“What is it, Turk?” she questioned, concerned about his agitation as she rose up on her elbows to see him better. “What are you doing?”
Turk stopped throwing piles of material out of one chest and came to kneel down beside her. Gazing deeply into her eyes, he saw a glimmer of returning warmth shining down in their depths and silently prayed that he had understood her heart on time.
“I look to gather my treasure, dear one,” he murmured, cupping her small face in his great hand and smiling a crooked smile at her puzzled expression, “for to keep you free as you must be, I must barter with Kashim and the others.”
“Free?” Leigha gasped in surprise, grabbing his arm as she spoke. “You mean that I am not, will not be a slave?”
Turk tipped his head back in laughter, then drew her close against his chest, for he had seen the spark of life return to her eyes at the mention of freedom and knew that what he was doing was right. Leigha possessed a free spirit such as his, and if she ever had to become a slave to others, he might as well plunge the blade into her breast as she had sought to do herself the night before.
“You were born to always be free, and I am proud to be the one to help you keep this freedom that you love.”
“I love you, Turk!” Leigha cried upon his chest as she hugged him closer to her. “You are a dear, dear friend.”
Turk heard her words, and though it brought joy to his aching heart to know that she loved him, he hid his face in her mass of tumbled hair, for his eyes showed the pain he also held. He knew that her heart truly belonged to another and would never be his.
“I must go back to Kashim now,” he said softly, pulling away from her embrace. “You rest again. I will be back shortly.”
Leigha reached up to touch his shaggy beard as he began to get to his feet, her eyes telling him of her gratitude that no words could ever express. Turning in embarrassment from the blaze of her rekindled spirit, he quickly found the trunk that he had been seeking, and after placing several more items from other chests into it, he heaved it up onto his broad back. Grinning broadly at Leigha, he left the room, closing the door softly behind him as he went.
“I am free!” Leigha whispered outloud, wishing that she could yell to the world her joy.
Wrapping her arms about herself and snuggling back down under the covers, she soon fell fast asleep, her smile still warm upon her curved lips.
Virginia Lee – Excerpt from “Dagon’s Blood” Kindle Edition