Jenny: Foster-Mark

It did not help that as Domitia mentioned his girl he saw her face, dark and drawn as she pulled with hurt confusion into herself, like a turtle into its shell, as the other girl had lashed out without cause. He stood a moment in the softly driving mizzle, the mane of his horse splaying damply over his wrist like the harsh upland grasses that were never cut; he stood looking back at Domitia, not seeing her, feeling very acutely Druce's waiting presence and seeing in his mind's eye the Guttersnipe's face, alternately hurt and cupped between his hands.

It was so hard to let go. Under other circumstances it would have been easy. If it had just been Druce, he could have shrugged her off and waved his hand, and left it at that. Druce was Druce. But this hinged on the Guttersnipe, a thing which he held more dearly than anything else, and looking back at Domitia, he found it hard to forgive her for wounding the thing he held dearest and most closely to his heart.

There isn't time for this, he thought angrily. Knowing it would be some time before he could feel what he was about to say, he launched in, swift and reckless. "Your apology is accepted. Thank you for seeking to make amends with the Guttersnipe. Now, if you'll excuse me - "

He took up his mare's reins more tightly and made to walk off, but he stayed a moment, finding it hard to think of the right words just when he needed them most. Skinny and pale, Domitia stood in the mizzle, flour in streaks down her arms and face. Unlovely and unloved, and in some ways so unloving. The frustration he had felt in the Guttersnipe welled up in him. "Mark the Guttersnipe," he told her in a cold tone which he had meant to be encouraging. "If you want to find a place in this world, mark the Guttersnipe."

He gave his mare's head a yank and walked away.

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