Chapter 4

4.3K 297 21

Chapter 4

                The crush of people was always disconcerting. The vibrations she could feel from them all told her much, but she knew the sound itself would overwhelm her if she could in fact hear it. Her world was silent. The only sound she had was that of her own mind whirring away, sometimes talking nonstop to fill the empty void within her.

                It was sometimes so lonely in her own head, even surrounded by so many different people, they could not reach her in a way that anyone else could be reached. She was isolated, an island on her own in a jostling sea of people. Pushing her way through, she could see Alfred up ahead at their designated meeting place. He had gone to collect some information from a man he would tell her nothing off, and she had gone to the market on a few streets from their rooms to find something edible to eat for the little coin she had put aside for this week. Their funds were running low, and Alfred still refused to allow her to put herself in danger and work in any way.

                An elbow to her ribs had her tilting to the side before he could right herself, and her head swivelled to see a burly male carry on his way without a backward glance. Silently she liked to think he would have apologised on his way past. It was one thing at least she could do to amuse herself. She would sit and watch people, watching their actions and ignoring their lips and making up her own conversations for them, and stories of their lives. Shaking her head and concentrating on finding a path through the people seemingly determined to walk in the opposite direction to where she needed to be.

                Artair glanced up from the woman he was paying over the odds for a stale loaf of bread, and the information he wished to know, and found himself seeing the flash of gold he had been looking everywhere for. A squash of people blocked his view, and the insistent tugging and clearing of a throat behind him, had him thrusting all the coins he had been counting at the elderly woman, who cracked a toothless grin in his direction. And snatching up the loaf, he sprinted off in the direction he had last seen the image he had dream off for days.

                A slick patch of ice, however, was his literal downfall. His foot catching it in the completely wrong way and as if in slow motion, his feet came out from under him and he was suddenly painfully landing upon his arse, jolting his spine, and collapsing backwards so he was staring at the painfully bright clouds above. The snow that had been threatened all day was most definitely going to appear within the hour. His thoughts had taken a drift off course at precisely the wrong moment. Managing to stand on his own, with no help from those continuing to pass him by with only a glance in his direction and a few whispers around him, he knew it was too late, he had missed her once more.

                Sighing, he moved over to the side of the street, making sure he was well away from any other stray patches of ice, and rubbed at his sore backside through the thick warm wool of his kilt. Well, at least she had not seen him looking the state he did at the moment, and had not witnessed the utter humiliation he had just suffered. Rubbing at his face, he knew that the swelling was going down, but it was obvious he had not come out the victor on the end receiving end of a fist. He had worried that the male who had knocked him out had abducted Rohesia, but she had not been alarmed at his arrival, so he must be some help to her, for some reason. She may have worn the garb of those on the lower rungs of society, she held herself with the training and etiquette of the highest amongst the English.

Highland Bear (Book 4)Read this story for FREE!