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The WeatherMaker Hearts Desire By Lady Lilium Characters: 4935

Updated: 2018-07-10 19:03

She looked up at him again.

'Arlen…' she said. 'Do you truly love me?'

'I do' Arlen said, holding her face in his hands. 'More than I ever thought I could, but…if I am ever to find my daughter again…'

'I understand' Karla said again. 'You don't need to explain. There is no place for me in your future.'

'Karla' Arlen winced. 'Please don't say such things.'

'But it's true' Karla said drawing away from him. 'Arlen. I want you to know, that you've given me some of the happiest years of my life. No man has ever treated me so well; it just feels so unfair that I have to lose you.'

'I told you from the very beginning…' Arlen said.

'I know' Karla sighed. 'But it doesn't make the loss any easier to bear.'

She stared at him hard, as if wishing to remember every detail of this moment.

Karla reached towards him, holding him again, and being held in turn. Arlen fought hard to hold back the tears.

They kissed, long and deep, before Karla stepped away from him, drifting backwards. She turned her back on him, pausing for a moment.

'I will never forget you Arlen' she said to him without turning. 'I hope you find what you're looking for.'

And she walked away, out of Arlen's life forever.

Arlen met with Shawn and Farrell shortly after, having packed his bags and readied his horse.

'Are you ready to go?' Shawn asked him.

Farrell just glowered.

'Yes' Arlen answered shortly. 'Here.' He tossed Shawn a small pouch of money. 'You can buy new horses with this. There is a clock tower near the centre of this town. If you ask directions, you can find a man who sells horses near there.'

'Wait, where are you going?' Shawn called after him.

'I will wait for you on the north-side of this town' Arlen told him abruptly, leading his horse away as he spoke. 'Do not keep me waiting too long.'

It was less than half-an hour later that the three set off. Farrell was feeling very uncomfortable upon the unfamiliar grey mare he rode, after spending so many years with his faithful steed Alastor.

'Alastor' Farrell sighed forlorn. 'I don't suppose I will ever see you again. I truly have left the past behind.'

'What's that?' Shawn asked riding his horse beside him. 'Did you say something?'

'No' Farrell said hanging his head. 'It's nothing.'

Arlen who was riding ahead of them turned his head back slightly to glare at them both. He kicked his heels into the horse, sending the beast forwards in a canter.

Behind him Farrell and Shawn urged their horses on to match his stride. They rode swiftly for the rest of that day and long after the sun had set. They only rested briefly the next day, before setting off again at a quick pace.

'I can't believe it was that easy. What kind of a man leaves such a valuable horse unguarded?' the man called Branden said as he admired the great black stallion.

'A foolish man' his friend Callum replied. He patted the neck of the brown stallion by his side. 'Tis a fine creature. I shall have many wonderful adventures with him.'

'My daughter will love this horse' Branden said. 'Even though he is rather old, I think he will be a wonderful gift for her. She is so hard to please, I am sure this will make her happy, and she can finally stop nagging me for at least a few minutes.'

His friend chuckled quietly to himself.

'She knows what she likes doesn't she?' Callum said.

'Just like her mother' Branden agreed. 'They are both very difficult.'

They reached the open field before the small cottage where Branden and his family lived. Callum waved to Branden's wife who stood at the door. She waved back to him, turning inside the house to call her daughter, telling her that her father had come home.

'What will you call him?' Branden asked his friend.

'Thunder Foot' Callum smiled at the chestnut stallion.

Branden nodded happily.

'What about you?' Callum asked. 'What will you call yours?'

'That's for my daughter to decide.'

'Daddy! You're home!' a young girl, twelve years in age came running from the cottage, followed shortly by her mother. 'What is that?' she asked coming to a stop and gazing up at the tall horse in awe.

'It's a present' Branden told his daughter. 'For you.'

'Are you sure that's a good idea?' Branden's wife asked him unconvinced. 'He's a bit too big for her.'

'Nonsense' Branden said, helping his daughter climb upon the black stallions, who stood obediently still, patient with the young girl as she clambered awkwardly into the saddle. 'And if that doesn't convince you' he said nodding with approval at the calm demeanour of the stallion, 'maybe this will.'

He tossed a large pouch to his wife who opened it; her eyes grew large as she stared down at the contents.

'There must be enough here to last two years!'

'That's only half of it' the Branden smirked. 'We split it' he glanced to Callum. 'Didn't we?'

'We sure did' Callum winked back.

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