They traveled as fast as they could through the fields of grass and by the fifth day they had reached a road. Sarah finally felt back to normal again, mostly. The traveling seemed to tire her out more than it had before. Or maybe it was just that they were doing so much more of it than before. Sarah heaved a big sigh, as she closed her eyes and fell asleep.
It seemed as though, only moments later, she became aware of someone staring at her. Sleep made it hard to open her eyes, but at last she did. ‘Jay?’ she questioned seeing him staring at her. He didn’t move. It was dark, so she couldn’t read his expression, so Sarah sat up. She could sense something was bothering him. ‘Is something wrong?’ she asked, standing.
He sighed, ‘Yes and no.’ Sarah raised her eyebrows at him, wondering if he’d expound upon that statement. Jason looked around, then gestured her to follow him. The walked a little way from the camp to one of trees that dotted the side of the road.
‘What’s up Jay?’ Sarah asked, her sleepiness shaken from the short walk. ‘Something is obviously bothering you.’ But he remained quiet, placing one hand on the trunk of the tree. Sarah watched him curiously for a while. But as his silence lengthened her heart began to fall.
‘It’s me isn’t it?’ she asked, fearing the worst. ‘I’ve done something horribly wrong and irrevocable haven’t I?’
‘No,’ Jason spun around to face her. Sarah was startled by the fierceness in his voice. He took her hands in his. ‘No,’ he said gently. Sarah looked into his face. It was strangely lit by the moonlight reflecting off the leaves of the tree. ‘It is not you.’ He stepped closer to her. Sarah's breath caught. He let go of a hand to brush back a strand of hair from her face. Then abruptly he stepped back.
Sarah frowned. Why did he keep distancing himself from her, she wondered. Sarah pulled her hand from his to place her fists on her hips. ‘Not me?’ she questioned. ‘If it’s not me then what is it?’ She stepped towards him and he stepped back, clearly startled by her reaction. ‘Things are coming to a close and you don’t know what to do with me, is that it?’ Sarah sighed and flopped down to lean against the tree. ‘Well,’ she figured she might as well speak her thoughts, even if he wouldn’t. ‘I know that, if I’m to stay female, I have to get married or something.’ She wrinkled her nose at the thought of an arranged marriage. ‘Though I suppose I could try to disguise myself and become a Scout; unless, you know of someone who might be able to stand my ignorance and lack of housekeeping skills?’ Sarah looked up to see a shocked expression on Jason’s face.
‘Me,’ Jason said quietly. Sarah furrowed her brows at him. She watched as he knelt beside her, his hand fumbling for something. ‘Sarah,’ he whispered, emotion choking his voice. Trembling he pulled out a necklace, and took two rings off it. ‘I promised I would take care of you.’ He took her right hand in his left. ‘And I will.’ He slipped the smaller ring on her right ring finger.
Sarah just stared at him. ‘Are you,’ she stuttered, ‘proposing?’ After all his distance, he was doing this and... Sarah looked at her hand shocked. He was giving her the ring he’d tried to give Rosaline. It was the same one Lady Angelina had given back to him after their engagement was broken. The one he’d said came from the Gods.
Jason slid the second ring onto his left ring finger. ‘I do not know how this will work, Sarah. I am as likely to be disowned as I am to be discharged from the scouts. But,’ he clasped her hands in his own and brought them to his lips. A rustling behind them made Jason spin around. It was Griffon.