Together (281 Words)
The turn in the road, the angle of the trees on the hill—it was all familiar. After all that had happened, Beck had expected home to feel like a dream. Instead it was a different reality. Yet her happiness at knowing her family’s cottage was just around the hill was strongest with her desire to share it.
“It might be late for lunch,” she said. “We’ll have something for you. Come on.”
The elf man had stopped walking, standing in the shadow of the hill.
“This is your home, isn’t it?” he said.
Beck’s mouth pursed. She nodded.
“Then this is where we part ways.” He held out his hand to her. “It has been a pleasure, mo chroi, my dear heart.”
She took his hand without thinking. “B-b-but why?”
“I can’t be seen,” he said. “Not in your world.”
Her mouth fell open. She kept his hand, squeezing it tight. “You know there’s no going back,” she said. “Even if you left here, now, you’ll always be with me. Please. Come with me.”
The elf man looked down at her earnest, upturned face. It seemed so strange, after the adventure they had been through, that it came down at last to this. It seemed strange that the idea of meeting this young woman’s family terrified him more than facing a dragon.
Beck could imagine what he was thinking.
“We can do this,” she said, “together. Like always.”
Always? It hadn’t been always. But it had been that way, since he had first found this strange human hiding in a troll’s shoe. A curious warmth softened his face as he felt her fingers twining his.
“Together,” he said. “Like always.”