~ The Singing ~ pg 4

“Afraid of what?” she almost asked, but managed to keep herself quiet. She could guess, well enough, what Chink might be afraid of and didn’t think the fears needed to be voiced. Once again she remembered that Civyl was somewhere out there in the quickening dark and wished that he would return. 

His gaze followed hers back towards the house and he slowed while the music came to a satisfactory close. He released her from his hold and bowed a gentleman’s bow. “Thank you for the dance, my lady.” She tried to dip in curtsey but her leather clothing was too confining for more than a slight bend. “I see, we need something else to distract you,” he said when he straightened up. “Perhaps something more routine and mundane?” 

Was that what this had been? A distraction? She had to admit. It had worked, for a time. His brows creased in deep thought before his eyes brightened. “Ah, I think I know just the thing. Come with me, quickly, before we lose the sun altogether.” He strode off towards the house with her following behind. At the steps he turned around and motioned her back. “Wait right here. I will be back in a few ticks.” 

Fiora nodded at him but found it difficult to be patient. She found herself pacing again as she counted the tocks that passed. Eventually he came back out carrying a lumpy bag. “What’s in there?”

“You will see,” he smiled. “Come. To the river, lass.” Fiora sighed with a deep breath but followed him without comment. At river’s edge he handed her the bag and turned to leave. She started to follow with a questioning glance but he held up his hands. “Oh no, lass. You stay. I will go back to the house to prepare supper, but you stay here.” He nodded at the bag. “That is for you.”

With tentative hands she opened it but smiled at the contents. A hair brush, a bar of soap, and a conservative night dress. She pulled it out and held it up to herself. “’Twas my Avery’s, aye. But she doesn’t need it now and those leathers can’t be very comfortable for sleeping. Methinks it would be well for you to wear it.”

“Oh, Borris, I couldn’t,” She tried to protest. “After all the trouble I caused wearing her blue dress–” 

But he waved her off, “You caused not a stitch of that trouble, lass; Chink is a stubborn sentimental fool and Alex with him. It was her favorite to wear, you see. I was sad, at first, to see you in it, but now the thought makes my heart glad. Avery loved it and would not have wanted it to rot in a trunk. Please, wear the night dress for your comfort. I insist. The leathers will last longer this way as well. ” 

“Thank you,” she managed, deciding it would be rude to refuse the offer. He nodded and turned, quickly disappearing back over the rise.

The End

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