Stand Up And Look Into The Light


Patrol with Cal? Oh, by the love of all the frickin’ gods was this real? Saffron could feel the insides of her stomach roiling around and wasn’t sure if it was from butterflies or from Warren’s beating. There was a definite sickness in there but that could have been the nerves which washed over her along with the excitement. This could potentially be the best day ever… or the best day in a long time. Or it could be the worst most embarrassing day ever. At least Warren wasn’t going with them. He wasn’t right? No, Cal would have called his name out too. Okay she could do this, she just couldn’t talk or look at them for very long without feeling herself start to blush… oh gods was she sweating? Was this nervous sweating that was happening right now? Oh, gods she needed to pull it together and pay attention, Cal was talking to her!

Rubbing her neck, she tried to pay attention to the words coming out of Cal’s mouth rather than just staring at her and Buddy like a star struck moron. Silently praying she didn’t look as red as she felt, the others would never let her live it down if she acted the idiot now. She was already imagining Warren’s new ammunition. Stop thinking and focus. A horse? Cal just mentioned a horse. That meant riding. That meant the possibility of falling off and whole new embarrassment. No, it was going to be fine. She found herself nodding anyways not trusting herself to speak and not just because her voice had gained a lovely new husky note. What if her thoughts blurted out the way they were sounding off in her head? Nodding seemed the safer option.

An awkward silence settled over Saffron as they headed round to the stables, she should probably say something but what? This was one of the guards she admired most, someone she wanted to be like and her brain was quite helpfully coming up with nothing. Static fuzz. Instead she managed a few nervous glances but each time she tried opening her mouth nothing sprang out and she ended up sucking her lip instead. Thankfully the walk to the stables was a short one and she staved off her awkwardness by distracting herself with the horses.

It was easier once she was inside, she could take a moment to focus herself catch her breath. The task of doing something practical rather than listening to the panic in her mind was a relief. Riding wasn’t exactly her favourite pastime as a child but she’d been out enough times with Nimueh and once or twice with Tristan to know what she doing at the least. It was handy that there was usually plenty of stable hands around to help her when she inevitably did something wrong. Unusually today the stables were surprisingly quiet save for her and Caldera. It left her feeling somewhat pressurised and she hid her probably sweaty face behind the animal she’d chosen trying to hide the fact she’d was fumbling her hands were suddenly becoming all fingers and thumbs.

Saffron was focused so hard and silently cursing herself she jumped when Cal spoke again. The moment the words sunk in the colour quickly drained from her face. Oh no, she had seen. Her mouth opened on something that was probably going to be denial, certainly not the truth and then quickly shut again. There was no point in lying Cal had obviously seen what had happened or enough of it. She swallowed a lotion that still hurt, “I uh, I’ll try that next time.” The uncertainty in her voice was obvious but she didn’t know how to hide it. She knew there’d be a next time. Warren wasn’t the type to let things go. Besides even if it wasn’t him there was always someone. She just wasn’t sure he’d settle for an arm wrestle, he’d beat her either way; she knew that. At least if he beat her arm wrestling that wouldn’t be so bad, but would it be enough for him? It wasn’t like she was going to bother Cal with her problem, it was hers to deal with. That’s how it worked now she was on her own. She studied her feet for a moment before looking back up, “So um what are we doing today?” The blush started creeping back up her neck, “I mean I uh know you said patrolling. I was paying attention. And uh I get what patrolling is sort of, I think. Um I guess I mean where?” Okay any time the ground wanted to open up and swallow her whole that would be just great.

Christian Holzinger | html by Merlin


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