[This post is from Thom’s point of view.]
Shirt first, then pants, and then he paused for a moment, staring at his shoes on the far side of the room. His shoulders ached, one more than the other, and his knee was worse as he leaned a hip into the dresser, lips thinning.
Sandals it is. He blew out a quiet breath and limped across the room—hopped, almost—to his sandals, to the crutches left leaning against the wall. They’d make his shoulders ache worse, but they were healing—slow, but healing.
Thom scrubbed a hand over his face.
She won’t be happy, but I can’t keep lying around, can I? He knew what she would say and also knew he’d disagree vehemently.
Still, it made him smile.
He blew out the lamp and limped out, closing the door firmly behind himself. His shoulders burned after the first few steps, but dealing with that nuisance was better than trying to walk on his bad knee. Moving down the darkened, quiet corridor, Thom realized that it was earlier than he’d originally thought it might be, the darkness thicker than it would be if it was much past sunrise and the hall too quiet. That was fine. He was awake, and clearly his wife was, too. She’d be outside somewhere, or maybe up at the forge, though he suspected that Matt wouldn’t be there, not this early in the morning, nor would Thordin.
What the hell am I going to say?
A sigh escaped his lips and he shook his head at himself, limping out from the corridor and into the tent. He could see the cookfire’s glow beyond some storage shelves, could smell the scent of coffee. Thom smiled, an odd sort of relief washing over him.
Maybe it was because it felt normal to smell coffee this early in the morning—and it was certainly early, only a little bit past dawn. Some of the tension drained away and his shoulders seemed to ache a little less.
Maybe it was because after nearly a year, despite his visions, despite everything, he was starting to feel like somehow, everything was going to work out. There would be a future. There would be hope.
And as he headed for the cookfire and the smell of coffee, he decided that was all that mattered.