When Lord Maverick said the trials were over, she had run from the room. Her heart was beating wildly in her chest ad she knew she was going to be sick. She had been shocked when Barnard ordered Falcon to produce the chest of gold. She had been blind sided. She ran to Drago’s cave, but too many memories waited for her there.
She grabbed a blanket and climbed to the top of the hill to look out over the land. It was a beautiful land, and at this late hour very peaceful and serene. She wished she felt some of that serenity.
She was tired and weary. She had made a mess of things. She wrapped herself in the blanket and curled up on the ground close to the fire. Sleep eluded her. She was not sure what Bryantt would do to her when he finally got his hands on her. There was a lot of gold in that chest, and Barnard made sure that Bryantt knew where it came from.
Her heart ached. She had left the handfasting of her own free will. She had gone with Barnard willingly. She could see the hurt in Bryantt’s eyes when she admitted that. It had been difficult for her to sit through the rest of court and not run at that moment. By the end, she felt like she would explode and could not stand another second of it. The walls were closing in on her. So she ran, ran no t knowing where she was going or what she was going to do.
She thought she should go home, but she did not know if she could stand to see the hurt in Bryantt’s eyes again. She stared into the fire, agonizing at the hurt she had caused.
She looked up, startled to hear her name, and saw Barnard standing over her.
“Barnard?” she asked, not sure if he was real or if she were dreaming.
“What are you doing, Karissa?” he asked.
He sat down on the log near her and they began to talk, both taking turns to explain their hurt and their pain, taking the time to start the healing process. She cried as she listened to him, knowing what he said to be true. Then he stood and bade her goodbye.
“Goodbye Barnard,” she said, trying to force a smile.
“It’s just Barney now,” he said, and left.
Karissa turned her attention back to the fire. She would go back to North March and face her punishment. She had to go back. She loved Bryantt, even if he were marrying the Countess.
Her eyes grew heavy thinking of tomorrow, going back to face punishment, but worse than that, to face the man she hurt the most.