~ The Catch ~ pg 7

“I’m sorry,” she whispered brushing his arm and hoping he understood.

His huff of dismissal was only half-hearted and eventually his features softened. “Just don’t do it again.” He turned his gaze towards where she stirred the snow and cocked his head. “I have somethin’ fer you.” Chink reached in his tunic pocket and pulled something out that she couldn’t see. He cupped his hands together, brows knit in concentration. “Been a while…” he grunted, but in less than a half-tick he relaxed and smiled. He opened his hands and held them out, smiling shyly.

They contained a perfect blue-bell flower. “Oh, Chink! I love it!” Fiora whisked it out of his hands and spun it around sending up a gentle whirlwind to show her excitement. 

Chink laughed, a wonderful hearty laugh and Borris came running. “What? What is it? What’d I miss?” The blue flower circled in the air in front of him and his eyes grew wide. “You… you grew a flower?” he asked astonished and Chink nodded. 

“I had a reason to today,” he shrugged.

Fiora stayed a little longer before zooming down the mountainside to her body. When she arrived, both Civyl and Alex were exactly where she’d left them. She blinked a few times to moisten her eyes before staring back up. “Everybody knows we’re okay, Alex. They are coming down by horse to meet us so you can ride back with them.” He gave her shoulder a squeeze without answering.

“Well?” Civyl asked, impatient. “Are you ready now?”

“Just a second,” she hushed him, still with her eyes to the sky. A half-tick later, she saw what she’d been waiting for and hollered. “Heads up!” She lifted her hands and sent the wind up to catch the bag Chink had thrown over. It was lighter than a person and she was able to set it on the ground more gently. A second pack came down soon after. One was hers and one belonged to Alex. Both were packed with enough provisions for the next four days. 

“That was smart thinking,” Alex praised as he went to retrieve them. “Are any more coming down?”

“Just one,” she answered with a smile, “but it will take a little longer.” It took about a tick, but eventually the tiny blue flower floated down into her waiting hands. She beamed at it before working its stem into her hair. “A gift from Chink,” she explained to Alex’s quizzical gaze. His eyes widened in recognition and started to shine in the morning light. He said nothing but his smile was enough for her to know he understood.

The End

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