The fish market in Troy rang with a swarm of voices. Tarun slapped two more fish on his table, looked up at the sun, and sighed. Oh that the citadel’s shade would reach his booth! His merchandise could use the relief. Already some began to smell of stagnant ocean.
“Excuse me,” a light, musical voice said.
Tarun’s stomach flipped as he brought his attention to Arina’s sea green eyes. She smiled up at him, her browned skin complimented by her purple dress and hood.
“Might you have a pristine catch for the honorable Priestess?” Arina asked.
“Y-yes, of course.” He turned and selected the best fish he had. “I kept it back just for you.”
She blushed. “The Priestess will be pleased.”
They stood gazing at each other for several moments. A soft breeze swept a loose curl across her cheek. Everything in him ached to lean forward and brush it away, to let his hand linger on her face, to lower his lips to hers. But the few inches between them seemed as vast as the difference in their stations, and just as impossible to breach.
“Hey!” A customer shouted shattering the moment, “Do you want my business or shall I go elsewhere?”
But the few inches between them seemed as vast as the difference in their stations, and just as impossible to breach.
Tarun fumbled and nearly dropped the fish. “Sorry, just a minute.” He placed the catch in Arina’s basket, covering it with a bit more salt.
She smiled and pressed two coins in his hand, her skin brushing his. “Until next week, Tarun.” Her hand lingered a moment longer before she ducked her head and wove away through the crowd.
“Until next week,” he murmured, and began counting down the hours.
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