~ The Eyes ~ pg 8

Tears of Wisdom, why had she lied?! The eyes… she couldn’t stand the eyes! They stared at her with a look of pain and betrayal beseeching her to restore his faith in her, but she could not. Turning to the other eyes was just as bad. They were all accusing, all condemning, all unforgiving. 

Fiora sat cornered by the four Birchwoods inside Nivia’s house. She thought she had gotten past all this with them… but apparently the lie she had told, though it was only one word, was enough to turn them all against her again. Chink and Alex had laid out her vengeful actions the night they ‘rescued’ her, Civyl’s violent arrival which Chink was still recovering from, and Nivia’s charge that she care for Alex because she had cause his wound. They skipped the bit about Fiora saving his life again, but it seemed insignificant at the moment. Demil’s question still hung in the air, as yet unanswered. “Is it true?”

Tears sprang to her eyes as she watched him lose his faith in her. She looked down at her hands. Hands that had almost murdered. She didn’t deny it. “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you,” she said instead. “I just… I… When you smiled at me… I was afraid you’d stop smiling if you knew. You seemed so happy to see me… I didn’t want to give you reason not to be happy with me. It was selfish. I’m sorry.” Part of her wanted to argue that he had never asked her for details of after he left, but she couldn’t be sure that she would have answered him truthfully if he had so she just let the guilt stand as it was. She risked a glance at their faces but dropped her eyes almost immediately. She could not bear the sight of four frowning faces. “It was nice,” she said off hand, “to have someone smile at me again.”

A harsh chuckle grated in her ears. “Does not your promised smile at you enough?” Alex’s words felt cruel and combative, just as he had been since last night. Fiora tried to think of what new way she had offended him to earn his renewed ire, but apart from this lie she saw nothing. 

They didn’t understand that apart from two nights ago, Civyl had looked at her as if a stranger. He had been frowning since their journey began. Her lip quavered as tears filled her eyes unbidden. It was Borris who finally offered her grace enough to build a bridge between them. “Fiora,” he asked, voice gentle and sincere, “why were you arguing with your promised when we found you? Why was he carrying you through the woods?”

The End

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