~The Dress~ pg 3

Her voice startled him as his head spun around to face her. The movement jerked his side and he groaned. “Hmm… What?” he pretended he hadn’t heard her.

She smiled at him then. Really smiled. It was like she was looking at him for the first time. Intentionally looking at him. He was no longer ‘thug number three’ and a sliver of humanity he hadn’t known he had lost was returned to him. He couldn’t help it; he smiled back.

She glanced across the clearing. “I am sorry your brother got hurt,” she offered.

“Yeah, me too.”

Dropping her head to study the grass, she kicked a rock out of their path. “I’m sorry you got hurt.”

Fiora peeked up at him, regret slightly creasing her brow. Could he really let bygones be bygones? He supposed he wouldn’t know unless he tried. “Apology accepted,” he responded, though his heart remained wary.

She smiled again – the lifted guilt making it brighter – and gave his arm a squeeze. He would let her remain unaware of his reservations, though it pained his own conscious. She returned her gaze to the other men and lifted her chin in their direction. “I would not have imagined such tenderness between warriors.”
Surprised at her word choice, Alex gave a snorted laugh, but she was right; it was indeed tender. He was so used to observing it, though, that it did not seem odd to him. It would have been odd for them NOT to be tender. He shrugged his shoulders at her, regretting the movement as it stretched his wound again. “That is how people behave when they love each other.” 

The End

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