~ The Rain ~ pg 5

“Margaret…” Chink’s chiding voice floated in from the doorway. The woman almost quailed at the sound. Chink stepped forward, dropping the bag he’d brought in and crossed the small common room in just three steps. “Margaret, let the boy go.” 

She pursed her lips and shook her head. “You want rooms, I get Demil.”

“Let the boy go,” Chink repeated slowly, soothingly. “You don’t want a boy.” Chink shook his head and Margaret mimicked the movements. He stepped closer and gently, but firmly, pulled her arm away from Demil. “You want a man,” he nodded and Margaret nodded with him, seeming to forget her previous demand with a small smile.

The moment there was enough room, Demil shot out from between them and hid behind Civyl. Margaret looked after him but Borris took her other hand and distracted her as Chink started to turn her towards the stairs. “In fact, I think you want two men, eh?” Margaret’s eyes grew wide and she giggled. At least Civyl thought it was a giggle.

Civyl was left wondering at what he had just witnessed. There was a tick of silence before he heard Alex holler in. “Is she gone yet?”

“Yes,” Demil hollered back, “Thank the Fates!” 

Alex and Nivia came in both supporting Fiora between them. “What were you thinking, bringing us here?” Alex demanded. “Does the rain have you so cold you want to warm yourself in Margaret's bed?” 

Demil shuddered. “It’s only first-week… I thought Maria would be workin’.

“Maria moved back to Kavaccet,” Nivia said with a knowing half-smile.

Demil looked astonished. “What?! Why would she do such a thing?!”

“Why else?” Nivia shrugged. “To get away from Margaret.”  

Alex cleared his throat with a stern look. “Do you think maybe someone could find us an empty bed? Fiora is asleep on her feet, here.” Indeed, Fiora’s eyes were closed as she leaned against him. It had been a really long day and even Civyl was feeling weary. He could only imagine how tired Fiora felt, still on the mend.

“Oh, right,” Demil jumped into action going behind the counter and opening a drawer. He pulled out two marked keys and frowned. “Looks like there’s only two rooms left fer tonight.”

“Well I’m not taking her back out into the rain to find another inn,” Alex growled. “Just show me where the bed is. I’ll sleep on the floor if I have to.” With that, he lifted Fiora into his arms effortlessly. Both Nivia and Demil looked anywhere but at Civyl who felt a twinge of indignant jealousy, but Alex met his gaze and nodded at him. The understanding was there. He was custodian only, and only as long as he was needed. 

The End

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