Bree stood, silhouetted by the dawn. Her blonde hair hung about her like fire and her skin already glistened with sweat from the heat. Before her, laying topless on the dry earth, was Trevvis. He looked up at her and smiled.
Bree slid her scimitar into its scabbard and looped it onto her belt. She searched her tent for her buckler but remembered it was broken. Damned, pugwampi!
“What’s wrong, Star Flower?”
“My buckler broke yesterday.”
Trevvis laughed. “I have another. It was for sale, but perhaps I’ll offer you a discount. For you, only four kisses.”
“Save it, Trevvis, Garavel will pay for me.”
“I think I’ll charge him in coin.”
Bree laughed. She looked at Trevvis in satisfaction. Life was good. Truly, Cayden Caildean smiled upon her.
Trevvis smiled back then slowly rose to his feet. “I’ll get it for you.”
Bree shook her head. “I’ll come with you. There’s nothing else I need.”
“Other than me, you mean?”
“Other than a buckler.”
Trevvis smiled as they neared his camp.
Santon lay in Trevvis’ bed roll, with Kallien and Brotis both resting their heads upon his chest. All three of them appeared naked. Utarchus sat by the nearby fire, sharpening his falchion, while Dullen and Yesper still slept in their shared tent.
Santon smiled at their approach. “Just keeping them warm for you, Trevvis.” He winked.
Trevvis laughed. “You can keep them.”
Brotis pursed her full lips and pouted. She eyed Bree angrily. “Good morning, Poison,” she said. “I had hoped you’d be gone by the time I woke.”
Bree frowned. Poison?
Santon stroked Brotis’ back. “Careful, Brotis. Your claws are showing.”
She smiled, in a self satisfied kind of way and stood up, completely naked before walking around Bree and Trevvis. She was thin and muscular, with curves in all the right places. Bree frowned.
Trevvis, for his part, seemed to be trying to ignore Brotis while he dug through his pack for an extra shield. It seemed to be a difficult task, as he kept tilting his head up slightly, before shaking his head and turning it down, again, only to fumble with his bag.
“I don’t know what you see in her, Trevvis.” Brotis sighed.
Santon rolled out of bed, alongside Kallien and slipped on his clothes. Bree diverted her eyes and Santon laughed.
“Still not interested, Bree? I’m sure I could give old Trevvis here a run for his money.”
Trevvis frowned and stood, placing his buckler in Bree’s hands. “Here, Star Flower.”
“Don’t let them upset you, Bree.” Utarchus said from his place beside the fire. “Brotis is just scared of you.”
Brotis scoffed and Santon laughed.
“Come on, Star Flower.” Trevvis said with a frown. “We have no need of her company.” he nodded at Brotis, followed by Santon, “or his.”
Brotis smiled. “Only want of it.”
Bree frowned, but turned and walked away with Trevvis towards the outskirts of camp. Footsteps followed them.
As Bree neared Nes and Fudin at their meeting spot, she paused and turned to Trevvis. “I’ll… see you soon, I guess.”
Behind him stood Santon, with his arm around Kallien’s waist.
Trevvis nodded. “Come back to me, Star Flower.”
“Be free when I do.” She glanced back at the camp behind them and frowned. “And all the while I’m gone.”
Trevvis frowned. “You don’t trust me?”
“I don’t trust her.”
Kallien moved her hands in strange patterns, but Bree shook her head. “I am sorry, Kallien. But, I don’t understand.”
Trevvis turned and watched Kallien for a moment. “She says that Brotis is worried you will take me away. That Brotis is jealous. She says that I am trustworthy.”
Bree laughed. “Does she?”
Trevvis smiled. “She also says I am the most handsome man in the world, and you should give me many kisses goodbye.”
Bree smiled. “Oh, she does?”
“Of course,” Trevvis replied. He wrapped Bree in his arms and placed a kiss on her brow. “Don’t you trust me?”
Bree laughed and buried her face in his chest. “Sometimes you should really just shut your mouth.”
Trevvis laughed, and kissed her once more in farewell. Kallien moved her hands again, in a series of gestures.
“She says thank you,” Trevvis explained. “for saving her life.”
Bree smiled at Kallien. “It was my pleasure. You are a good woman,” she said honestly. She nodded at Santon. “Despite your taste in men.”
Kallien smiled then moved her hands again.
Bree waited for a translation, but Trevvis said nothing. Kallien looked at him and made a series of gestures. He frowned and gestured back.
“What?” Bree asked.
Kallien gestured again, harshly and Trevvis frowned. “I’m not saying that Kallien!”
She gestured again sternly, then began shaking her fist at Trevvis.
Bree was pretty sure she understood that last bit…
“All right!” Trevvis looked to Bree. “She also says to thank you for saving me. She says I was in a bad place before you came and thinks Sarenrae sent you here to save me. To bring me back to the light, or some nonsense.”
Bree paused, heart warmed, but unsure of what to say. Did she really mean that much to Trevvis? To Kallien? She wasn’t sure.
Trevvis frowned. “I say she is far too nosy for her own good.”
“Thank you, Kallien.”
Santon smiled and clapped Trevvis on the back. “I’ll take good care of her, Trevvis, my friend. You’ll see.”
Trevvis frowned at him with suspicion. “You just keep your hands to yourself.”
Santon laughed. He grabbed Bree by the shoulders and turned her to the brothers waiting for them in the distance. “Come on, Bree. We’re late as it is.”
Bree nodded and let herself be guided away.
“Besides, come tomorrow, I’ll have shown you such a good time, you won’t even remember Trevvis’ name.”
Bree frowned and pushed Santon off of her, sending him sprawling a few steps to the right. “Watch your tongue, Santon. I’m not that kind of girl.”
Santon laughed and followed her. “I’m not sure quite what you were thinking, Bree, but I thought we’d go kill some stuff before collapsing in an exhausted heap in some dirty, dusty monastery.”
“You did not!”
“I did! But, I’m pretty sure whatever you were thinking would be much more enjoyable. Let’s do that instead.”
Bree scowled. “I think not.”
“So you were thinking of something dirty, then? How delightful!”
Bree shook her head as she and Santon reached the Sahadine brothers. Santon was hopeless.
“You’re late.” Fudin noted.
“Bree and I were just enjoying the company of the locals.”
Nes frowned. “I’m sure.” he said with distaste from atop his camel.
They set off without another word into the distance. Bree looked back, one last time. Trevvis stood alone, on the outskirts of camp. She waved at him and he waved back. Bree smiled. She would see him again. Nothing would change.