Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Fate's Call #3

Like the last one, I guess I don't have much to say here. Hope you like it and you check back for the next segment! I am going to Chicago Thursday, so my next segment might be a lil delayed. Forgive me if it's Friday instead of Weds.


Limbs heavy, his chest constricted with crushing disappointment. He couldn’t find her. Jarek had scoured the market and the surrounding area—even three of the better taverns with rooms for rent. No sign of the girl or her father. It was as if the whole exchange had been some phantom he’d imagined. Had his father not been a witness, he really would have thought he’d lost his mind.
Where the hell had they gone? Dalunas Main was not so large that one couldn’t cover it in a day. Were they in Lower Dalunas? Jarek shuddered. No. For the girl’s sake, it couldn’t be.
Evening was settling, and with it a chill in the air. The breeze carried the scent of impending rain. Jarek sent a quick prayer to the Blessed Spirit that she was warm, safe and stayed dry for the night. He admitted defeat. If he didn’t head home, his father would worry. Not to mention Anais.
His father was laughing when Jarek entered their quarters, located on the opposite side of their storefront. Laughing. He stared for a moment, looking back and forth from Kirgan and the woman that sat at the table with him.
Why had he never noticed how lovely the widow was? Anais wore no bonnet, her fair hair neatly coiffed at the back of her head, and her face was radiant as she looked at his father.
Was he intruding? He was hesitant to enter his own home.
“Jarek,” his father exclaimed as he noticed him hovering in the doorway.
Anais shot to her feet as if she’d been caught doing something wrong, her cheeks crimson. Jarek would have taken a moment to reassure her, but it could result in further embarrassment, and he didn’t want that. He loved the idea of them together.
“Where have you been, lad? I was starting to worry,” Kirgan remarked.
One corner of Jarek’s mouth lifted. His father had looked content…and far too busy to be worried about his adult son. But it warmed his heart anyway.
“Let me get you something warm to eat,” Anais rushed her words.
“I’m fine,” Jarek told her with a gentle smile that got him nowhere as she hurried to the hearth. As soon as she lifted the lid from the pot of stew she’d made, the pleasant aroma tickled his nose and his stomach growled. “All right, I’ll eat.”
Anais threw a smile over her shoulder as she spooned his supper in a bowl. “I thought as much, this is your favorite.”
“You know us so well,” his father mused. Jarek glanced at him and saw a tenderness there as the older man gazed at the widow. He hadn’t seen that before. It’s about damn time. What had changed the awkwardness Kirgan had displayed this morning?
His heart skipped a beat as the stunning girl danced across his thoughts. He didn’t know her, yet he could imagine gazing at her in much the same way. She’d enchanted him.
“I should think so,” Anais said, grinning as she came back to the table. “I have been caring for you both for turns.”
Kirgan nodded and Jarek slipped into his normal seat.
“Here you go, love.”
“Thank you,” Jarek told her as his father handed him a spoon. He nodded thanks to him as well.
Anais slipped her arm around his shoulders and squeezed him in a hug before she sat back down next to his father. She’d moved too fast for him to return the affection, but Jarek wanted to. He flashed her a smile instead and took a bite of the thick bread she’d made.
He groaned in appreciation and Anais rewarded him with another grin. She had told him many times that preparing food held no joy unless she could share it with others who would also delight in it. She was a fantastic cook.
“Where did you go?” his father asked.
They both watched him. Too closely. How much should Jarek admit? They would both likely think him foolish. He didn’t understand the drive to find the girl himself, how could he explain it to his father?
“I looked for the lass,” he admitted.
Kirgan’s brows drew together. “But why?”
            Anais’s expression also held confusion, but Jarek didn’t stop to recite the happening of that morning, although his father might have mentioned it.
            “I can’t explain it, Da. I need to find her.”
            His father looked even more concerned. He rested his calloused hand on Jarek’s forearm. “Be sure you’re not concerning yourself with something that is none of your concern.”
            Jarek sighed. He didn’t want to hear the sense of his father’s caution. He just needed to find her. He couldn’t explain the whys.
            “He should find her, Kirgan, if he feels that strongly. Perhaps it’s fate,” Anais said softly. So, his father had told her what had happened after all. Jarek shot her a grateful look.
            Kirgan looked deep in thought for a long moment before he spoke. “Fate?”
            Anais smiled at them both. “Don’t tell me such things are only for foolish women. I’m beyond believing that.”
            Jarek grinned and his father chuckled.
            “I would never call you a fool, my dear,” his father whispered.
            Anais beamed and squeezed his hand.
            “Smart man,” Jarek put in. “If you did, Da, she might never feed you again, and we all know what a horrible cook I am.” They all laughed.
            His father and the widow gazed at each other as if he wasn’t there. Jarek shifted on his seat. Quite odd to be the uncomfortable one in his own home.
Big sky blue eyes and blonde plaits entered his mind again. Why was she haunting him? Did it really mean something? Was there such a thing as fate, as Anais had said?
He excused himself from the table. His father and Anais barely noticed. Jarek was fine with that. When she retired for the evening—provided it was to her own bed—he would tell his father that he had his blessing. Perhaps it would assist Kirgan along with things, although based on what happened at the table, maybe his father had finally girded himself against shyness. He laughed and shook his head. What a thought that was.
Jarek busied himself preparing for bed, but the fair haired girl wouldn’t exit his mind. He was more determined than ever to find her.

TO BE CONTINUED...

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7 comments:

  1. As usual I love it!! Can't wait to read the rest the next one!! :)

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  2. Well done,, really enjoyed reading this installment. :)

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  3. You have me hooked all the way!
    :)

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  4. You have me hooked all the way!
    :)

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  5. Thanx guys, I really appreciate the comments. They make me smile and cheer me up!

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  6. Chrissy, question... was Anais mentioned in the Alphabet Game already? The name sounds quite familiar.. Anyway :D Loving Jarek more and more!

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