Chaper 5: A fly in the coffee.
I woke up to the smell of bacon and coffee. I stirred in bed feeling as if a horse had run over me last night, which was perfectly possible considering I didn’t remember getting in bed, or anything after leaving the cave for that matter.
I sat up swiftly when I noticed the rough material of clothing rubbing against my skin, I was no longer wearing the ceremony dress but a plain and incredibly big long-sleeved shirt that reached only below my midthigh and panic was setting in. Flashes of last night came back to me. I remembered my wet clothes and Damian embracing me during our ride back; I blushed deeply at the thought of him dressing me in his shirt and hugged myself tightly at the thought. Before my mind could take me to more dangerous places, a gruffy deep voice interrupted my trail of thoughts.
“Relax, woman, I asked the innkeeper to change your clothes since you passed out from exhaustion in our way back” Damian was sitting across the room in what seemed to be a slightly too small and very uncomfortable couch.
After my panic attack dissipated with the knowledge that it hadn’t been him who changed my clothes last night, it was bad enough that my dress was completely see-through when I got out of the pond, I noticed the mug of coffee and the plates with breakfast in the bedside table.
“Don’t let lady Martha hear you complain about helping a damsel in distress or you won’t be able to ride in a while from the spanking she’ll give you” I teased, trying to lighten the mood and scare away any embarrassing thought. I rushed to grab a plate and proceeded to inhale the food. A small moan scaping in delight at the taste of crispy bacon; I was starving.
“Very funny, missy. Remind me who was the good felon who followed you in the middle of the night into the drangon den and saved your ass from falling from the horse.” his tone wasn’t friendly; he was clearly annoyed but I couldn’t put my finger on the reason. I tilted my head and stared at him with furrowed brows, silently encouraging him to tell me what was bothering him but he avoided my gaze with feigned interest in the newspaper on his hands.
“Spill it, Lancaster. Was there a fly in your coffee?” I finally asked after a few minutes of uncomfortable silence. I sipped from my own mug and almost chocked, it was the most horrendous thing I’d ever tasted. “Forget it, I’d rather get the fly” I replied to myself with a hoarse voice. “What the hell do they use to make coffee? Rusted screws?”
His laughter reverberated through the room, startling me for the sudden reaction I wasn’t expecting; his eyes were squeezed shut and his hands were holding his belly for laughing so hard. I smiled at Damian and got so distracted, forgetting his rude comment from before, that I almost sipped again the abomination in the mug. I decided to leave it in the furthest corner of the side table to avoid a possible food poisoning.
A knock in the door interrupted us and in the blink of an eye he recovered his composure; the only evidence left was a light pink tint on his cheeks for the effort of laughing. A young girl stepped in carrying a tray and left it in the table. She was wearing a simple brown long-sleeved dress; her hair was tied in a clean knot at her nape and her eyes glued to the floor; a typical demeanor for the serving class. She was pretty with rosy cheeks and plump lips, but too young to be called beautiful, she may’ve seen fifteen springs. I shook my head slightly, taking another bite of my food.
“Everything you asked is ready, sir” she told Damian hesitantly without looking at me, which I found incredibly rude. “But you can pay an extra fare if you want to stay a little longer with your wife”
“That’s not…” I blushed deep red and tried to correct her, her avoiding took at me now making sense, but Damian intervened before I could finish a sentence.
“We’ll leave after breakfast, thank you” his voice didn’t quiver with the infamous lie hanging between us; but his previous mood returned to him like a gloomy aura, almost like real fog surrounding him but I blinked and it disappeared.
The girl nodded and left the room without another word, leaving an awkward tension behind. I finished my breakfast in silence, eyeing Damian once in a while but he seemed determined to ignore me, his eyes glued to the newspaper.
“I must’ve drunk too much last night because I can’t remember our wedding, Mr. Lancaster” I teased in an attempt to get an explanation, or at least a reaction from the man.
“As if you were that lucky” he growled, which stung a little, I must admit that wasn't the reaction I was looking for. “I had to made that up because I came in the middle of the night with a passed-out woman wearing a white dress in my arms.”
“Hey, you don’t need to be that rude. Nobody forced you to come with me. If I knew you were going to be such a jerk about it, I wouldn’t have invited you.” I snaped and stormed out of the room to get changed. Everything was wonderful yesterday but his current behavior was giving me a headache, I wasn’t about to let him step on me. If he thought I was going to thank him for making up such a useless and weak lie to "protect my virtue" and forgive his bad attitude, he was so very wrong.
After changing into my simple beige dress and pinning my hair up in a messy bun, I stepped out of the inn and found Damian waiting for me next to our horses. I mounted mine ignoring him and left without looking back. It was petty but two could play the same game.
Damian caught up to me in no time but I wasn’t in the mood to talk so I remained a bit ahead for about an hour. The horses were heaving and I felt bad for pushing them that hard, so I stopped at a stream to take a break.
“Are you talking to me now?” Damian huffed, obviously unamused with my attitude towards him. I rolled my eyes, now he was offended.
“I don’t know. Are you done acting like a child?” It seems my pettiness wasn’t over, at least not yet. But I’d been over the moon after the awakening and Damian was ruining it since this morning. He only huffed in response and guided his horse far from me.
The rest of the trip was silent but at a more adequate pace for the horses. My troubled thoughts were my only company and I decided that if he wanted to stop acting like a friend and go back to his egocentric self, then I wouldn’t stop him.
It was well past lunch when we finally arrived to the stables of Lancaster Manor. I’d spent the last hour thinking about my visions during the awakening, my argument with Damian long forgotten.
“Finally, we’re home” I scrunched my nose at his relieved tone, remembering our little fight and thinking that our little trip might have been much more bothersome for him than I initially thought.
“I’ll go to the kitchen and see lunch is served to you, young master” I said while dismounting and handing the reins to the stable boy. I bowed slightly, going back to full maid mode, and hurried off to the main building. When he got back after so many years, I thought we could create a better relationship hoping the experience changed him for good; I thought he really wanted to be my friend. I obviously thought wrong. Now, I knew he was only bored and the excitement of adventure faded as soon as it became a little bothersome.
Regret was creeping its ugly tentacles up my chest for having shared this special moment with Damian. I lifted my skirt slightly, gripping the cloth so tightly I felt my nails digging painfully against my hands, and walked as fast as if there was a fire.
“Enid, I…” Damian began but the rest of the sentence got lost when I crossed the entrance of the stables.
Everything was fine. I didn't need him before and I definitely didn't need him now. It was a good thing he'd showed his true colors now before I got too attached and missed him when I left for good to find my family. This way nothing would hold me back.
Hi, everyone. I'm supper excited for the support the story is receiving . And decided to upload an extra chapter this week. I hope you like it. I love to read your comments.