~The Dress~ pg 10

An idea took form in her mind and she gave him a sideways glance. “How far away is the town?”

“About a full tick by foot and less on horseback. Why?”

“Do they sell clothes there?”

“Sure they do. Brittner’s not as big as Kavaccet, but we gots just about anything you could ever want.” He looked her up and down with a quizzical expression. “You wantin’ to go shopping? You look awfully purdy in that there dress you already have on.” 

Fiora felt her cheeks grow hot at the compliment. The way he looked at her with acceptance and approval… It was a stark contrast – and a pleasant one – to the looks the other three men gave her. He must not have met Avery. “Thank you,” she managed, “but it doesn’t belong to me. I need something else to wear.”

“What about the white dress? The one you were in yesterday?” 

She turned her face away, scared he would see her guilt and sadness at its loss. “It was ruined, I’m afraid. I need something different. Like sturdy traveling clothes. Long journey ahead of me.”

She held her breath as the light in his eyes darkened and a frown crossed his face. “Yer not stayin’ in Brittner?” He stared in disappointment for a moment before shrugging. “Well, come on, then. No time like right now, as they say.”

She blew out a relieved breath with a smile. “Just give me a minute. I’ll be right back.” Fiora hurried up the stairs, careful to be quiet when she passed Alex’s door. She heard a soft snore coming from his room and peeked in. The lines of his face were smoothed into a peaceful contentment, so unlike the pain he hid behind his eyes when he could no longer avoid looking at her. It had not been from the pain of his wound, she could tell when that bothered him. No, his hurt was much deeper, all of them had a deep hurt, and seeing her in the blue dress reminded them of it. They were people just like her… just like Civyl… She realized now how they were trying to help her and nodded to herself. The faster she was out of this dress, the better, for all their sakes.

The End

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