~The Market~ pg 4

Demil finally stopped in front of a rundown building with its sign hanging askew. The Buttermilk Inn & Tavern. It also seemed to be a brothel. She had never seen one before but with the line of ladies in short skirts and low blouses waving from the front steps, this is what she’d imagined one would look like. Fiora tried not to let her apprehension show on her face.

“Demil,” one of them called and the rest picked up the chorus of repeating his name. “Come back to us so soon?” the first one joked.

Demil swung down from his horse with a bright welcoming smile, “Sherry.” He held his arms open to her and she ran to him, kissing him full on the lips. As soon as ‘Sherry’ had stepped aside, another woman took her place kissing him longer and deeper as if to outdo the first. “Melinda,” he murmured under her onslaught. Or at least that was what she thought he’d said. 

A third girl, who looked barely of age, stepped up with her hands on her hips and a pout on her lips. “Meli, quit hoggin’ ‘im. I wanna kiss, too!”

‘Melinda’ turned on her with a frown but stepped aside. The girl walked into his arms and rested her cheek on his chest as Demil folded her into his embrace and rested his cheek on the top of her head. “Hello, Trina,” he whispered into her hair. When she finally pulled back, she tipped her head up and barely brushed his lips with hers before stepping away. Instead of complaining about the stinginess, he gave her a winning smile. 

An affinity for the ladies, indeed! As affronted as she was by the whole display, though, Fiora could not deny that Demil seemed to genuinely care for each of these women. He didn’t leer or look down on them; to the contrary, he looked at each almost how Civyl had looked at her before he had forgotten her. Affection, concern, support… how often did Demil frequent this establishment to have such a rapport with them all? She shivered at the thought.

And why had he brought her here? She cleared her throat from her perch on Clover. He looked up as if startled that she was there and the hue around his neck deepened. “Oh, right,” he cleared his own throat, “Ladies I’d like to introduce you to Miss… uh… Miss…” he scratched his head with one finger, “What’d you say yer name was, again?”

“Um, I don’t think I ever did,” she confessed, realizing it herself. “I’m Fiora.”

The End

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