Thursday, July 12, 2007

Thirty Six

She awoke to the sound of crying. Then she heard a man’s voice.

"It's okay, Mother."

Will was here. He would fix things, just like he always had. Diana felt him at her side and leaned into him as if she could draw the strength of his body into her own. She opened her eyes and managed what she hoped was a smile.

There was something odd and restrained about him that she couldn't figure out. He kissed her forehead. "Don't worry," he said. "It won’t take long."

Before she could ask what he meant, another voice asked, "How's Macy?"

Diana looked around and realized Macy was lying on a pallet nearby.

"She hasn't woken up yet," Amalia said. "We won't know much until then."

Coyote knelt by Macy's side and brushed a lock of hair out of her face. "The bastards told me too late."

Diana frowned, wondering why nothing anyone was saying made sense. "She's okay. She stood up so I could get her on my horse."

Coyote’s eyes glowed in the light of the lantern. "Thank you for rescuing her."

"What are you talking about? I nearly got her killed."

"Come on," Will told Coyote. "We need to go before Harley tries to stop us."

"Where are you going?" Amalia demanded.

"We'll be back, Mother."

"Back when? From where?"

Diana saw Will pull Amalia close and wondered why she hadn't noticed before how tall and strong he was. He looked like he could kill a hundred raiders with his bare hands. The thought pleased her, but when had Will grown up and Auntie grown old?

"This won't take long," he said again.

Then he and Coyote were gone. Amalia looked like she would run after them, but seeing that Diana was watching, she busied herself instead checking her for signs of fever and concussion. Diana submitted patiently, knowing these small distractions would keep her own emotions at bay, too. When Amalia finally ran out of practical things to do, they found themselves staring at each other. Diana turned away first, unable to bear what she saw in her eyes. She was overwhelmed with both embarrassment and gratitude when Amalia lay down and put her arms around her.

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Palm Springs Savant said...

this is gettin really good. Btw- I just love your character names~

Alice Audrey said...

Amalia is great. She did just the right thing.