Photo: Sue Vincent
Malinda sighed. Her brother needed an inordinate amount of putting up with.
“You’ll be fine,” she forced calmness into her voice. In part because she felt bad for him — Jerrod had always been too sensitive and too-tightly wound — and in part because she did not wish to then have even more of his perceived wounding to bandage.
“I’ve flunked it before.”
He had. Three times.
“You were younger and you were less experienced,” Malinda soothed. “Here, have some tea. It’ll calm your nerves.”
Jerrod folded his legs and lowered himself to the floor, only to spring back up and resume pacing.
“What if I don’t pass this time, either?” the youth fretted. His hair was plastered against his bony cheeks and his gray eyes appeared sunken under the woolen hood of his cloak.
Malinda took a deep breath. It was becoming increasingly difficult…
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