Dark Warrior

Free Dark Warrior by Donna Fletcher

Book: Dark Warrior by Donna Fletcher Read Free Book Online
Authors: Donna Fletcher
thoughts, she warned herself, but ones she could not ignore.
    â€œI intend to hunt for food today. You will be all right?”
    The brief moment of play had passed, leaving her to continue questioning her odd feelings for him. Was it simply gratitude or loneliness she felt, or had this shadow of a man touched her heart somehow?
    She nodded letting him know she would be fine.
    â€œWhat will you do?”
    What should it matter to him? But then he probably wanted to make certain she would remain close to the castle grounds. She expressed herself by stretching out her arms to her sides, tilting her face up to the heavens, and turning in a circle.
    â€œYou will enjoy the day.”
    As strange as it seemed, she could feel the smile behind his words.
    â€œI will not be long.”
    She patted her chest to let him know not to worry, that she would be fine. For some reason she felt safe here among the ruins of the castle. Perhaps she felt a kindred spirit with the place, or perhaps because it was her home for a brief time, she felt at peace.
    â€œI left berries in a broken crock near the door and I will carry this bucket of water to the castle for you.”
    She pointed to her chest to let him know that she could handle the bucket.
    â€œI will take care of it.” He picked up the bucket. “You should rest; you have been through much and unfortunately it is not over yet.”
    She attempted to motion that at the moment she was granted a reprieve and she intended to enjoy it.
    â€œYou are a courageous woman.”
    She shook her head and motioned that she had no choice.
    He stopped by her side. “You chose to survive instead of surrendering and that is courageous.”
    She wished she could discuss his remark for she and her father had shared endless conversations on strength and survival, and she missed such stimulating conversation.
    â€œI will not be long.”
    He seemed reluctant to leave her so she tried to convince him that she would be fine and that he should not worry.
    â€œI will not be long,” he repeated gruffly and then marched off.
    He worried about her, she knew, but then he was her responsibility too. He put himself in danger because of her. Magnus had requested help of the Dark One, who granted him this favor.
    She wondered if Magnus knew Michael’s true identity. On second thought, she doubted if any knew the Dark One’s identity. Michael would not allow that. It would increase the terrible danger of the people he rescued.
    She returned to the castle, entering through the door and closing it behind her as though she could lock out the world. She busied herself with cleaning the large table in front of the fireplace and clearing away as much debris as she could. She then took the cauldron off the hook in the fireplace with plans for Michael to carry it to the stream for her to scrub.
    She was about to clean the area around their sleeping pallet when she suddenly dropped down to sit on the broken bench at the table. The bench was missing one leg but if she balanced herself carefully the bench remained sturdy.
    Was she attempting to find balance and a sense of sanity by treating this ruined castle as her home? This place was as battered as she, and perhaps in repairing a few things she was repairing herself.
    She stood and the broken bench toppled over.
    She could topple that easily if she did not remain balanced in strength, thought and conviction, as her father had often cautioned.
    Mary walked out the front door, looked around at the beauty of the lonely valley, and walked to the stream where she stood, hugging herself.
    She wanted to cry out of frustration, out of despair, out of fear for all that had happened to her, but she did not. She just held it all back.
    She was not aware of much, looking out over the water, until the first tear rolled down her face, followed by a flood of tears. Michael came up behind her, turned her around, and hugged her tightly in his strong

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