“Dixon, things are amiss at the palace.”
The two shared another laugh before her demeanor became serious. “Dixon, there are so many things I need to tell you. So many questions I have. I’m troubled and I’m confused. Thank you for speaking with me. I’m so grateful to have found a friend here.” Just as when Therese had fallen from the cliff, Basha seemed visibly shaken.
“What is it?”
She stood and paced a couple steps forward, then a couple back. Sitting back down, she grasped his hands. “Dixon, I fear for you. Lilith is . . . She is—”
“Yes.” Basha smiled. “Oh, how I’ve missed your easy ways. Even in the midst of trouble you can always make me laugh!”
“I guess it’s just my charm, huh?”
She laughed wholeheartedly. “Oh, Dixon,” she said as her voice softened, “I know this is a sad thing losing Rowena, and likely you’re not ready to think about this now, but . . . Well, after your grieving, you might find you want to share your life with someone. Perhaps she’s out there, even now, looking for you. Who knows? Maybe she’s already found you and you just don’t know it yet.”
He chuckled. “Oh, I rather doubt that.” He hung his head and shook it, still smiling. “You remember, huh?”
“Remember! How could I forget? What a funny story.”
“And to think my own mother told you.”
“Yes. So funny! She told me you were such a moody teenager, always cranky and scowling. She could never get you to ease up. ‘One day, I told him,’ she said to me, ‘one day I told him that if he ever finds a woman who thinks he’s charming, he’ll be sure to know he’s found his future wife!’ Goodness, it’s still just as funny today as it was back then.”
“Yes, well it became a habit for me, you know? Before I took my first oath, I told every engaging woman I met that I had the gift of charm. None of them seemed to believe me!” He grinned, then became serious. “Maybe that’s why I found it so easy to swear an oath first for Judith, and later for Rowena.” He paused. “Figured no one else would have me.”
“Not true, Dixon.” Basha shook her head. “Not true at all.” She smiled at him. “Why there will be many women who would be honored to know that in you they’ve found a man willing to swear an oath—a man who’s shown himself able to live up to what it means.” She paused. “Why, if I were a few years younger myself . . .”
He caught her eye and together they laughed again.
“Really, you might consider starting to ask the question again.”
He smirked, but then became somber. What was it that had prompted him to tell Mara that he had the gift of charm? It was ridiculous. She had a charge. Even though he was now free, she was not. It was absurd, really.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish