Thankfully dinner wasn’t burnt, though Sarah felt as if she’d neglected it. The soup was boiling though so she removed it from the hook and set it on the warm hearth instead. The bread was still warm where she’d placed it on the mantle hours ago. It really is a shame there are no refrigerators, Sarah thought, not for the first time that day. She had to turn the lovely roast she’d bought into stew meat because she hadn’t been inside enough to keep the spit rotating.
Since there wasn’t room for platters to be set upon the table, and leave room to eat, Sarah left them as they were. She did bring out the few plates, bowls, spoons, and knives that Jason had. Actually there were eight, just enough to feed his scout troop plus one. I wonder if he had that many before our engagement or if his men are hinting at something.
“No, I have had that many since I became a Sergeant.” Jason startled her as he entered in the back door. “Sorry love,” he kissed her cheeks, “I could not help but hear your thought. Not that my men would not enjoy being invited to dinner. And we ought to...”
He looked as if he was going to say more, but a knock at the front disrupted him. Sarah shooed him upstairs, knowing he wished to change from his scout attire. Opening the door, Sarah invited Griffon and a nervous Lynn into the kitchen. As she disappeared to pull a pitcher of ale Griffon’s voice wafted down to the root cellar.
“Ye don’t need to spend the whole meal with ye hood on. If she knows, as you say she does, then ‘e knows and it tain’t necessarily her tha tol him.”
When Sarah returned Lynn had indeed removed the hood. Jason joined soon after. As the ale flowed and the food eaten, Lynn let go of her pretense of being male. Soon talk was jovial and Sarah learned bits more of Jason’s youth, including his first attempt at breaking his own horse.
“His mother thought the beast had killed him. The Pairents had him in bed for a week to ensure he healed.”
“I hated staying in bed that long,” Jason chuckled. “In fact I think they would have kept me there for two weeks if I had not driven everyone who came to see me crazy.”
Sarah laughed and shook her head as she began to clear the table. Lynn soon stood and joined her. As the two women cleaned up, the men began to talk about the Sergeant’s meeting that General Hector had called. Sarah told Lynn her horrible attempt at being male, taking off her cap to prove it.
“And I thagh my hair wa short!” Lynn laughed.
Everyone turned to the back door though which Mathew stumbled. His eyes caught sight of Griffon and then wandered over to where Sarah and Lynn stood.
“Oh Gods.” Mathew stumbled backwards.
Jason quickly leapt from his seat to steady the man.
Mathew looked at Jason. “I didn’t drink that much, I swear, but,” he looked back to the two women, “I think I’m seeing double, only they ain’t double.”
Glances went around between the four of them until, at last, Lynn broke the silence.
“Mathew,” she said, taking a step forward.
Mathew let go of Jason, and stared at Lynn. Then he stared at Sarah, his finger following the movement of his eyes as they darted back and forth. Finally, they rested upon Lynn.
“Rosa?” he asked confused.
“I am Weather Mage Lynn now,” she responded.
“Oh.” Mathew nodded though he looked stupefied.
“You were looking for me?’ Jason asked stepping back up to Mathew.
“Yes, right,” Mathew sighed, his gaze from Lynn broken.
“Must not have been too important then,” Griffon snorted.
“Must not have been,” Mathew stated. “I think I’ll go get some sleep and see if I can remember what it was in the morning.”
“A sound plan,” Jason agreed.
“Bye and um... sorry for the interruption.” He turned and wandered out.
For a moment silence hung in the air. “I should talk to him,” Lynn whispered and she left the house, drawing her hood to hide her face.
“You know,” Griffon muttered as strained voices were heard from outside. “I could use...
“Sit down Griffon,” Sarah interrupted.
The two men turned to her in shock. “I don’t know what you think you’d be doing by going out there,” she scolded. “But, they are two grown people, and they need to work it out for themselves.”
“Why now...” Griffon’s eyes narrowed.
Sarah paid him no mind and kept going, “I’m only telling you what my parents learned the hard way. I know she’s your only child, but you know Mathew isn’t all that bad. Besides,” Sarah grinned, “If he tries anything I’ll flip myself.”
The voices died down as Griffon pondered Sarah. “Well... I did see you best Phoenix and I heard that Hopeful Smith was hard to beat in hand to hand.” He stroked his bead and sighed. His eyes flicked to Jason. “You got a right smart wife, Phoenix.”
Lynn returned and her hood remained up.
“He didn’t want to talk,” Lynn whispered to Sarah as they said good-bye.
Sarah gave her quick hug and a sad smile. “Sometimes it’s like that.”