20 – Traveling companions

“You are damn lucky I like you,” I jabbed Quill’s chest with my finger. “Is that why you work with me?” “When you still work with them?” I jerked my chin toward the fire where Rakov was sitting. “Indeed,” Quill was still smiling, I could hear it in his voice, but he shook his head….

19-Dinner Guests

  Druskin and Luza were on their feet in a heartbeat, weapons flashing in the firelight. I was slower, delayed by the consideration of whether or not it would be better to keep my skills a secret from whoever was approaching. I decided my appearance gave enough away, and stood with unhurried confidence, sliding a…

17-Change of Plans

The fighting was over when we walked into camp, but they were still quelling the fire. Quill and Eliah entered the orange light with the horses and their unconscious captive. I slipped into camp from the other direction. The leanyodi knew I wasn’t one of them, but the guards and servants might not. Should not,…

16-Knives at Night

  We were already running when a sentry shouted the alarm. More torches followed the first and the carriage started to smoke and burn. I drew my knives and saw blades flashing in Quill’s hands as we charged—barefoot—back toward the camp. Men ran toward the burning carriage, themselves just silhouettes against the dying campfires. “It’s…

15-Flames

When I left the Countess tucked in a blanket in the cushions, I thought she looked a little better. Less like she was going to shatter from all the feeling she couldn’t show to her subjects. I went to the neighboring tent and shucked my outer layer, sitting in the cushions and flipping a knife…

14-Sacrifices

I spent the rest of the day in the saddle, riding a few steps behind Druskin, rather than be trapped in box dragged by horses. Lunch had been mercifully short since we were trying to make it to Gar Morwen in four days. Brell, her legs tucked under her gracefully, had turned to Quill and…

13-Leaving

  The audiences went much as they had the day prior, except a bit hurried, as the guards were trying to get through everyone who’d come before the time for audiences was over at lunch. This time I recognized Hadella, sitting at a table off to the right with a couple scribes, feverishly writing while…

11-Debrief

  It was late when I walked into the long sitting room in the guest suite where I’d left the others the night before. Quill and Eliah were sitting in wing chairs by the fire, books ignored in their hands, eyes on the door as I entered. They both relaxed when they saw me. I…

10-Letters

At the end of the audiences, my muscles ached from standing and the only thing I wanted was the gorgeous sunken tub. And dinner, of course. The Countess also looked tired, and left the great hall immediately to have a private dinner in her chambers. A different set of leanyodi went with her while the…

9-Handmaiden

The great hall of Wuhnravinwel had a vaulted ceiling and was filled with sunlight from tall slender windows that were flanked by heavy drapes. It filled the entire top level of the keep, and long trestle tables ran the circumference. Braziers marked out a path from the huge double doors. It was petition day, and…