Rhoelyn: Sounds of battle slowly fade into her awareness and light presses against her eyelids, but it takes her a moment longer to open them. “Hmmm?”
Araatris: The huntress stirs, groggy because of the sedative. Rhese is curled up against her side, his arm and leg draped across her, still asleep.
Rhoelyn: “Rhese.” Her soft voice is husky with sleep. “It’s your turn to wake up. We need to get up.” She starts to slide out from his limbs carefully.
Araatris: The druid’s hand tightens jerkily against her side before he releases her, trying to push himself up. He groans. “Nng. What… did you use on me?”
Rhoelyn: “One of the tranquilizer darts.” She sits up, “You said that the potions wouldn’t work on the wolf. Where’s the scythe?” Nysse’s eyes dart about.
Araatris: “Here.” Rhese presses one hand to his aching head even as he shoves his focus into the dirt and raises up the scythe on a tangle of vines.
Rhoelyn: Nysse frowns and starts to reach out to him before stopping, “Are you okay?” Her attention seems to be divided between Rhese and outside.
Araatris: He slants her a small, squint-eyed glance, levering himself to his feet where he stands unsteadily. “They’re… definitely strong. Go on.”
Rhoelyn: She nods reluctantly, then stands and runs to the opening. Rylana shifts at the sound and looks over her shoulder as Nysse approaches, “Yer awake!”
Araatris: The huntress nods. “What’s happening?” The girl frowns and gestures out, holding her side. “Ah was holdin’ ‘em off until I changed back.”
Rhoelyn: Nysse fires a quick arrow, “You’re likely going to stay like that. Do you have any weapons?” She calls back to Rhese, “We’re pinned down here.”
Araatris: Rylana sighs. “Dinna bring mah rifle.” She grouches, “I liked having claws.” Rhese steps up behind her. “There are other ways to get some, kid.”
Rhoelyn: Pulling an explosive arrow, Nysse fires into the clearing, “That‘ll keep them busy for a moment. Wrune and the others should be nearby.”
Araatris: “Then they’ll know where we are. I’ll go do what I do best.” With a dark grin, he shifts to a cat and darts out of the cave, slipping into the brush.
Rhoelyn: Despite a snort of exasperation, Nysse smiles. She glances at Rylana, “Thank you. I’ll watch the entrance if you want to rest for a moment.”
Araatris: Tsume waits by Nysse’s legs as Ry nods and wearily goes off to sit down against the cavern wall. “Ah got clipped a lil’. ‘S stingin’ a bit.”
Rhoelyn: “Grab my first aid supplies if you need. Are you holding up?” Nysse flattens against the side of the cave as a crack sounds. “Tsume, stay back.”
Araatris: “Ah’m fine,” the girl mutters, resting her head back. “If they cain’t have th’scythe wielder, they’d prolly settle fer th’scythe. Ya could-”
Rhoelyn: Nysse interrupts, “No. They can’t control it.” She sighs and spares Rylana another glance before firing another arrow out. “I saw the true wolf.”
Araatris: She perks up, interested. “An’ was he much diff’rent from th’way Rhese was in th’pure form? Ah heard tell th’true wolf is th’most amazin’ thin’.”
Rhoelyn: “It was massive, black, and full of pure rage, Ry.” Nysse shudders and fires another arrow. “It nearly gutted me. It was nothing like Rhese.”
Araatris: “… oh.” After an awkward pause, she mutters, “Glad ya dinna get gutted.” Outside, they hear a familiar feminine laugh and a pained shout.
Rhoelyn: Nysse pauses before grinning herself, “And there’s Kaerryn.” An ursine roar echoes from the woods. The huntress watches their attackers fall back.
Araatris: They don’t really get to see much of the fighting, but they can hear Val barking commands at Vulf and the sing of Wrune’s hammer.
Rhoelyn: She steps back into the cave and walks over to Rylana. She kneels at her side, “Let me see where it clipped you.” Her gaze assesses the girl.
Araatris: The girl lifts her hand to tiredly reveal a proper bullet hole through her side. She looks a little pale and hollow-eyed. “Yer friends’re good.”
Rhoelyn: “Ry! That’s not a clip!” Nysse bolts to her bag and grabs her supplies. “WRUNE!” She hurries back to Rylana. “Why didn’t you say anything?!”
Araatris: She grins weakly. “Yer nice, Nysse. It dinna matter. Ah’m not’cher problem, any more. Ain’t yer Pack.” Nysse growls under her breath.
Rhoelyn: The huntress looks sternly at Ry. “Of course you’re part of our pack. Hold a bandage on that bullet hole.” Nysse puts her dagger in the fire.
Araatris: Blinking in surprise, she holds the bandage. “Ah… ah am? But Verune said– an’… an’ ah lead them t’ya… an’… ah know Rhese don’– ”
Rhoelyn: “You’ve made mistakes. We all do, but I think you’re a good person. You protected us today.” Nysse turns with the red hot blade, “This will hurt.”
Araatris: The girl looks at the blade wide-eyed, but gulps and nods, pulling away the bandage. Nysse presses her shoulder against the wall to hold her.
Rhoelyn: Nysse gives Ry a leather strap. “Bite on this.” The girl nods and takes it. Once it’s in place, Nysse presses the flat of the blade against Ry.
Araatris: Her scream is muffled around the leather, and she holds still as bravely as she can manage. Still, when the huntress is done, she sobs.
Rhoelyn: Nysse cradles Rylana against her shoulder. “I’m really sorry, but it’s a clean hole. We need to do the back.” Nysse heats up the dagger again.
Araatris: The girl looks very young as she swipes at her tearful eyes. “P-please don’t. A-ah’m pretty sure it’ll be fine.” She squirms as Nysse returns.
Rhoelyn: “Ry…” Nysse sighs. “Rest. We slowed it. I’ll see if I can get Wrune.” She strides to the entrance and bellows, “Wrune! Injury!” She turns to Rylana.
Araatris: Folding her arm over her eyes, the former hunter rests her head back, again. Wrune rushes up to the cave entrance. “Nysse?” He notices Ry.
Rhoelyn: Nysse grabs his arm and tugs him towards the girl. “It’s a bullet wound, clean through her side. She lost a lot of blood. I tried to slow it…”
Araatris: He nods, all business, and kneels by her side. “Welcome back, Rylana,” he grins. The girl lifts her arm from her eyes and mumbles. “Hi…”
Rhoelyn: The huntress hovers until Wrune gives her a sharp look. She retreats to Tsume. Wrune examines Rylana, “Let’s get you healed up.” His hands glow.
Araatris: When the paladin’s quick work is done, he looks over at Nysse once more. “Do you have a blanket? She should nap while we wrap up, here.”
Rhoelyn: Nysse nods and quickly grabs her blanket and brings it over. She tucks it gently around Rylana. “I’ll leave Tsume.” The wolf lays next to her.
Araatris: The girl rests tiredly against Tsume, cuddling into the blanket. Before the two of them have left the cave, she’s peacefully sleeping.
Rhoelyn: Wrune and Nysse join the others in the clearing. Kaerryn waves, “Good to see you’re alive!” Nysse blinks and tilts her head, “Why wouldn’t we be?”
Araatris: The warrior just gives her an incredulous look and cocks a thumb at Rhese as he strides out from the treeline, brushing at his gauntlets.
Rhoelyn: Nysse blushes, “I think I’m still a little groggy from the peacebloom.” Wrune frowns and turns to her, “Why did you need to take peacebloom?”
Araatris: Rhese saves her, walking up and resting a gloved hand on her shoulder. “It’s … a long story. Let’s talk about the scythe first, okay?”
Rhoelyn: Verune, silent until now, nods, “That would be a good idea, thero’shan. I see none of the curse marks. Have you been freed from the scythe?”
Araatris: Rhese nods, unable to keep a little grin from his lips as he glances down at Nysse. “I believe so. We just need to seal it. Or destroy it.”
Rhoelyn: “Sealing will be our best option. We can take it back for further research and control.” Nysse shakes her head, “Why wouldn’t we just destroy it?”
Araatris: Verune frowns. “Destroying a powerful artifact that we understand so little about could have dire consequences. What if it is still bound to Rhese?”
Rhoelyn: Nysse pales and steps away from Rhese, “You all will check him and make sure he’s alright, won’t you?” The young druid reaches for her, “Nysse…”
Araatris: When she ignores him, he lowers his hand with a soft sigh. Wrune looks between them both and nods. “Of course we will, Nysse.”
Rhoelyn: She tucks her hands in close to her. “Let’s head into the cave where it’s warm. I can tell you all what’s happened while you look him over.”
Araatris: Kaerryn shivers and announces, “You don’t have to ask me twice!” She slugs Rhese on the shoulder on the way past, earning herself a glower.
Rhoelyn: Nysse hurries after Kaerryn. Verune and Rhese share a look before they and Wrune join them. Wrune sits down across from Rhese.
Araatris: Valerio strides in and Vulf goes over to sniff at Tsume. He slings his rifle over his shoulder. “The stragglers ran off, sufficiently discouraged.”
Rhoelyn: Verune nods, “We should be able to stay here for now and rest before continuing on.” Val grins, “I’ll fix something up for us since we have a fire.”
Araatris: Wrune holds out his hands, and Rhese quietly sets the back of his against the paladin’s palms. Verune looks at Nysse. “Your report?”
Rhoelyn: Nysse nods and explains what’s happened, “…I was drugged. Then I’m suddenly in the middle of shifting to a wolf again.” Her cheeks are crimson.
Araatris: She presses on quickly, though no one misses the nervous dart of her eyes toward Rhese. “But it stopped when my spirit beast intervened. I think.”
Rhoelyn: Wrune begins, “Shifting? What–.” Verune leans forward and quickly asks, overriding Wrune, “You have a spirit beast? I was not aware of that.”
Araatris: Nysse ducks her head. “I wasn’t, either. He’s a wolf that I met… a long time ago. He told me to bring Rhese here and face the scythe in the Dream.”
Rhoelyn: The paladin tries again, “Let’s go back for a moment. What happened to cause you to shift? Rhese was the only one that could do that, right?”
Araatris: The younger druid interjects when she blushes even brighter, biting her lip. “The hunters made sure she was reinfected with the scythe’s marks.”
Rhoelyn: Wrune looks between them, “So, they used you to mark her while you were unconscious?” Rhese nods and Nysse whispers, “I didn’t have a choice…”
Araatris: He continues, “While it wasn’t a full shift, she was hurting for a while. You should probably check her out to make sure there’s no injury.”
Rhoelyn: Shooting an assessing gaze to Nysse, Wrune agrees, “I’ll check her after I finish here. Go ahead and continue your report, Nysse.”
Araatris: The huntress nods, swallowing back some of her embarrassment. She finishes the tale by explaining their trip there and encounter in the Dream.
Rhoelyn: The paladin pats Rhese on the shoulder as he stands, “You’re clear. I couldn’t find anything left.” He stops by Nysse and kneels, “Now for you…”
Araatris: The huntress sighs happily as the last few aches that she hadn’t really acknowledged fade away. Wrune says, “It’s not very bad.”
Rhoelyn: “Thank Elune.” Nysse smiles at Wrune. The draenei pushes a bowl of stew at her. “You look a bit wane. Did you eat at all since we last saw you?”
Araatris: She grins and nods, but still eagerly takes the food. “We even had rabbits once or twice.” Rhese pushes to his feet and goes to check on Rylana.
Rhoelyn: He kneels at her side, “How are you feeling, kid?” Rylana pauses from eating, “Ah’m doin’ better thanks t’Wrune ‘nd Val. Still achin’ abit.”
Araatris: The druid nods and falls silent for a minute. She looks away nervously until he speaks again. “You kept your word and protected us. Thank you.”
Rhoelyn: “‘Course ah did. Nysse keeps stickin’ up fer me.” She releases the spoon and puts her hand against the scar on her side, “Ah dunna know why.”
Araatris: “Because she sees what I did when I offered you a place,” he says softly. “Back before you made choices that made me doubt your potential.”
Rhoelyn: Ry rests the bowl in her lap and bows her head, “Ah know… Ah’ll leave once’n she’s asleep ah reckon. Could ya please…” She chokes on her words.
Araatris: Rhese puts a finger under her chin to lift her head. “You misunderstand me, Rylana. Stay, but only if you’re sure of your choice, this time.”
Rhoelyn: Tears run down Rylana’s cheeks as she nods furiously, “Ah am. Ah swear. Ah’ve been thinkin’ ‘bout it since Nysse brought me. Ah’m so sorry.”
Araatris: “Alright.” He brushes a tear away, giving her a little grin. “The past is the past, now. You run with us from here.” The girl smiles through a sob.
Rhoelyn: “Thank ya.” She sniffles and wipes at her eyes. Rhese taps her bowl, “Don’t forget to eat. You’ll need your strength.” Rylana nods, “Ah’ll eat.”
Araatris: When Rhese turns back to the others, he finds Kaerryn staring at them. She hands him a bowl of food with a grin. “We’re lucky you’re so soft.”
*Rhoelyn:** Tsume follows as he nudges by her with a playful shove, “Shut it, Kaerryn.” Rhese sits down next to Nysse. “How are you doing, lovely?”
Araatris: “I’m fine,” she mutters, stuffing another spoonful of food in her mouth and conveniently shifting away to lean against Tsume as she plops down.
Rhoelyn: Rhese sighs, but starts eating as well. Nysse tosses a couple of pieces of meat down, but Tsume turns her head away, “Ry, did Tsume hunt?”
Araatris: “Dun think so,” the girl answers, shrugging around her food. Nysse frowns and passes her bowl to Rhese idly, looking Tsume over thoroughly.
Rhoelyn: As Nysse checks Tsume, she presses the wolf over and checks her belly. Her eyes widen and dart to Vulf. “Dear Elune, I didn’t plan on this…”
Araatris: Rhese leans over with a frown. “What’s wrong, Nysse? Is she injured somewhere other than her paw?” Tsume wiggles restlessly.
Rhoelyn: She mumbles, lost in thought, “I can’t leave her. I don’t have any herbs either.” Nysse asks, “Do we have a blinker hearth for Nighthaven?”
Araatris: “For Nighthaven?” he asks, confused. “Morthis has some back at the Lodge. Why? Nysse, love, you’re worrying me.” He rests a hand on her arm.
Rhoelyn: Nysse blinks and finally looks at Rhese, “Well, she can’t come with us in her condition!” The wolf squirms away while she’s distracted. “Tsume!”
Araatris: “Her condition? If you’re worried about her paw, I can h–” Nysse shakes her head, frowning worriedly as Tsume goes to lay down by Vulf.
Rhoelyn: “Healing won’t help.” Nysse starts to pace next to the fire. “I wish I’d built that den for her, but I didn’t expect to need it this year.”
Araatris: As a very confused Rhese sets the bowls down and starts to stand, Valerio blinks and stands as well. “A den? You mean to say she is increasing?”
Rhoelyn: Nysse spins towards Val and fixes him with a narrowed glance, “They weren’t supposed to mate this year so I could finish training the other pups.”
Araatris: Val gives her a droll look, folding his arms across his chest. “Seems like someone forgot to tell the wolves that. You want to send her back now?”
Rhoelyn: She sighs and runs a frustrated hand through her hair, “I don’t see any way around it, Val. She needs extra care with pups on the way.”
Araatris: Rhese blinks. “She does?” He looks at Val, who shakes his head. “She can’t be more than a few weeks along. She’d normally be active for a while.”
Rhoelyn: Nysse stares between the incredulously and gestures sharply “Do you really think I’m going to risk them? This isn’t good for her at any stage.”
Araatris: Val raises a brow, but his friend silences him by resting a hand on his shoulder. “We can’t send her back until we get to Amberpine.”
Rhoelyn: “There are still hunters out there. What if-” She stops herself. “I need fresh air. Watch her.” Nysse stalks past them and out the cave opening.
Araatris: Rhese gives Val an exasperated look while the others watch them, fascinated. Val raises his hands. “You deal with her. You like her better.”
Rhoelyn: Nysse slips just out of sight of the entrance and sits at the base of a tree. She draws her knees to her chest and lays her head down.
Araatris: The druid steps quietly up, sitting a little ways around the tree trunk beside her. “I know it’s not what you expected, but more beautiful pups.”
Rhoelyn: She turns her face away, “I know. I’m worried because I don’t want anything to happen to them. They’d be safer with Rhoelyn.” She sniffles.
Araatris: He leans a little closer, frowning worriedly. “Nysse, love. I know you’re worried about Tsume, but we’ll keep her safe. She’ll be well protected.”
Rhoelyn: “Can we? She’s been hurt several times, then I abandoned her tied to a tree. Oh Elune… I abandoned her while she was with pups.” Nysse sobs.
Araatris: Rhese shifts around and pulls her into his arms. “Nysse… You didn’t abandon her; you protected her. They would’ve done worse if you hadn’t.”
Rhoelyn: She curls against his side and buries her face against his coat. Her voice is muffled, “It still feels terrible. I’m worried I’ll fail her.”
Araatris: “Love, you can drag me free from an ancient wolf curse.” He kisses her hair. “You won’t fail to get Tsume and her pups back safely. We’ll help.”
Rhoelyn: Nysse nods and lets out a relieved sigh. “I think I was a bit overwhelmed. I didn’t expect it. I don’t even know when they could have…”
Araatris: The druid smirks. “Oh, I have an idea of when they stole some time. No wonder Tsume was being so pushy with me about my mate, that morning…”
Rhoelyn: She tilts her head up and blinks owlishly, trying to remember. Then as both the memory and words settle in her mind, she blushes, “Oh.”
Araatris: He brushes her hair back with a chuckle. “Your smart little lady made her own choice. Congratulations, Nysse.” His gaze lands on her lips.
Rhoelyn: Catching the look in his eyes, she ducks her head, “She and Vulf are a good pair.” She pauses, “It’s chilly without my cloak. We should head in.”
Araatris: Rhese settles for a quick kiss against her hair, not bothering to hide his disappointment since she isn’t looking. “Of course. Let’s get back.”
Rhoelyn: Nysse slips away from his grip with a nervous jerk. “I should check on Tsume and see if I can get her to eat, too.” She stands and waits for him.
Araatris: Slipping to his feet, Rhese quietly trails her back to the cave and settles down to pick up his cooled food. He ignores the others’ looks and eats.
Rhoelyn: The huntress busies herself between tempting Tsume and eating her dinner. Wrune mutters to Verune, “Is this as uncomfortable as it seems?”
Araatris: The elder druid nods, his knowing gaze going between the two. “There are pieces of the story missing, here. But it can keep until the Lodge.”
Rhoelyn: Wrune sighs, “I hope it’s a quick trip.” Nysse cleans her bowl and puts it up, then she lays out her sleeping mat and settles in for the evening.
Araatris: Val and Kaerryn exchange looks, and when he’s done eating, they conspire to drag Rhese outside. The warrior produces a couple of flasks with a grin.
Rhoelyn: “You look like you could use this.” Kaerryn shoves one at Rhese. “Don’t worry. It’s the good stuff.” She opens the other and takes a swig.
Araatris: The druid takes it gratefully, helping himself before passing it to Val. “Trust you to have libations even weeks into a long mission, Kaer.”
Rhoelyn: Kaerryn smirks, “I made good use of our stop at the Lodge and refreshed.” Val takes a drink, “Nysse could use a drink as well, but…” He shrugs.
Araatris: Rhese sighs before chuckling. “I think she needs a few. It’s been… a challenging couple weeks.” He snatches the flask back and drinks again.
Rhoelyn: Valerio watches Rhese, “Want to talk about it?” Kaerryn takes another sip, “You know we’re always up for some gossip, Rhese.” She grins wickedly.
Araatris: The druid grimaces and yanks on Kaerryn’s mahogany hair. “I wouldn’t trust you with my favorite fish recipe, let alone anything more sensitive.”
Rhoelyn: Kaerryn punches his shoulder in retaliation. “Sensitive, huh? So that means there is something.” The warrior laughs and hands her flask to Val.
Araatris: Wandering over to a fallen log with his stolen flask, Rhese plops down heavily. “I’m not sure what’s going on. She’s afraid of me. I thought…”
Rhoelyn: Valerio sits next to him. He waits, but the druid doesn’t continue. He prompts, “You thought?” Kaerryn sits cross-legged in front of them.
Araatris: “I thought she’d be happy that the curse was gone.” He brushes his hand through his hair, taking another drink. “But she doesn’t seem happy.”
Rhoelyn: The warrior frowns, “Why the-.” Val clears his throat as she continues. “-would she be afraid of you? She didn’t seem afraid last we saw you.”
Araatris: Rhese leans forward, letting his head droop. “I don’t know, Kaer. I guess she’s still afraid that I could mark her. That partial shift was agony.”
Rhoelyn: Val sighs, “What did happen around that? You both were vague about it and she was obviously uncomfortable.” He snatches Kaerryn’s flask.
Araatris: The druid doesn’t answer, scrubbing his hands over his cold face. He takes a few leisurely drinks, letting them wait. Val frowns at him.
Rhoelyn: “They didn’t do something to her, did they?” Val seems horrified at the thought. “I know she was drugged…” He glances back towards the cave.
Araatris: Eventually, Rhese grimaces. “I don’t know. I don’t know all of it because I was unconscious, and I’m not sure for how long. Maybe I did something.”
Rhoelyn: Kaerryn glances at Val in annoyance, still bereft of her alcohol. “Well, what do you remember, fuzzbutt? Maybe we can figure it out.”
Araatris: He shakes his head, taking another drink and then passing Kaerryn his mostly empty flask. “I don’t think Nysse would appreciate me telling you.”
Rhoelyn: The warrior takes the flask and empties it, “Nysse doesn’t have to know. You have to talk before you burst.” She shoots him a knowing look.
Araatris: Rhese looks up at Val, who nods encouragingly. “The… the first thing I remember is Nysse’s kiss.” He can’t help but grin. “… a really good kiss.”
Rhoelyn: Two sets of eyebrows raise, but it’s Val that speaks first, “A kiss?” Kaerryn cuts in, “Are you sure we’re talking about the same Nysse?”
Araatris: He smirks at Kaerryn. “She does know how to kiss, you know.” But he suddenly sobers, clearing his throat. “The hunters were watching. Um. Eagerly.”
Rhoelyn: Kaerryn snorts, “How would I know?” Her brow furrows, “Eagerly? Sounds like they were expecting a show, but why was she kissing you anyway?”
Araatris: Rhese shakes his head. “I don’t exactly know that part, but she was drugged and out of it when I woke up properly. And marked with the curse.”
Rhoelyn: She ruffles her hair with a sigh, “I’m guessing something stopped the kiss, but I can’t help you. Maybe it is just that transformation.”
Araatris: The druid frowns. “What if I did something before I was aware? Maybe I made her kiss me. Maybe that’s why she doesn’t want to touch me.”
Rhoelyn: Val shares a look with Kaerryn, “You were under the influence of the scythe, but it… sounded like she wasn’t exactly reluctant either.”
Araatris: “Gah!” They all jump guiltily at a new voice in the conversation, swiveling. “How many times ya gotta complicate thin’s afore ya learn?”
Rhoelyn: Kaerryn grumbles and grabs for the other flask, “We’re not complicating things. We’re helping figure out why Nysse is acting weirder than usual.”
Araatris: Rylana snatches it out of Kaerryn’s grasp and plops down on the ground. As she starts to take a drink, the warrior yanks it away. “Not for children!”
Rhoelyn: “Ah’m not a kid! At least ah know what happened instead-a-guessin’.” She tries to reach around Kaerryn, but the warrior keeps it out of reach.
Araatris: Rhese leans forward and takes the flask from Kaerryn. He looks at Rylana. “What happened, exactly? Do you know why she’s afraid of me?”
Rhoelyn: Rylana sighs, “The drug made’r willin’ to foller orders. Lila suggested that Nysse wanted t’kiss ya.” She blushes, “Ah stopped it ‘fore it uh…”
Araatris: Kaerryn snorts and covers her mouth, turning her head away. She earns twin glares from Rhese and Val, but when she notices, she only laughs harder.
Rhoelyn: The girl tries to continue, “Ah think dat not bein’ in control freaked her out. She was supposed to remember nuthing, but… ah think she does.”
Araatris: Rhese sighs, rubbing the bridge of his nose. “That’s a safe bet. She–…” He scowls and reaches out to smack Kaerryn. “Will you stop laughing?!”
Rhoelyn: The warrior falls on her side, “I’m sorry, but the thought of the impossibly shy Nysse seducing-.” A sharp kick earns Rhese a glare. “Fine. Geez.”
Araatris: Val borrows the flask from Rhese and hands it to Kaerryn, muttering quietly, “We can laugh more about it later.” The druid growls at them.
Rhoelyn: Rylana looks at them helplessly and back to Rhese, “Um. What were ya sayin’ ‘bout it bein’ a safe bet? ‘nyway maybe she just needs a li’l time.”
Araatris: He nods. “You may be right, kid. Thank you for filling in the details.” He rubs the back of his neck. “She’s got to be so mortified about it.”
Rhoelyn: The girl opens her mouth, then looks at the others and mumbles, “Ne’ermin’.” Val sighs, “I’m joking. Rhese knows I’d only tease Nysse a bit.”
Araatris: “No… You’re going to forget that you know at all, Val. All three of you.” Rhese points an imperious finger around the circle. “For a century.”
Rhoelyn: Kaerryn stares at Rhese incredulously, “Seriously? She could use a little teasing to get out of that shell of hers.” She crosses her arms.
Araatris: Rhese grimaces. “You can tease her about it next century, Kaer. When she probably won’t want to kill me for telling you about it, any more.”
Rhoelyn: She huffs, “Val will have to tease her in memory of me.” Rylana looks at Rhese with wide eyes, “She wouldna actually kill ya, would she?”
Araatris: “I’d rather not find out, Ry,” he rumbles, looking a little sick. Brushing his hands through his hair, he stands and stretches, pacing away.
Rhoelyn: Kaerryn stands, pulling Ry with her, “Your turn, Val. We have to get our beauty sleep.” Valerio snorts, “Her maybe, but you’re a lost cause.”
Araatris: With a wicked gleam in her eyes, she saunters over and trails a finger across his chest. “That’s not the song you were singing back at the Lodge.”
Rhoelyn: Val raises an eyebrow, “You were cute when I was drunk. Perhaps you’d rather I mention what you said when you were drunk back at the Lodge.”
Araatris: The warrior pales a bit, flicking a glance at Rhese before she turns and grabs Ry’s wrist. “Look at the time. Gotta get this kid tucked in. Bye!”
Rhoelyn: Rylana blinks in confusion as she’s dragged behind Kaerryn. Valerio grins after them and wanders over to check on Rhese, “How’s the stomach?”
Araatris: “I’ll be fine,” he answers, leaning back against a tree. “I’m just tired and… I don’t know, Val. There has to be something more I can do. Right?”
Rhoelyn: Val scratches a chin tentacle, “Well, no harm in being patient. Maybe she’ll get over it in a few days. You’d need to keep the coat anyway.”
Araatris: Rhese nods, straightening and clapping a hand on his friend’s shoulder. “You’re right. I can give her time and patience. It’s not over yet, pal.”
Rhoelyn: “Why would it be over? That girl in there adores you despite her fear.” Val grins. “Right now is when she needs you most. Stay next to her.”
Araatris: “Yes, sir.” Rhese smiles and looks back toward the cave. “Let’s head back, too. Sleep sounds nice.”
Rhoelyn: Valerio pats him firmly on the back, “Then let us sleep, my friend.” They head back to the cave where the hunter splits off to set up his bed.
Araatris: Ever stubborn and a bit impatient, Rhese lays out his bedroll an arm’s length from Nysse. He brushes a kiss on her cheek before settling down.
Rhoelyn: She stirs slightly and rolls to face him, but never fully wakes. He watches her until his eyes slowly droop and he drifts to sleep.
Rhoelyn: Sounds of battle slowly fade into her awareness and light presses against her eyelids, but it takes her a moment longer to open them. “Hmmm?”