Pavel woke to a vague sense of anxiety. Remembrance came when his eyes opened and he saw he was alone. He picked up the trap and the bag made from her skirt filled with apples, berries, and nuts they had been gathering for the winter and set out to find Elena

“How did you find me?” Elena asked.

“You left a barefoot trail into the woods,” Pavel said simply.

“I asked you not to follow me.”

“I know, but I couldn’t leave it like that. I’m sorry for how I put things yesterday. I don’t believe that’s the only way, or all I am capable of.”

“I’m glad it happened. I was afraid of being alone before that. Walking alone actually wasn’t that bad. You have taught me how to hunt and gather food. I believe I can make it now.”

“I think you could make it. You’re a strong lady.”

“Thank you.”

“May I walk with you anyway?”

“Why?”

“You’re good company.”

“It’s your road,” Elena smiled.

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