He reached her shortly and said, “So I take it you fell?”
“So I take it you are dense?” she said back.
He could either laugh at her or not. He laughed. She assumed he laughed because she fell, but he laughed at her temperament, and her harsh words to him.
“Shall I carry you?” he asked.
“NO!” She was appalled.
“Shall I get your cousin?”
“No, leave me be. I have decided to stay here and let the undergrowth cover me. I shall forever be part of the countryside.”
“And what shall you do when the rains comes and floods this little ravine? Shall you stay here and drown?” he asked, amused.
“I haven’t thought that far ahead,” she said from her place below him. He knelt beside her.
“I was a rogue again, to leave you like that. My inner conflict is not of your making, so I apologize, once again. It seems I am forever apologizing to you.” That was a lie. His inner conflict was entirely of her making. He loosened his neckcloth and unbuttoned his coat. He scooped her up, without her consent. She folded her arms in front of her, and pouted. He said, "You are heavier than you appear."
"You are more loathsome than you appear," she said. Her heart was racing, and she was certain he would be able to hear it. She felt safe in the confines of his arms. Safe and right. Why was that? He walked the long creek bed, until the embankment was less steep, and he climbed up, with her still safely in his arms.
Arrogance and Ignorance by AnneM.Oliver
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