Please take a look at the notes before reading
It was beautiful. And painful.
It shouted life, thrilling every bone in Mary’s body. It flooded her with memories that sleep alone could escape.
What was joy when her world had fallen apart? Then again, what was pain in the pale, dew-stained morning of Athens?
Golden light filtered through the tiny leaves of dried olive branches above. Mary brushed a hand up against her cheek, rubbing the roughness of her complexion. It used to be smooth…and beautiful. Her eyes strayed to the western horizon, pale in the shadow of the sun.
“Spíti,” she whispered to the trees. “Home.”
The word rolled off her tongue, into the silence of the morning. The ache in her chest gripped her heart tighter, the icy fingers wearing away at the same sore spot it had since she had first been taken. That painful memory was etched in her mind.
Well did she remember the feel of the simple tunic Alastair had worn, its fine hairs rubbing her cheek from her helpless position on his shoulder. Hah! —slung over his back like a sack of corn! He had no respect for dignity, that pig, Alastair! But his son…
Mary slowly turned from the ghost-blue mountains. Chares had not shown the same disregard for her as Alastair. She had admitted that much to herself.
Sighing, she sat on the dry grass, dusty and grey. Her brown fingers twined about each other, netting to form a cup to hold her chin while her elbow rested atop her scabbed knees. She crossed her legs and watched the sun rise.
Mary whirled around in a flash, her skirt catching the wooden frame of the door.
They faced each other, Mary defiant, chin up, Chares hesitant, hanging by the entrance to the kitchen.
“I came to…apologize,” he muttered to the floor.
Mary stared, the stringy dishrag limp in her hand. Words of bitterness tightened her throat so that she could not speak.
He looked up, tipping his head to the side. The grey eyes in his bronzed face gazed at her as if waiting for a verdict.
She nodded. He opened his mouth.
“Your father crushed my life.”
Chares hung his head and let out a deep breath. A smirk tilted the corners of Mary’s lips.
“He stole me. But you are saying that you are not your father?”
Chares jerked his body straight and his lips trembled.
“What…do you mean?”
Mary swerved her eyes away, the dark pupils dimming as the smile faded from her countenance.
“Just to say that I know what you were going to say. Please, don’t say anything more,” she said, an icy coldness freezing her voice until it sounded thin.
“Then we can…” Chares took a step forward and took a breath. “be friends?”
Mary stiffened her neck. She grabbed a wooden bowl and eagerly scrubbed the uneven surface. Her fierce attitude sustained the silence. She did not look up again.
And when she turned around, Chares had vanished.
So, important thing to note: I changed Daniel's name to Chares. Sorry for the confusion. :)