38 ~ Jules

Jules had his arm around Ghia all the way back to the tavern. She wouldn’t admit she needed help walking.

All the information his brain had absorbed in the past hour was being processed, settling into his inner system, integrating itself into his current world view.

It all made sense, to his surprise. But why should I be surprised? Ghia’s behaviour was so much more than a healer’s know-it-all attitude. At least he now knew that no thoughts were safe around her.

Except maybe now.

Ghia was so tired, she gave no indication of knowing what he was thinking. She stumbled a bit and quickly, he caught her.

“Thanks,” she said, too tired even to smile. Whether she said it aloud or merely sent, he didn’t know.

The walk between the tavern and castle must have been longer than it felt. Somehow he got Ghia through the tavern door and, with a brief explanation to her aunt, he picked her up in his arms and carried her up the stairs. She didn’t protest. She was so feather-light in his arms he couldn’t believe she was as filled out as she looked – it looks as if she kept her promise about eating, but why is she so light to carry? Her head rested on his shoulder. He was pretty sure she was asleep already.

With only a little difficulty he opened the door to her room and set her gently down on the bed. She didn’t seem to be aware of any of it. He pulled her shoes off and tucked her in before turning to go but her arm caught his. He turned back to her.

“Please don’t go, Jules,” she half-said, half-whispered.

“I was just going to find another room. I won’t leave the tavern.”

She shook her head feebly. “No. Stay here, please.”

Her eyes were closed, but Jules knew she could still see him with her mind. He nodded and pulled the chair over to the bed, where he settled in for an uncomfortable rest. At least I know it’s worth it.


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