The Truth in Scars
The Truth in Scars (excerpt from Renée Gendron's story in The Shopkeeper & Spoon)
His top hat shadowed his eyes, but there was no mistaking the line of his nose—strong with a little bony knot in the middle. The bent face of a man who had stood up to every challenge life threw at him and won without contest.
She flexed her numbed fingers. “What are you doing?”
“Looking for you.” Something warm and lovely turned over in the empty square of her chest.
“Tonight is not a night to be alone on the street.” He held his hand open, and she gave him the sleigh’s handle. “Where were you going?”
“To buy the spoons from you.”
“Why do you want the spoons so badly?”
“I like their design.” She played innocent, a spoiled daughter who had no idea someone swept the floors, cooked dinner, or emptied chamber pots.
“It’s not a thirty-dollar design or maker. I could make you another set, higher quality at a better price.”
“That’s not possible,” she mumbled.
She cleared her throat to stay her tongue, though a few other sharp words still waggled on it. “How much?”
“Come by my shop tomorrow, and we can discuss the price.”
“Nay. It has to be now.”
“Why?” Across the street, a woman drew open the curtains, sending a shaft of light onto the street.
The snow shimmered with thousands of pinpricks of light blues, light-pinks and flashes of gold that made jewellers jealous. Amber light bathed half of his face illuminating a merchant who stood tall and proper, with a jawline that her fingertips begged to trace. The dark half of his face obscured his past, cast shadows on the story behind his broken nose, and tried, but failed, to hide the pain in his eyes.
“I’ve thirty dollars cash.” She swept her hands over her sleigh. “And I’ve more to barter.”
“Is there some kind of secret treasure in those spoons?”