A little of (yet another) short this week. I’m calling this one “Crossbow Wedding,” and it’s about Dingus’s parents.
The first one Daddy hadn’t chased off, and he was lying to her. Lying! Sweet Rose had no patience for liars, and never mind Daddy had taught her that, Mama too: not to get mixed up with no low-down liar. “You can be sure they’re more trouble than they’re worth,” Daddy would say, and go off on a story about Silent Owl, dead now, who Rhiada remembered as an okay guy basically, even if she didn’t understand all what went on between him and Daddy.
Mama usually rolled her eyes and patted Daddy’s shoulder, and later in the kitchen she’d tell Sweet Rose what she thought: “Baby, half what he says is a lie and don’t let him tell you different.”
“Which half?” Sweet Rose would say back, like always, but she never really got an answer, and it had got to be a joke between them.
Now here was this big boy—in a man’s body, but a boy—lying to her and yelling “Wait, wait!” and Sweet Rose had had enough. She couldn’t get away from him, though, not with his legs so long and hers so short.
“Wait,” he said again, walking easy beside her. He didn’t try touching her. Just as well for him. Mama and Daddy had taught her a trick or two. She didn’t use them, didn’t have to, but she knew how to make him regret it. “Look, I know how you feel. My dad is Marcus Xavier.”
She stopped, blinking. “You mean that Marcus Xavier? Like those Xaviers?”
“That don’t change it. You lied,” she said, shook her head, and walked on.
“I’m sorry. I won’t do it again, okay?”
“How am I supposed to believe one word you say?”
“You can’t, I don’t guess. All you can do is give me a chance.” He whipped in front of her then, and did she ever think about wrecking his hopeful smile! But she didn’t. It was a nice enough smile she didn’t want to wreck it, liar or no. He had a big old beard no tulon could ever grow, and it split around his white teeth that shone in the starlight.