Poe was waiting outside the smithy door when they arrived. He gave Marie an impulsive hug. “You okay?”
She nodded, trying to get the emotions that had welled up under control again. “Do you want me to go rough him up a bit?” She couldn’t help but smile at that. Poe was half his size, even if he was younger.
“That’s the Marie I know,” he beamed, relieved she didn’t look as grim. “Do you want us to come with you?”
She looked at them both and nodded.
“Okay, but we’re not going in until you say something. You’ve been hanging around Regan too long. I think he’s starting to rub off on you.”
“Hey! You say that like it’s a bad thing!” Regan grumbled. He had caught on to what Poe was trying to do and approved. Better for her to go in on a positive note. He swiped at the back of the boy’s head playfully.
She rolled her eyes at the two men. “Are you two quite finished?” she said, but with a small smile and an arched brow.
Regan looked around to see if anyone else was around and pulled her inside the smithy. He pressed her against the wall and kissed her thoroughly until he felt her relax into his arms. “Ready?”
She looked up at him distractedly. “Are you trying to convince me we should go home instead?”
She rested her head on his chest for a moment more, then slid her hand into his. “I’m as ready as a person can be to confront the father they thought was dead.”
They walked out of the smithy and Marie took Poe’s hand in her free one. “Come on, let’s do this. I’m sure you’ll ask all the questions I forget or don’t think about.” She smiled at her guys, they couldn’t be more different but they both cared for her in their own way as much as she cared about them.
Poe kissed her cheek and started off towards the tavern.
Regan gave her hand a comforting squeeze and waited for her to follow Poe.
She gave him a small smile and a gentle tug, not releasing his hand.
He shouldn’t have been surprised by her willingness to link herself with him to her family, but he still wasn’t entirely convinced she still would after she heard whatever it was her father had to tell her. He let himself be pulled along and tucked her arm under his as they walked to the tavern.