Title: As Occasion Serves
Word Count 309
“You are improving.”
Thomas looked up from the page. When he read a small line formed between where his blond eyebrows drew down. Last week, after their meeting in the goat pen, Kit had drawn his own fingers over the same place on himself, to see what it was like.. On Kit's face that place was soft and smooth.
Now, standing in daylight, and praised, Kit swallowed. The warm glow rising in his throat would make his voice squeak if he let it rest so.
This was their third meeting. His masters had given him leave to slip away, Wednesdays now, in the afternoons. Striding through the gate. He had the urge to duck. He forced upon himself, therefore certain set of head and shoulders, a rigid spine. Thomas met him in town, this time and bought him gingerbread. He laughed at Kit's hunger, but kindly. Another month, Thomas said, and the first purse would come. Kit would have money of his own. Not yet though. Today Kit was learning to be useful.
“How long did it take you?”
“Fifteen minutes,” Kit said.
“It is tedious work,” Tom said. “Always makes my head ache. But we must be able to do it upon requiring. Of course he has men who do nothing but cipher-work. Stables of them. Horrible. Ciphers, all day, all day, every day” This last with a grinning shudder. He laughed, but his voice was pitched low, and his eyes were careful.
“Dried up old men, smelling of ink. Not the best use for you.”
“No?” Kit caught the smile and returned it.
“No.” Thomas put the paper and book aside. “Now something else. You must be able to stab, as occasion serves. Take my rapier a moment.”