Chapter 1.16: Changed

Shane went to find Lilith late the next afternoon. He thought he’d ask if she wanted to do some fishing. Or maybe beat her at pool again. He smiled to himself as he walked along. A huge rainbow spanned the sky after a brief afternoon rain. The reddish-orange part looks like French sunlight on her hair. He mentally slapped himself and then laughed out loud. Gods, but you’re acting like a schoolboy! he thought. And you like it, he added, and then laughed at himself again.

No, you love it.


Jimmy Wayne – You Are

He was still smiling when he walked into Lilith’s camp. She dropped the fruit she was sorting and smiled up at him, her face lighting up. She’s always had eyes for you, the bartender had said.

“Shane!” She did seem happy to see him.

“Hey girl.” He helped her off the ground.


Lifting her hands gently between them, he asked “How are you doing? Are you ok?”

“You heard.” A look of sadness crossed her face. Shane felt like going back and punching Maru in the face.

“I heard. Are you ok?” he repeated.

She looked up, meeting his eyes. “Yes, I’m ok. It was a shock…about Kaila. But I hurt him. I just didn’t feel the same way he did.”

Shane glowered. “He hurt you, you didn’t hurt him.” I did, and I’ll do it again. “He deserved it. He doesn’t deserve you or your sympathy after what he did.”

“Logically speaking, I know that. I guess what I’m most sad about is I know our friendship is blown to smithereens.”

“Hey, you still have me,” he said gruffly.

She slipped her arms around him and hugged him. “I’m glad. I’m glad you stopped by.”


Twirling his wand in the air, Daniel Rivers watched the scene from his camp. Atta boy, Shane! he cheered silently. I don’t think you need any luck, by the looks of it.

At a look from Daniela, he put the wand back in his pocket.


Shane and Lilith were meandering their way to the beach, ostensibly to catch fresh fish for dinner.  At the Community Center, though, Lilith hopped on the swing set and started swinging. She squealed when Shane pushed her high. “I thought I was gonna fall out of the swing!” she said breathlessly.

“What, you don’t think I would catch you?” he gave a mock hurt look and Lilith laughed.


They hung out by the swing a little while longer, and Shane admitted to himself that he enjoyed this time they were spending. Again he kicked himself for backing off so long in respect of Maru’s imagined claim. But Maru was out of the picture now.

Looking down at her, he remembered how his heart felt, watching her in the butterflies in France. He thought of how happy she’d seemed when he got back to the island, and the enjoyable evening they’d shared. And of course, beating her at pool.

“What are you smiling about?” Lilith asked, looking up from the swing.

“About how pretty your hair looks pulled back like that,” he grinned.

“And here I was just thinking you need to shave,” she said in pretend seriousness.

He guffawed. “Yeah, I’ll work on that,” he said, running a hand over his jaw. “I had a busy day yesterday, getting settled back in, and stuff.” And giving Maru a piece of my mind, then getting drunk and admitting to the bartender that I love you… He’d faced his feelings for Lilith now, but was unsure what to do or say, if it was too soon for her, or if she was even interested.

She didn’t want me, Maru had said.

Eyes for you echoed in his mind again.


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Lilith got up from the swing. “Let’s go catch that fish for dinner,” she said, tugging at his hands. As if he wouldn’t have followed.

Out on the beach, he lounged in an old beach chair, watching her while she cast her line. “I’ll miss fishing in France, but it is good to be home,” she said.

What I liked about France is standing in front of me, he replied in his head.

A short while later, she hooked a large koi, so she hauled her reel in and they headed back to the village.


At Shane’s camp, he lit the fire and they spitted the fish to roast.

They ate in comfortable silence, while Shane pondered what to do about him, about her. This wasn’t exactly a chess board or a pool table, the rules had changed. His heart skipped a beat as he watched the firelight flicker across her cheeks.

“Let me walk you home. It’s dark and cold,” he said.

“I’m pretty sure I know the way, but I won’t complain about the company. I need to get some rest.” She tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. “Tomorrow I promised Daniela I’d help her get ready for their handfasting a few days from now. Will you be at the ceremony?”

“I will. I’ll look for you there, or maybe come by your camp first.”

“Sounds like a plan,” she said. I almost said date, she realized.




I just loved the look on Shane’s face as he watched her on the beach. *dreamy sigh*

What do you think of scruffy-face Shane? Re-reading this for final edit, I had a possible idea about it for an upcoming chapter.


P.S.? The handfasting of Daniel and Daniela mentioned in this last scene will be a major chapter, so stay tuned. It’s already written and is scheduled for Saturday <3

P.P.S.  A “handfasting” is a wedding, by the way. Daniel and Daniela are getting married, and Lilith has promised to help Daniela prepare for the ceremony, is what she’s talking about in the last scene. I provide a better explanation of the term in the comments.