This is a scene I wrote awhile back that takes place in between Espionage and its sequel. It sort of bridges the gap between the two and is a game changer in Vannie and Kyle's friendship. Kyle is 19 at this point and Vannie is almost 16. Enjoy!
I glanced back through the trees, laughing. Kyle wasn’t as fast a rider as me, not in the woods, anyway. I wouldn’t admit that he’d probably let me win. He’d slowed to a walk. I pulled up my horse to wait for him. He caught up moments later.
“You beat me.”
I flashed a grin at him. “Of course I did. I’m the faster rider.”
“So you say.”
I laughed again, not because he’d really said something funny, but simply because I was happy. Kyle was doing the same. We’d taken the being friends thing very seriously. It was long since I had begun to consider him my best friend in all the world. I couldn’t imagine life without him, honestly. He was as much a fixture in my life as my parents and sisters.
I squinted up through the trees, trying to determine the time by the waning light. “It’s probably time to go back.”
“I agree.” Kyle wheeled his horse around. “Come on, let’s go.”
We walked our horses back, talking and laughing over nothings. I was slightly disappointed when we came in sight of the house, despite how my stomach was rumbling for supper. This lovely day was coming to an end, and soon Kyle would be returning home. He was only nineteen, not yet of age, but he still had duties to perform for his vassalage, particularly as his father remained imprisoned.
“I’m going to miss you, Kyle,” I said.
“And I’ll miss you. But we’ll see each other again. We always do.”
My grin matched his once more. I couldn’t be sad around Kyle. I was too glad that he was there.
Kyle dismounted at the stable and came to lift me down from my horse. He’d done it hundreds of times—I enjoyed letting him play the gentleman, even though I was perfectly capable of dismounting myself—but something was different. Something in the way I was suddenly conscious of his hands about my waist, or the way our eyes met. It took my breath away. He’d been my best friend for almost seven years now, but I suddenly realized that I loved him. And not with friendship type love, that had always been there, but with a marrying type of love. The sort of love that made me wish he would draw me into his arms and kiss me. The sort of love that made me determine that this was the man I had to spend the rest of my life with.
I loved Kyle Roland.
He stood as if frozen for a moment after setting me on the ground, his hands still about my waist, his lips slightly parted as if in surprise. Maybe it wasn’t just me that had had a revelation.
He started and pulled his hands away. “Sorry, Vannie, I don’t know what’s wrong with me.”
I do. But I knew I couldn’t say anything about it. There was that dreadful betrothal business we both had to deal with. “Don’t worry about it.” I couldn’t think of anything more to say without spilling. I didn’t need to.
“Let’s go in. We both need to change before supper.”
We left our horses in the care of the groom and headed for the house. I wanted to slip my hand into his. As children, we had held hands quite often. Now, we were often more reserved in our physical contact—it came with being nearly grown up. I didn’t want to remain reserved. I wanted at the very least to hold his hand. But something told me I couldn’t do that.
Just before we entered the back door, Kyle stopped and turned to me. “What happened a moment ago, we can’t ever speak of it, even to each other. It wouldn’t be appropriate. There are too many reasons why.”
I nodded slowly, but couldn’t tamp down the swelling inside at Kyle’s mention that something had happened. It hadn’t just been my imagination, it hadn’t just been me. I knew it wasn’t right to speak of it, though. “I know. I won’t.”
He looked relieved. “Traditions!” he exclaimed.
I knew just how he felt. And I might never speak of it again, but that would never stop me from thinking of it.
Oh, the dear babies.ReplyDelete