Crispin has returned. Enjoy
No warning today…*wink*
Ruby approached a small cottage tucked near the edge of the clearing, alongside a less traveled road. She hoped Marian was home. There was only one person she could trust, the only person who would understand.
Sliding from the saddle, Ruby tethered the horse to a post outside the cottage. She licked her lips and raised her hand to knock, when the door opened. A pair of friendly hazel eyes set in a wrinkled, well seasoned face met hers.
“Ah, my little gem,” the old woman said with a chuckle. “Come in, child, come in.” She moved aside, welcoming Ruby into her home.
The small cottage held a simplicity and warmth, embracing her as she stepped into the room. A savory stew simmered on the stove, its tantalizing scent curling around her. Her stomach growled in response. She pressed her hand to her middle and glanced at the old woman, embarrassed.
“Sit,” Marian commanded, motioning to the table. She went to the pot hanging over the fire and ladled the steaming stew into a small bowl. Setting it before her, Marian slid into the chair across the table and watched her.
Ruby devoured every morsel. Her full stomach warmed and the warmth infused her whole body. She sighed, contented.
“What happened?” Marian’s tone made her look up at the old woman. Her wise eyes missed nothing it seemed.
“I believe I’ve made a terrible mistake.” Ruby buried her face in her hands. She took a deep breath and then looked at the old woman again. Marian had been there for her years before, when she had been wandering through the forest, cold and alone. The kind woman had taken her in, clothed her, fed her, and then taught her to survive and how to fight. Most importantly, she taught her how to make a difference.
“Well, it could always be worse, you could have gotten caught,” Marian said in an attempt to soothe her. Ruby laughed.
“I rescued a man several nights ago. Saved him from being killed outside a brothel.”
“As I taught you to do, help those who cannot help themselves.”
“It was the prince.” Ruby’s voice trembled. Marian’s eyes widened slightly, her withered hand clenching into a fist and releasing repeatedly. She pressed on. “I gave myself to him.”
Marian’s jaw opened and closed a few times, no sound emerging. With a heavy exhale, she finally found her voice. “You’d better start at the beginning, child.”
Thanks for stopping by. Comments and questions are always welcome.