~The Reflection~

His heart beat out a quick rhythm as he watched her disappear up the staircase. Civyl cringed at the last sight of her ruined gown and felt a wrenching at its loss. It was all she owned. He was sorry for what she had endured today. Kidnapping, heartbreak… vengeance and fright. The way she had been ready to avenge him? He shook his head at the thought. He had not realized how much he meant to her… how deeply she cared about him. And it was stirring up feelings of his own that he had not realized were there. Well… maybe he’d had an inkling before, but he had not wanted to admit it. Having her stolen from his side this morning and finding her safe once again… he had no doubt. He loved her. With an ache that smoldered at his core, he loved her.

He caught the old woman staring at him with an upturned eyebrow and a frown. Wise eyes bored holes right through his soul. His face flushed with heat at her seeming disapproval. She opened her mouth to give voice to her opinion but hesitated before clucking her tongue and shaking her head again instead. He tensed at even her unspoken judgment but decided she had right to her opinions as long as she kept them to herself. 

“As soon as I can walk on my feet, we will be on our way,” he said firmly, both to assure her they would not overstay their welcome and to curb any thought the woman might have for suggesting otherwise.

She stared at him thoughtfully before giving a reply. “They will be better by morning. My salve will knit your wounds together in the night.” He gave her a short nod and a thank you then intended to let silence fill the rest of their time, but she asked him something. “Why are you here?”

The End

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