Rayna could immediately sense the tension between the men as they returned.
She had been having a delightful time with her mother in the kitchen as they worked side by side preparing the meal. At first, the atmosphere had been tense and uneasy, but as the familiarity of the tasks she performed brought memories back to Rayna - ones she had never before had - she began sharing and inquiring of Raygan. The memories of times past spent between only mother and daughter, teaching and learning of life, opened closed doors and the atmosphere lightened. They laughed, they cried, and Rayna finally felt welcomed by her mother instead of an intruder.
And she was grateful. Though deep in Rayna’s heart she knew not to expect immediate readmission into the intimate family circle, the memories gave her hope to cling to. She had found her true place and though reestablishing those relationships would take time, she at least now knew where to start. She was a payson. She could return to her family...her roots...and there find peace.
But the tension between the men had shaken that surreal hope and she began to wonder if she wasn't fooling herself. There was still much to be done before she could leave the life of the Corté and even try to integrate into the payson world. Would they truly welcome her? Or would they always see her as a CherRené - an outsider? Would the RioArd allow her to leave? And what was driving a wedge between Austin and Bryant? It was clear there was something not right. She longed to talk to Austin as she had many times over the last few months, but how? And would he still be willing? Or had their relationship changed too much overnight?
Distracted by these thoughts, Rayna absently reached for a pan from the fire and burnt her hand...still sore from the many blisters already there. As the pan fell to the ground accompanied by her scream, Bryant and Austin simultaneously appeared in the doorway, pure concern etched on their faces. Though she did not recognize it until moments later, one was brotherly and one was much more.
Immediately Raygan began snapping orders and the two men jumped on command. Much to Rayna’s dismay, Austin was summoned to clean up the mess and Bryant was told to take Rayna outside to the well for cold water. Before she could object or request differently, Bryant had her in his arms.
Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter