"No signs of fever?"
I shake my head, pouring boiling water into a cup of tea leaves. Greer has her hands pressed to her temples and is rubbing them slowly. "No."
"That's a miracle in itself... They walked for hours like that."
I hand her the tea, pressing my lips together. "I'm sorry, Greer... that he was hurt getting MacCallan."
She shakes her head. "Dinnae fash yourself for it. Knox- he knew the dangers... so did I. I just hadn't expected it... to actually happen."
"But you saw it?"
She nods, closing her eyes. "I still do. It won't stop. It replays over and over again, at all hours of the day."
I touch her brown hair, settling into the stool beside her. "You should try to get some sleep. You've been up all day."
Her features, usually pretty and young, look haggard from the crying. I can't say I'd look any better in the circumstances. She doesn't answer me but doesn't resist when I grab her arm, lifting her off the chair.
"I'll grab your tea," I whisper as we start towards her bedroom. She turns though, at the door and walks into another room. I close my eyes regretfully when I see a twin bed. A guest room.
She walks before me, discarding her clothing. I turn until hearing her climb into the bed, to which I face her, swallowing nervously.
I realize that while she's not blaming me, I'm blaming myself.
She told me the day Callan left that she'd find a way to help me save him. I didn't stop her and that was why she felt compelled to send Knox to get him.
"Is there anything else I can do for you?"
She shakes her head, taking the outstretched cup. "Nay... will ye be here in the morn?"
I nod. "Only until dawn. I have to be back after that. I'm nervous to leave MacCallan-"
"I will make sure he's taken care of, dinnae fash, Gillian. We have plenty of food here for him and I've sent for some more willow bark and balsams."
I smile softly. "Thank you... for-for everything. I'm sorry for the way it-"
She stares at me, squinting. "Stop blaming yourself. I can feel it, Gillian and it doesnae feel pleasant."
"Oh, I'm sorry."
She chuckles, slapping her hand against her skirt. "Will ye quit with the apologies? You've done nothing wrong."
"I can't help it."
"Aye, ye can. Ken I dinnae blame ye for a thing- take my word and have that be the last on the subject. He was meant- to die. I had seen it. It would have happened no matter what."
I nod, looking down at my hands. "I'll-I'll be with Callan... if you need anything."
"I've got Mary for that. Spend your time with him, Gillian," she says, taking a sip of her drink slowly.
I don't know what she means by the words but I turn for the door, too scared to ask.
I lie against Callan's side, listening to his even breaths, glad the sound still calms me. My brain is stubborn but tired. I remain in a uncomfortable state of drowsiness, running my fingers lightly into his chest hair.
The action is so familiar yet foreign. The times I spend with him seem to feel more like memories than moments that have actually happened. My eyes slowly drift from the ceiling to his body. I inspect his wound silently, glad to see it healing nicely.
YOU ARE READING
Two very different worlds. Two very different men. And one woman who has to choose between the life that she knew and the one that lies ahead... ----------------------------------------------------------------- Gillian Clarke finds herself thrust...