Closed Reprieve
"I would like to meet your friend, learn more about this bog and its dangers." His heart sunk a little while he spoke. He looked to the open doorway. "What does she look like? I'll go out there tomorrow during the day and take a look." He didn't lead on to why he was asking. One wrong look or word would make McBride's stomach drop. There was no need to make her feel that only to find out the girl wasn't Addie. Yet, without a description something told him it was, just based on what she spoke. Harold felt himself get to his feet and moved around the desk back to the wall with the mirror. He flipped the mirror over again to see his reflection to check and see if there was any food on his mustache.
"She's a pretty redhead with blue eyes and high cheekbones. Adelade Montgomery, she was staying at the inn in the next room over from me and then worked at the castle before she hied off." She looked to Harold and set her fork down. Her eyes were intent on his face. And then there was the smell of roses that suddenly tickled her nose, as well as movement she saw in her peripheral, causing her to turn her head, only to see nothing. She stood up and rubbed her arms when feeling the gooseflesh.
CW: disturbing images

As he was looking in the mirror he could see her face, the face of the woman who died in his care. The bog mud, the swampy water coming from her both. He took a step back, but did so in a manner that would not cause alarm. It was just am image in his head not actually in the mirror. Karen's description triggered the image of her body violently moving, her skin pale and her veins thick, dirty water coming from her mouth. The muscles in his throat moved as if the muscles were freaking out like he had just coughed up a bunch of water.

When the smell of roses came to his nose he walked back over to Karen. He didn't say anything, he didn't have to. He lowered his head to the left to look up at her and get her attention. She was looking at a spot on her arm. "I'm sorry.."
She looked up when he apologized, and froze... "Ye mean she...? Oh..." She stared in disbelief at first, and then it all made sense... why he had been so stricken earlier, and why he had just apologized to her. "Can I see her?" she asked in a hollow voice, her lips trembling and tears starting to drip freely from her eyes, ignored to leave cold paths down her cheeks. "So I can say if it is her or not? Please? I..." she started to breathe heavily between words as grief curled around her, "I need to see her."
He could feel his heart beating against his chest. His stomach turned in a knot. He wasn't sure if this was his own feelings or if he was reading Karen's emotions. It was probably a combination. After all, he mentally went through something that might seen most to an asylum. "She's buried, I covered the inside of her coffin with symbols to lock in whatever evil was in her.. just in case."Her possessed face coming to his mind suddenly sent a jolt to his head that he did not like. "I don't think she'd have wanted anyone to see her like that..But you can come with me to put a name on her grave marker"
She covered her mouth and she could only nod. It took her a long moment to move. Her form soon pressed to his, her face burying into the crook of his shoulder and neck as she began to weep hard. For a time, Addie had been her only friend in town... In fact, she was probably her best friend. Hands curled into fists against his chest and she sobbed for Addie. She couldn't even speak anymore to ask how it happened, she could only stand as she was against the one person who understood at the moment. First her brother and now the death of a good friend.
Dealing with what he saw, what he couldn't do, and now knowing the girl was Karen's friend he knew what he needed to do.He needed to be her rock first before he allowed her to even try to be his rock. Together they would get through this. He needed to find her brother for her. He breathed deep and slow hoping her own breathing might slowly start to match his.

"Come on, your coming back to the Inn with me" He hadn't slept here since that day, one because until today the bog mess wasn't picked up. But after what he saw and felt he didn't think he could sleep in the office again. He was going to talk to someone about getting a house built, something bigger than the standard buildings in the village, but nothing like the size of the castle He kissed the top of her head and didn't worry about picking up the plates and food. He would deal with it all tomorrow.

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