Beyond the Ailchas Redux

Day 480

Kimberelle held out his least used riding vest. “You’ll be wearing this?” she asked.

Ailchas put it on. He knew it wasn’t a question. “Do you ever wonder…”

“Hardly ever. Sometimes. Not this evening certainly.” Her voice caught; she turned pick up a wooden box or maybe to hide her eyes.

She tilted the lid on the box and removed her pin. Showing it to him with a smile. All his reluctance to wear a jeweled butterfly in front of his men evaporated with her smile. He called to mind their joining many years before: he gave her a ring and she gave him a kiss—he’d been making up the difference in the forty years since. Even though they were alone he left his arms slack at his sides like he was receiving a medal. Kimberelle slid the pin in place on his vest.

He looked down to inspect her work ready with a false pleased grin only to be surprised. Instead of a glittering butterfly he found a kutaqesk. His kutaquesk.

She winked. “I had Janor add the sword to the back of the clasp. Turn your vest out and you’ll see your impractical butterfly.”

202 words