The letter took a very long time to reach them. Sent out with the best of those who could travel in this new world, it still had to find its way to someone who refused to stay still. Who couldn’t stay still. When they arrived at the inn though, having doubled back, the letter was waiting for her.
Saoirse opened it with a nail and read it fast. Then her pace slowed.
“I can’t believe they managed to send news all the way from home to here.”
Toiréasa’s words had faded into the background, despite how she stood near Saoirse’s shoulder. “Of course my father wouldn’t do that. Or failed to.”
“My cousin is dead.” From injuries sustained in the new environment. Because he couldn’t hunt as well on his own, more like.
Toiréasa’s attitude dwindled. She made a sound, like the slight exhalation of air.
Eventually, they got their room.
Saoirse had a lot to prove.
She looked up at Toiréasa’s home at the top of the creag and knew how long it would take her to make it to that household. She could see the disapproval of Toiréasa’s father, even without seeing him. A hand clapped down on her shoulder. She didn’t jump, because she’d known her cousin was behind her.
Saoirse turned away from the view. “Aye.”
Toiréasa was beautiful in a way no one else in the village could compare with. She was also heir to the strongest swordsman and learning his ways. Ways he would teach many, but not Saoirse. If she was going to get his permission, it would be on her own merits. She was already the best in her family. Her cousin didn’t want to go hunting without her. They would be the one sharing a meal, instead of those who were forced to ask for help as the weather changed drastically around them.
They left the village, out into the new snow. Saoirse brought her scarf over her mouth and nose.