No, not flowers. He liked flowers, but it didn’t seem right.
She sat, looking down at the quiet ground that was so unlike him. Davy had never been quiet. He had never stood still. Even in sleep, he was always tossing and stealing the blankets for himself. Peg’s mouth crooked in a smile. Darn it, she missed him.
A silent, solemn figure to steal through the graves, his long cloak trailing in ebon folds as if he hurried night into the evening’s blue mists. Past the disconnected lines of wooden crosses he walked, mindless of the old and pausing in a moment’s fixed grief at the newer. His glance swept the cracked marble of aging stones but never for a moment did his purpose falter, and his direct progress led him straight to the gnarled cherry, shedding vibrant color in sharp spring wind.
It was a beautiful sight. Daria leaned over the boat edge, letting her hand trail in the water. The current pulled past her arm, troubling the reflection of fireflies and starlight. The moon shone clear, and the silver glow lit the world like another kind of day, bright and enlivening.
“Do you think it’s worth it?” she asked.
Ruad was barely awake, resting in the boat. At her question, his eyes half-opened.
They said he asked for me often; that his prayers were full of my name, the mock self-portrait I had given crumpled at his heart. He wept often—it was his weakness, the illness. He cried for me, but it was the pain coupled with fever that directed the cry, and when he was aware he was silent and asked for no one.
News of my adventures affected him unpredictably. He expressed no gladness that I was still alive, nor enthusiasm at any chance of success. Sometimes he was calmed by talk of me and would listen quietly and attentively, as if he were a child and his nurse a storyteller. Then he was afforded a moment’s peace and stillness. Equally often he shed silent tears as he bade the speaker tell on, his countenance so stricken that it seemed he could not live on however promising the account.