To Dale: Respite

A cool draft wafted through the dark room. No, it is not so dark. A trickle of light seeped in from the lantern hanging one door down the hall. A soft white beam from the moon rimmed the window and a faint orange glow from the fire on the edge of town danced along the ceiling.

Eruviel sat in one of the two chairs in her smaller room, her feet propped up  on the second as she sat watching the hall. She had left the door to her room cracked open to keep an eye on the hall. Eirikr had finally returned, having been let in from the back by the barmaid Eruviel had befriended. She could only hope that after all this time, and after everything both of them had been through — especially Ninim — that they were able to reconcile.

Setting her now sharpened and cleaned dagger on the table next to her sword, Eruviel brushed a hand over the bruise that had blossomed on her cheek. That was too close, she thought sullenly. She would have preferred wounds like Eirikrs. A shudder ran up her spine at the memory of the massive club rushing by her face. There would have been no coming back if she had been struck. Poor Eirikr would have been left to pick up the pieces of her skull.

Eruviel surveyed the small arsenal that decorated the table next to her. As Ninim and Eirikr talked in the room down the hall Eruviel had encouraged three drunkards to return to the common room, exchanged polite nods with a gentleman who she presumed to be of the town watch, and had delivered a meal for two to her friends door. Her blades were sharpened and oiled, her damaged arrows repaired, her bow cleaned, and bowstring waxed.

She almost felt silly, having busied herself after seeing to Ninim’s comfort. Maybe it was because of the long journey, the fight that had taken place, or the burning house that had woken that quarter of town. Maybe it was because that for a brief moment she remembered she was alone.

Letting out a sigh she laced her fingers together and draped them across her flat, toned abdomen. A small smile played over her mouth, thinking of Ninim’s swollen belly. How amazing, the blessing that can come from so much pain. Leaning her head back she watched the mixture of lights dance across the plaster. She hoped their night was healing, full of one another and the child growing inside of Eirikr’s beloved. They deserved the respite. Eruviel would make sure they were not interrupted. Not for a few more hours. Morning would come soon enough.


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