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There aren’t many moments in Fie Eoin that can be considered warm and fuzzy, and unfortunatly I had to cut the following scene from the draft because in the new version Gar doesn’t give Kindra the flute (which is a proposal of marriage). But I love this scene, so I’m going to show it to you today 🙂 Enjoy!
Three days after her fight with Pike, Kindra was still stuck in bed but no longer drugged with Priestess tea. She was given willow bark tea for the pain and a thick lamb broth to get her strength back. The entire tent smelled heavily of lamb and antiseptics.
A welcome breath of crisp fresh air blew into the tent as Gar entered and Kindra took a deep breath, glad of the change. “Can you keep the flap open?” she asked as it shut behind him and she was smothered again with the stench. “It smells like goat and priestesses in here.”
Gar chuckled. “I don’t think the priestesses would appreciate that.”
Kindra smiled shallowly and closed her eyes as he opened the flap and pinned it back. The air wasn’t just crisp, it was cold, and she shivered. “Has it snowed yet?”
“Not yet, but I do have something for when you are able to walk in the snow.”
She opened her eyes and he was holding up her boots. “You went to Fie Ronna?”
“My aunt brought them last night. She sends her condolences for your injuries. And her congratulations.”
Kindra smiled, but Gar was frowning. “Listen,” he said and set the boots down before closing the flap. “Now that you’re not in danger of bleeding to death we need to talk. About the flute.”
“I was never in danger of bleeding to death.” She pushed herself up on her good arm, but winced and lay back down. It made her chest hurt to sit up and was hard to breath.
“Do you need more tea?”
She shook her head no but he poured another cup for her regardless. She would be easier to talk to if she was not in pain.
“You may not have been bleeding to death, but you were not yourself. And I don’t want you making such an important decision when you are like that.”
For all her life Kindra had never seen Gar look so troubled. His eyes were pained, without their normal jolly spark, and he looked at her as if he could read her soul. She hadn’t realized before how serious he was about his feelings for her, nor how deeply they ran. She also hadn’t realized how much it would hurt to see him so.
She spoke softly when she finally replied. “I would like to keep your flute, if you are still offering it to me.”
“Don’t say that to me if you don’t mean it. I know what you said to my brother.”
“I don’t even know what I said to your brother. We were fighting. Whatever I said I was just trying to hurt him.”
Whatever it was that she said it had hurt Gar more than his brother, that was obvious. The hurt in his eyes was less for her condition and his feelings for her, then, and more for whatever thoughtless things she had said in anger.
“Gar, I didn’t mean whatever I said to him.”
He looked down at her and his pain turned to brief anger. “You said my family was beneath you.”
The goat and antiseptic were suddenly too strong to breathe again. Kindra had used her mother’s words against him.
“I am so sorry,” she said, her voice no more than a hoarse whisper. “I should never have said such a thing. I don’t believe that at all. My mother…” She shut her mouth before she made things worse.
Gar look down at his feet. “I know what your mother thinks of me.”
They were both silent then, aware that any marriage between them would be more difficult than they thought. It would be much easier to remain friends and put this behind them.
“This was a bad idea,” he said. “I should have listened and not given you the flute in the first place. I’m sorry.”
He still was not looking at her, and Kindra ran her hand along the flute where it had rested at her side since she took it from him two nights ago. They symbols carved into it were shallow but powerful, and it made her feel better to know it was there and he had given it to her out of a great feeling of love.
“I…” She took a shaky breath and traced the pattern on the flute again with her finger. “I have never been one to quit doing something just because someone else thinks I should.”
He looked up at her and there was a small amount of hope back in his eyes.
“And I’ve obviously never had a problem with doing something that is a bad idea.” She touched the cut on her chin and smiled. The skin was hot and swollen and painful. “And my mom doesn’t think very highly of me either.”
Gar smiled at that and knelt down beside her so their eyes would be level. He brushed the hair back from her forehead and covered her hand with his.
“So I say again,” she whispered and closed her eyes, because it hurt to see the emotion in his. “I would like to keep your flute, if you are still offering it to me.” She opened her eyes again and looked at him with apprehension.
“I am still offering it to you,” he said, voice husky. “It will be yours, always.”
As he leaned over and kissed her, she felt something like love blossom warm within her chest.