Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Fate's Call #6

I LOVE how this turned out. I hope you enjoy. :)  Happy hump day.

Jarek headed toward the blacksmith’s shop. Erron’s father glanced over his shoulder just inside the open area under the Master Blacksmith, Hem’s, awning. It was all he could do to not duck out of sight. But instinct told Jarek that Erron’s father could not spot him. Where did that come from?
He got close enough to hear their conversation, hidden from view behind the large cart Hem had outside and to the right of the storefront.
The older man was a good friend to his father, and would have interesting questions if Jarek was caught obviously hiding. People passed by, going about their day with little notice, though, so he didn’t move from his chosen spot.
Whatever business they had contained some hefty bargaining, but Hem wasn’t letting the fair haired man off lightly. Jarek admired him for that.
A noisy cart lumbered down the street, the driver shouting at his lead horse and cutting him from the conversation in the shop for a moment. Jarek cursed.
“….longer?” was the only word he caught of Erron’s father’s question as clopping from the horses’ hooves faded.
“Perhaps an hour,” Hem answered.
“I shall wait.”
“As you wish.”
Jarek’s heart skipped a beat. Erron’s father would be in the shop for a while. He could see her for an hour. Where was she?
He heard the clang of hammer against anvil and strained to hear the men’s continued conversation. He needed to find out where Erron was. Jarek inched closer.
“The Rusty Nail has better whores.” Hem was telling Erron’s father.
Jarek peered over the cart in time to see the nearly toothless grin the master blacksmith flashed.
“I’ve my daughter with me. That’s why I chose Felton’s place. Cleaner, anyway.”
“Aye, s’pose so.”
Jarek’s mind raced in rhythm with his heartbeat. Felton’s place was a tavern and inn called Old Spirits at the center of town. If he ran, he could make it in ten minutes.
He turned to go, staring at the busy street. It wasn’t yet noon. Many people were still meandering in and out of the various surrounding shops or following the road into market. Jarek jogged into the crowd. People would just have to get out of his way.
There wasn’t much time.
Erron. He was going to her.
Erron sighed as she stared out the window. She’d pulled the lone chair in the room up to it to watch the activities below. She’d not brought needlepoint, which she hated anyway, or any of her many mending projects, so there was little else for her to do.
It was a warm sunny day. The kind of day that made one desire to be out in it, doing—anything. Jarek danced in and out of her thoughts. How could she get to him? She’d been foolish to think it was even possible. Besides, she was stuck, following her father’s order.
            People came and went, shouted, laughed, compared purchases and bargained with crafters selling their wares. Children played, only to be admonished to move out of the road.
            A dark head moving through the crowds with some speed caught her eye. Her heart thundered. Jarek. How she could tell at that distance was a mystery, but it was him. There was no doubt.
He was coming toward her. Toward the Old Spirits Inn and Tavern. But…how had he known where she was? How had he known she was even in Dalunas Main?
            Erron rushed to her feet at the moment he looked up. Their gazes collided and he froze under her window.
            “I’m coming up.” Jarek’s voice was thick.
            Erron nodded, her body flushing. Heat warred with dread, tearing at her. She…wanted him to come to her, but…her father could return at any moment. No matter how innocent, even a conversation would fuel her father’s wrath.
            Her legs took her to the door. Her hand reached, opened it.
Jarek’s booted feet were loud as they pounded up the stairwell. And then she was enveloped. His scent, a mixture of spiced soap and the spring day outside tickled her nose. Her cheek touched his chest as he yanked her closer.
She heard the door close but was only aware of him. His arms around her, pulling her ever closer. Erron got lost in the feel of him, the scent of him. Warm. Safe.
            He set her away from him, his dark eyes wide as they met hers. “I’m…sorry. I don’t know why I did that.” His hands cupped her shoulders, but he let his arms fall away. It left her cold.
            Her mind scrambled for words. The embrace was over much too soon. It left Erron…wanting. What was wrong with her? This was crazy. And dangerous.
            “Actually…I’m not sorry. I had to…touch you,” Jarek plowed on, as if she’d not made an attempt to speak. “I can’t explain why.”
            Heat crept up Erron’s neck and she stared. “How…?”
            He took a step forward. She didn’t move away. His cheeks were red from his run, his too-long hair windblown, and the heat of his body warmed her though they were not touching.
Jarek cupped her face and studied her until her own cheeks heated. She averted her eyes. “Erron.”
Her name on his tongue brought her gaze back, her body even hotter.  It sounded…perfect. The fact that he’d remembered her name wasn’t a surprise. Why?
            “Jarek,” she whispered. He didn’t look any more shocked that she’d recalled his either.
            His eyes slipped closed for a moment. “I had to see you.”
            Reality was fading away, but Erron had to grasp it. This wasn’t safe. “How did you even find me?”
She needed to move away from him. He had to stop touching her. She couldn’t think. But she just stared up into his dark eyes. Would he try to kiss her? No, that would be a disaster.
            “I was at market. I saw your…father.” The way he said the last word made her cringe. Jarek couldn’t know, could he?
            “Did you speak to him?”
            “No.” Jarek shook his head. Her breath exited on a whoosh. At least Norden didn’t get the chance to harm him. “I needed to see you. I haven’t stopped thinking about you since that day.”
            “I…I’ve thought about you, too.” The admission made her heart pound. Jarek flashed a smile that made her stomach flip.
            He guided her to the bed and they sat as if it was the most natural thing in the world. Erron reached for his hand and Jarek entwined their fingers as if they’d held each other dozens of times. They talked for what seemed hours.
            Jarek kept glancing out the window. “He will be back soon,” he said.
            “I will only be in town until tomorrow.” Erron murmured, her chest constricting.
He squeezed her hand. “What is…this…connection?” Jarek whispered.
            “I don’t know.”
            “You feel it.” It wasn’t a question. Erron nodded. “I don’t want to leave you.”
            “I…don’t want you…to go. But…” she shook her head. She wanted to reach out, wrap herself around him. What was happening to her? Her heart thundered.
            “I know. He’s probably already on his way back.” His tone was thick, as if he was saddened as well. She blinked back tears. Jarek caressed her cheek. “We’ll see each other again,” he whispered.
            Erron nodded, a lump in her throat. She would never be that lucky. “Go. Please,” she croaked.  Her hand lingered in his for only a moment longer. He pressed a kiss into her knuckles, a ghost of a smile playing at his lips.
His hand on the doorknob, Jarek looked over his shoulder. “Erron.” His brown eyes bore into hers. “I will come for you.”
            Then he was gone, so he didn’t hear her whisper, “I believe you.”

All rights reserved; copyright © C. A. Szarek. The text within may not be reproduced in whole or in part or distributed in any form whatsoever OR SOLD without first obtaining permission from the author.  



  1. YAY, I love it!! And of course, I want MOOOORE!

  2. This one by far is my favourite so far!! I LOVE it!!! It was so intense! I was on the edge of my seat thinking "please don't let her father come in, please don't let her father come in". Can't stand that guy!! Ugh!! Great job as always bestie!! xo

  3. Read it, Loved it! loved the intensity in it, the feeling, the desperation. look forward to next week's- _)

  4. Aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh!!! :D I still have goosebumps all over my arms.. that's some high-voltage electricity crackling in there!

  5. Gah I have so much to catch up on! Yay for summer :) Awesome segment lady!

  6. Great story so far. MORE MORE MORE!

  7. Thanx guys! I can't wait for you to see where it goes to next! :)

  8. Really really like the story where it is going!