~ The Pass ~ pg 4

Chink scowled at her with crossed arms as she stepped closer and she feared he might refuse her. The other men seemed to expect him to also but he surprised them all with a nod of his bald head. “If you’d like,” he said pursing his lips. He held out a hand towards her and Fiora stepped closer. Chink lifted her as if she were no more than a cloud and placed her gently on his horse’s back. She was surprised by the grace of it. “’Er name is ‘Ellen,” he said patting the mare on the neck.

“Ellen?” she repeated only to have him frown severely.

“No,” he shook his irritated head. “’Ellen.

Fiora blinked at the man. Isn’t that want she’d said? Out of the corner of her eye, she spied Borris behind him drawing lines in the air with his finger and she understood. “Oh, Hellen.” She was rewarded with a rare smile from Chink and did her best to keep it. “That’s a lovely name, for a lovely horse,” she cooed over-dramatically as he nodded.

“That she is, eh? That she is.”

When she finally ventured a glance over at where she’d left the two halves of her heart, both Civyl and Alex gave her a defeated look. They had asked her to choose… and she had chosen to not even try. She had never pictured herself the cowardly type but… today she had run from responsibility as quickly as prey from predator. She was not ready.

Fiora forced herself to look forward as Chink swung up heavily behind her. She deliberately focused her mind elsewhere. “It’s a fine day for ridin’, eh?” he asked lightly.

“Indeed,” she responded pleasantly glad for his change of tone. They started to pick up speed and Fiora rested against Chink like Alex had taught her. Nothing was as easy as riding with him but the techniques he’d taught her still worked with others. Chink wrapped one massive arm around her waist and locked her in snuggly. Fiora was surprised again at the gentleness of his touch. She had expected Chink to be… well… rough with her, but she found him quite the opposite instead. A gentle man and a gentleman in both speech and deed as they rode on. Fiora relaxed into his hold feeling… safe. Dare she wonder why?

The End

0 comments about this story Feed