~ The Pass ~ pg 5

Borris rode next to them when the winding road allowed and between the three of them, they kept up an easy dialog. “It was very kind of you two to rescue Demil from the Inn Keeper,” she offered at one point. “He mentioned it on our ride yesterday, how terrified he is of the woman.” She’d said the comment as innocently as she could, but in truth she had a deep curiosity over the whole situation.

Fiora smiled in satisfaction when they took the cue as she’d hoped and told the story from their perspective. “Who Margaret?” Borris had laughed. “Margaret is harmless.”

Chink grunted behind her. “But we like it that Demil is scared of ‘er,” he added. “It’s nice to know there’s at least one woman the man can’t charm with his bewitchin’.”

“Don’t tell him,” Borris gave her a mischievous look, “but all Margaret ever wants is a cuddle.” He gave her a wink while she was sure her own eyes were round as saucers. 

“She was asleep before we’d finished tellin’ her the day,” Chink assured behind her and Fiora let out a relieved sigh. She hadn’t even realized that part of her curiosity was a fear that they had been indecent, but the peace that filled her in contrast was testament. Perhaps her relief was too obvious because Chink leaned in to whisper one last thing in her ear. “Still the warmest bed in all the land with us three sharin’,” he teased. Fiora could feel the blush creeping up her neck at the thought and Chink laughed. A real genuine laugh! It was a beautifully sound that she realized she’d never heard from him before. She caught Borris’s eye and noted the moisture in them. He gave her a smile and a nod of mutual understanding. Borris had not heard Chink’s laugh in a long time either.

On one of the narrowed twists where Borris had to fall behind, Fiora ventured a more risky question. “Why are you being so nice to me today? I thought you didn’t like me.” 

A rumbling growl started in the pit of his belly. “I tried, miss. I tried real ‘ard not to like you, what with you stabbin’ Alex and all. You was so much work to rescue. You fought us every step of the way.” Fiora stiffened slightly as she nodded. She had been quite a handful. She was ready to leave it at that, thankful that he was being generous on the final part of their journey but Chink wasn’t done yet. “…but,” he continued gently, “as ‘ard as I tried not to like you, it’s even ‘arder to not start lovin’ the people who the people who you love love.” 

The End

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