~The Reflection~ pg 6

He held her in his arms – without any awkwardness or shame – as she slept and for the first time on this journey, both of them slept well. When the pull of the mountain finally woke him in the morning, Civyl made no attempt to get up. Instead, he enjoyed her nearness as he replayed parts of their conversation with Nivia after dinner the night before. 

He had complained about the pain of walking before she seated him at the table and Fiora had chided him. “That’s what happens when you run without boots.”

Civyl shook his head at the obvious and glanced at her bare toes. “I need to get you a pair.”

“I don’t need shoes.”

And up to this point she hadn’t. Her element had let her float across the terrain without fear, but there was more than rocks on the path where they were headed. There was also snow. “You will when the ground gets cold.”

She leaned in to him, then, cupping his face with her hand. “I’m glad the fire left your beard,” she commented off topic.

“And my hair!” he laughed back. ”I would not look good bald.” They shared a laugh as Nivia served the soup then fell into quiet contentment as they ate. 

When their spoons all clinked against empty bowls, it was their hostess’s turn to ask the questions. Leaning across the dining table the old woman had squinted at his face and pointed at his missing eye. “How did you get this mark? There must be more. Surely you remember something.”

 Civyl opened his mouth but didn’t know what to say. He wasn’t sure if he should trust her, but something about the woman’s brash demeanor set him at ease. She wasn’t trying to make them like her; she wasn’t trying to trick them. So he had shook his head at the woman. “I don’t.”

 “He doesn’t remember anything,” Fiora added with tight lips and wavering eyes. 

For the first time Civyl noticed what a toll that fact was taking on her. He reached out his hand to cover hers on the table. “I am sorry.”

Fiora shook her head, bringing his hand up to her cheek. “It’s not your fault.”

Nivia had frowned at their exchange. “There is more than you are telling me,” she poked a bony finger at them.

The End

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