I love these two, and guess what? I discovered a secret for the main set of books while I wrote this part! Of course, I can’t share it just yet. But it has to do with the hobs and how Sebastian got his Uniweaver status. (I think the story will come out in book 5)
Hugo stood in the middle of the forest, his eyes darting as he walked around the trees. It would take time to clear the area and build, even with magic, but his heart had jumped at the sight of the place, and his mind had gladly approved after some investigation of the area. The trees were strong and a little stream wound through the clay soil. There was plenty of wildlife, and the grasses grew strong.
Here, in this flat land of red clay, he would build a castle. He unrolled the scroll in his hands, but only enough to see one section of it. The foundation was the most important step in the process, but there was a lot of work that needed to happen first. He raised his hand, and one tree pulled free from the earth. He raised his hand until the tree had risen above the forest, and then swept it slowly to the side. For this tree, and for at least several more, he would walk the tree to the nearby clearing he had found yesterday. After his mind and magic has performed the move several times, he could trust that the magic would take care of the trees with very little thought. By the time the sun shined directly above him, he had the process down. Out. Up. Over. Down.
He worked until the beginning of sunset, washed the sweat and dirt from his body, and then headed for the wagon. He thought of the one he had left behind as he neared the other one. He reminded himself of her every day. He thought of the way her soft voice sounded in a full room and how her laughter had made him smile. He thought of how she looked when she wore that blue dress with the ribbons, and the feel of her near him as they danced. The smell of her was fading, but he knew that she reminded him of dainty flowers blooming in the morning mist.
He set aside his thoughts at the sight of the wagon house. Last week he had built it into a more stable temporary home, while she had worked to prepare the land around it for growing. They had food for the upcoming winter, but there was some planting that could start now. After he cleared the land for the new property, he would return to work on a fence here. It would be like that, back and forth, until the temporary home was finished and the grounds for the castle was ready for the foundation to be laid.
His stomach growled. He pushed the door open and stepped into the wagon house. He waved his hand to light the candles and light the logs in the fireplace. He looked around. Where was she? He had assumed that when he did not see her outside that he would find her within. He stepped back outside and looked around. Where could she have gone? He opened his mouth to call her, but the foreignness of her name still clogged his throat.
He thought of her. She was small and kind and quiet. He had tucked her into bed that first night and rolled over, hopeful that she wouldn’t cry. Each night he tucked her into bed next to him, patted her shoulder, and rolled away. Each morning he would rise early and prepare a large meal from their storage before he started work. Each evening she made a large meal from what she had hunted or saved from a previous hunt. There were no words between them. Weariness and shyness dominated the small amount of waking time when they were together in the evenings. He read. She made things while she hummed softly.
He heard her singing, and followed the sound of it, earthy and wild. Her hair and skin glistened with water. She carried two fish. He lit the outdoor fire as he watched her approach. He frowned. Something was wrong. Her lips were as straight as her back, and her face still bore the marks of tears.
She dropped to her knees and began to prepare the fish. He pulled out his knife and knelt down next to her. She continued to hum a fierce song as they worked. Hugo prepared the other fish on the large rock they had settled by the fire soon after arriving, and then went inside to grab two of the apples she had gathered a few days ago.
He looked out the window in time to see her flinch and hold her left hand against her stomach. He grabbed the plates from the shelf and hurried out to her. She was settling the pan of fish onto the fire, but he gently pulled it away and set it back onto the ground.
“You are hurt. Show me.”
“I am healer.” She whispered.
He held out his hand. “Amadahy.”
She looked up at him with wide eyes.
“Amadahy, show me where you are hurt.” He said gently. “I am a healer in my land, too. Healers need each other.”
She held her hand out.
He covered her hands in his and closed his eyes. “You did a good job.” He said, eyes still closed. “But there’s a little more work to be done. He opened his eyes. “May I finish?”
He healed her hand and wrapped it, then fed her supper and tucked her in bed. He turned out the lights, and patted her. That night he left his hand on her shoulder.