Aref knelt, reached into his pocket and produced an implement made from a small stick which he called his miswak, the use of which he silently illustrated before handing her his spare. He also gave her a clean cloth and a bowl of the freshly collected water. She was directed to soften the dry stick in the water, then copy him by cleaning her mouth, using the miswak like a toothbrush. Gazing at the blood on the cloth, then down at the clothing the native had placed over her legs, soldier Freeman sighed. Aref watched and waited and then, sitting back on his haunches, showed her too that she must rub her feet and calves to stimulate the circulation. She copied him again, sliding her hands across the tops of her ankles and flexing her toes. Glad that she had followed his direction for once, Aref took a more relaxed break, sitting away from her and taking out his carving tools. He whetted his utility knife with the small stone he carried, studying the soldier's reaction closely from afar. Instantly, he sensed her distrust. She stared at the knife in his hands, as if he might use it against her, but he continued working peacefully, then slid the implements back into his pockets and loaded his miswak onto the belt at his hips, wondering, with the gentle sarcasm his friends had so appreciated in him, how much of his adult life it could conceivably take to prove to this woman he was worthy.
Rating 4.59 em 5(17 Votes)
Author: Amaya Ellman