Jason shrugged. "I have a girl of my own. I know what it's like. Except that - " he pointed at the white-cloaked figure that was coming down the path toward them " - she was bred man-wise, and had to learn her womanhood from the mares here. So that, next to her, your Aithne is a normal girl." He smiled charitably, though the smile did not manage to touch his eyes, and he knew it - and he knew Cathair probably saw it.
He shoved up off the tree to his feet. The Guttersnipe, carefully picking her way down the path, came to meet him with arms outstretched and held up her face to be kissed. Her cheeks were flushed and her hands were cold. He drew back. "Is it so very bad?"
Wrathfully, she shook once through and through, but it was in a calm voice that she said, "He will kill Cunorix. He has promised." She turned and looked at Cathair as though she had never seen him before. "They are coming soon," she added in a detached sort of tone.
She seemed very far away, though he held her only at arm's length, and he wondered where she had wandered to, whether to her past or to her future, and in the fitful shadows on her face he could not see the pull of her countenance clear enough to know. It was possible that even she did not know what she was seeing.
At the head of the hill the door banged again.
- ▼ November (9)