This is to my anonymous reviewer, Sara. You gave me hope and you review cheered me up to no end. Thank you for your support.
It was late when Adala arrived at the cottage, the old farm horse was gone, along with Jacob.
Desperately she ran through the rooms, not even taking off her riding boots. Everything looked different, but after fifteen years away from this house she couldn't really remember which rooms were which. In the kitchen she found a note,
I'm at the village.
Dammit, didn't he know what they would do to him if they thought he had money? She shouldn't have left him alone, she should have stayed. Adala cursed and strode out the door, she didn't lock the cottage, the locals knew what happened if you trespassed there, actually they didn't, no one had ever made it back to tell.
She jumped right back onto her horse, her red hair was tangled from wind and sweat but she paid it no mind, she was still beautiful and the sister's magic would keep her so until their third kiss.
When she could finally be free of the curse.
And live happily ever after with Jacob.
Jacob was having the time of his life. He had bought ten loaves of bread and a basket full of apples, which had put him in favor with the townsfolk.
And then he had bought everyone drinks.
It was silly, and random, and he knew he shouldn't have done it, but it was something Will would never had even considered, but Jacob didn't care what Will thought, not anymore.
Because Jacob felt a savage satisfaction at the thought of Wilhelm nursing his drnk, alone in some dark corner of a bar, trying to see who would mug him first.
So everyone had gotten drunk over the disgusting sludge they called wine.
Everyone was so poor. The loaves were stale and the apples were shriveled and bruised, but Jacob had paid at least three times what they were worth.
Because Will would have disapproved.
And suddenly he was the king of the moment, playing darts with the men, something which he had never done before, and flirting with every girl in the room, even the grandmothers.
Jake was just about to throw another dart when the door opened and everyone went quiet.
It was a while before he realized that he was the only one laughing and he turned around.
Adala was in the doorway.
He hadn't ever really looked at her before. She was stunning. And she was staring straight at him.
The crowd parted silently, looking from one to the other. They probably though he had stolen her money.
Which he had. In a way.
"Jacob?" She said, her eyes softening when she saw him. She sounded, relieved, and... tired.
She looked a little disheveled, her clothes wrinkled with wear and her hair escaping from the knot at the back of her neck.
"Adala?" He asked carefully, he was feeling a little tipsy, but he was sobering fast.
"I need a drink."
Everyone seemed to relax, and a few people laughed. She tensed a little and lowered her eyes.
Jacob walked over to her put a comforting hand on her shoulder. She looked at him in surprise and he quickly withdrew again, hoping he hadn't offended her.
Instead, she smiled and took his arm.
"Let's go get that drink." She said.
It was nearing dawn when Adala and Jacob got back to the cottage. He was dead drunk, and she played along, they weaved their way along the road, the horse supporting them.
Jacob was singing, his voice quavering and Adala was beside herself laughing.
Jake quieted again, turning to address the horse.
"This fine species of animal, looks like my brother."
And he passed out.
Adala laid Jacob down on the bed and sat beside him, looking out the window. Jacob muttered in his sleep, his arm twitched and he frowned.
She laughed quietly and smoothed his hair away from his eyes. His sleep became calm once more.
Daylight struck through the window, turning his room to gold. She turned around to survay the quarters. Something was missing...
The dust. He had cleaned up the dust.
She laughed again, and swept his clothes up from the floor. She folded them as she walked down the hall to her own room. This room hadn't been disturbed, for which she was grateful, It was her haven, her fortress and all the home she needed.
Her books were scattered around the room along the desks and on the floor. Dried plants hung from the ceiling giving off sweet scents.
She breathed it in. Fifteen years away and it was still the same, still as calming.
But the mirrors were gone. And Adala was surprised to find that she didn't miss them.
She bent down and swept the books off the bed and they landed on the floor with a thump.
Moving quietly, she flapped the sheets and watched a dust rose up from the cotton. It sparkled in the air , like snow in summer, and she smiled and passed a hand through the swirling patterns.
But her exhaustion couldn't wait and she quickly tumbled onto her bed and slept for what seemed like days.
The village is called Abschiedskuss German for parting kiss (Quite appropriate I thought)