by Kaye Jeffreys -
Gritty wind is hard to breathe, even through a face mask. And boots are heavy to walk in. In fact, you don't really walk in them. It is more of a trudge. And Jereth trudged down the street in Adagio. Once he arrived at the pub he pushed against the heavy door and went in.
"Shut the door," some lady called from behind the counter. That must be Maddie.
Jereth did as she said then moved the goggles from his eyes to his forehead and removed the mask from his nose and mouth.
A man at one of the tables stared at him. Jareth turned away and found his own table. The man was familiar but Jereth didn't take a second look.
The man got up, threw a coin onto the counter and left.
Jereth didn't sit for long. The door opened again and two people walked in. Lessie spotted him immediately, "Jereth!" she ran to him and gave him one of her famous bug hugs.
Her eyes were red and her face smudged, just like everyone he'd seen landside. "I can't believe you are here. I'm so glad to see you."
Jereth smiled. "It's good to see you." Then he turned to Carter and extended his hand, "And you too."
"Jereth." Carter shook his hand but kept a guarded expression.
Lessie put her hands on her hips. "You better have a good reason for abandoning the cat I gave you."
"Neenah? She likes my brother way better than me." Jereth pulled out a chair for Lessie.
Lessie sat. "Yeah, right. Jereth, you look great."
"I wish I could say the same about you." Jereth motioned for Carter to sit by Lessie.
"After a while you'll look like us. Are you ready to get grit in your eyes and nose?"
"I already have it in my teeth." He wasn't kidding.
Lessie laughed. "That will teach you to keep you mouth shut when you breathe."
Then it hit him. He remembered who the man was.
"What is it?" Lessie put her hand on Jereth's arm.
"Nothing." Jereth glanced at the table where Jax sat moments ago.
"Liar. You look like you've seen a ghost."
"Maybe I did. Some guy I know from Avenir was in here."
"So, he's supposed to be dead."
Lessie shrugged. "Probably just someone down here who looks like him."
"Probably." Jereth grimaced. Too bad he wasn't smart enough to fake his own death. Then he wouldn't be looking over his shoulder for his father's thugs.