He kept his head down, seemingly intent on prying loose a medicinal tuber while his gaze scoured the area. He found only his own meandering paths in the tall greenery.
Tucking the liberated root into the sling resting at his hip, he stood, every sense attuned to the sounds and movements around him.
Where did she hide?
He ground his teeth and pretended to study his mother’s drawings, grateful she and her apprentices attended a birthing, leaving him to gather the roots and flora her calling required.
As a wee lad, he had often accompanied her as she sought the things the One provided for their ills, so unlike other warriors who escorted maidens to the meadow, supposedly to guard but, more often, to steal a kiss or two, he could see the task accomplished. Performing the small chore had an added benefit; it provided a valid excuse to escape the caverns’ din and constant interruptions when he needed to think.
This day, however, he had not sought solitude, and what he did seek had just found him.
Now, to find her.