had and she heard him move toward her as she focused her frustration on scrubbing. His hand gave her shoulder a comforting squeeze.
“Now I ain’t saying I understand wha’s goin’ on, but I can see tha the Gods is involved. Phoenix wasn’t all too keen on talkin’ about it, but I can tell ya, that he full well means ta marry ya, no mattah what. I just hope ye be willing to be a peasant’s wife if tha’s what it comes down ta.”
Sarah looked over her shoulder at Griffon. “I wouldn’t care if we had to forage for a living in the woods. Jay’s been there for me for most of my life. I’d be idiotic to not be there for him now.”
Griffon laughed. His clout to her back nearly made Sarah fall into the sink. He chuckled all the way upstairs to bed. Sarah sighed. Griffon’s return meant she’d be sleeping in the parlor tonight. Pivoting to scoop out hot water to wash another dish she realized the pot was nearly empty.
Heaving another sigh, Sarah donned her jacket against the chilly night air. This was yet another thing she could tick off on her list of things she missed; running water, preferably heated. Not that she wasn’t used to going to the well by now. In fact fetching water at night was something she did every night. Sarah thought nothing of traipsing across the yard in the dark. But the moon had been slowly waning and tonight it was hidden behind clouds.