Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Part Two, Chapter Thirty-Three

Donovan stood in the driveway doing a last-minute check of the load. He shivered in the frivolous leather coat from Catalunia. It had softened under Carina and Amalia's efforts, and both the hallway mirror and Amalia's eyes told him that he cut a fine figure in it, but it felt awkward to him— too rich, and with too many memories. Amalia came out of the kitchen carrying hot bricks wrapped in flannel. She lined them up where his feet would rest. His and Will's.

Yes, Will was going too, at both women's insistence. Their arguments had been quite reasonable: no one should travel alone, and he was going to a town rumored to be crude and unrefined. Will was sensible, a good shot, and even had rudimentary veterinary skills. Not to mention that it was never too soon to start training the next generation to do the marketing. In sum, there was no reason in the world for Will not to go along. No reason, other than that he would put a crimp in Donovan's plans.

Will was proud to bursting over having been asked to accompany Donovan to market. With an air of self-importance, he walked around Goneril and Regan, checking their bits and harness, inspecting their hooves and patting their flanks. Once he had assured himself that the jennets were ready to go, he scrambled onto the seat. Tasha came running out of the house.

With a sigh, he climbed down. "What is it?"

Tasha threw her arms around him. It was the first time they had been separated since the day he found her.

"I'll come back as quick as I can. You're my baby sister, remember? I'll never stay away longer than I have to."

Tasha nodded, fighting back tears. Will climbed back onto the wagon.

Amalia had gone back into the house and now she re-emerged, this time with some heated stones. Carina followed with a basket of food. She started to put the basket in the wagon, but Donovan took it from her hands.

"There's some special things in there for you," she said, so softly he almost didn't hear.

He moved a few items out of the way and nestled the basket into the empty spot.

Carina took a few steps back while Amalia slipped a couple of warm stones into his pockets. "Be safe out there."

Donovan gave her a hug and tried to make it seem like he meant it. Then he climbed onto the seat beside Will. He looked at the two women and the wide-eyed girl, struggling with his feelings. Did he love them? Yes, he loved all three of them, but he had to get away from them, too. It would only be a week and he would have a devil of a time ditching Will, but he would have a good time in Higdon. He needed this trip. It would refresh him, restore his sense of who he was and what he wanted. Things had closed in so completely...

Amalia darted forward. "Are you sure this is the right thing? Maybe you should go to Macrina instead. Or maybe just wait another month."

"Don't be silly." He bent down and gave her an amicable kiss. "See you in about a week."



  1. I hope it all works out okay and then Will and Donovan comes back safe. He needs to make a choice about what he can live with.

  2. Although I still think they are better off without him, this way gives me a bad feeling.

  3. I can almost imagine that Will will return alone as Donovan is already planning a stupid escapade. What a fool he is.

  4. I hope his conscience stops him from betraying the trust of having Will with him...he always seems to be hanging on by a thread as it is..Will maybe young but i am sure he is no fool however...