~The Life After~ pg 2

Chink helped him drape the girl over the front of his horse and they rode north as hard as he dared for over two full ticks. Just the thought of Borris having to ride the whole way made him shiver with dread. What if he hadn’t made it? But every length that Alex had no sign of him or Demil gave him more hope.

Nivia’s house – a two story rustic cabin – was hidden away among the trees within a full tick’s walk of Brittner village. Far enough removed from civilization to keep most of the rabble away but close enough to be accessible when needed. They thundered into the clearing close to midday. Nivia was outside frowning at them and started crossing the yard. Chink swung off his horse almost immediately closing the gap with long strides.

His anxious voice was almost a plea, “How is he?”

Nivia’s brows creased with her displeasure but her voice was calm. “He is lucky. The blade just missed his heart. He needs mending time but he will live. No doubt, a few days rest and he will be back on his bow, though you know I would discourage it before a week.” 

Chink ran his hands over his bald head, pulling his cowl down in the process. “Thank the fates! I was so worried.”

Nivia finally smiled, just a bit. “And he was quite worried about you.” Though Chink towered over her, she managed to reach up and pat him on the shoulder. “Went on and on about you possibly getting hurt, too. I had to give him a sleeping draught to calm him down but it hasn’t taken full effect yet. If you hurry to reassure him, I’m sure he will sleep much better.“ 

Alex watched him run off to the house before carefully climbing down from his own horse. He steadied it with a hand high on the reigns as Nivia walked to stand next to him. “And what of me, Nivia? Did my brother also worry for my safety?”

“Nope. Not a bit." Her lips had returned to a frown, but the twinkle in her eyes revealed her true mischievousness. "He knows you’re too hard headed to get hurt.” 

Alex broke out into a big smile and threw an arm around the old woman when she got close enough. “It has been much too long, Niv. I wish we were here on better circumstances today.” Nivia nodded at him as he looked toward the door Chink had disappeared behind and sighed. “I dare say, that man loves my brother more than I do.”

The End

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