Chapter 17

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AN - Sorry it has been a couple of days since i last updated. Work has been crazy and i am not entirely happy with how this chapter worked out. But i suppose that is for you to judge. So enjoy the chapter! Az x

Chapter 17

               

                Alfred’s heaving body told her he slept soundly. She always imagined that he was a rather loud snorer. Though she would never know unless someone else witnessed it, and she had the courage to ask such a question, she smiled anyway as she slipped out of the door into the darkness of the stairwell beyond. Alfred was larger than life in silence, she could only imagine his voice and any noise he made would accompany that image in her mind.

               

                Slowly, and carefully, she made her way through the black and shadows of the stairway, only able to distinguish the first step by her toes leaving solid…or slightly solid wood, and hitting air. Her soft shoes having nearly worn through on the soles, but they were comfortable if they were not exactly doing the purpose they were made for. Each and every step dipped under her slight weight and she was sure that it made a noise of some kind, and every shadow made her jump and look as she could not work out if someone followed her or not.

               

                But she could not find it within herself to turn around and head back to the safety of the rooms which had become her safe haven from the world.

               

                No. This she had to do. With the plan she had originally agreed to going ahead, she wanted to finally take some of the chances she had only ever felt strong enough to do with the laughing, and sometimes scolding, eyes of her father watching on. Always making sure she was safe in his own quiet way. But now that the plan was finally happening, she was unsure she could ask Artair to do this. Aye, she wanted it, but she was unsure it was what was best after the kind hearted and breath taking words he had spoken of her earlier. She was to marry a stranger and she would take Artair’s image with her to her marriage and eventually to her grave. It was unfair to whomever Alfred had managed to find to agree to marry her. But it was also unfair to ask Artair to do more than she already had from him. He would be the one hurt in the end. Not that she would not be, but she had agreed to this, and she could not back out now, she would be ruined for everyone, and no one…not even Artair would want her then.

               

                Nay. She could not back away from her word.

               

                So instead she had to work out what it was she wanted before then. Could she ask anything from Artair, or would it be better to cut all ties completely? Pushing at the ajar door before her at street level, she took a deep breath of the crisp, frozen air, and quickly stepped through into a night which could have been day with the brightness of the snow laden clouds overhead. The sky was covered in a thick white blanket, casting a strange light over the world below. The air quickly permeated her thin clothing, and the chill settled in her bones. But she could not turn back and return to her room.

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