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Armored - Chapter Two (Revelation)

Author: 
Avariel
Old Vault Category: 
fanfiction
Old Vault ID: 
346

Ceadra

I was ticking the numbers off in my head; four-hundred ninety seven shadows, three-hundred and two bugbears, ninety bandits, fifty four skeletons, twelve vampires, a handful of thieves, and one very dead Shadow Reaver.

It had been a long, long few weeks. I wasn't even going to begin counting the orcs.

I had just delivered a "rousing" speech to the men with Kana nearly holding me at sword-point to do it. The problem of the Shadow Reavers had seemed to be an impossible one, until today. The True Name had worked, and we had nearly all died in the process, so I wasn't exactly in Captain mood when we returned victorious to the keep. But, the men had been worried about us...about me...and Kana said I owed it to them to tell them what happened. She said this through clenched teeth, with a look in her eyes that said If you ever leave me alone and in charge here during tax time again, I'll kill you.

Now, I trudged through the Keep's front doors, weary to the bone; everyone else had left while I was postulating on our heroic efforts, and no doubt they were all safe in their beds (where I soon would be.) As I passed through the main throne room, I heard crisp, determined bootsteps echoing off the flagstones behind me, and swore violently to myself while almost simultaneously asking Lathander for his pardon. Glancing over my shoulder, I could see Kana's shadow lengthening along the wall as she headed inexorably in my direction. Panicking, I pressed my finger to my lips, glancing meaningfully at the guards standing around, before I took off, running silently across the room and down one of the hallways.

I ducked around the corner, listening. I heard Kana's footsteps clop clop clop across the throne room, and then her succinctly irritated voice ask, "Corporal! Did you see Knight Captain Ceadra walk through here?"

I swear, if you tell her, I'll put you on privy duty for a month... mingled in my head with... Please, oh merciful Morning Lord, save me from mine enemies...

"No, Ma'am! We didn't see her come this way at all, Ma'am!"

Whew.

"That's odd, Corporal. I could have sworn I saw her walk into the Keep...did she dissappear once she passed the threshold?" Kana's voice was acidic.

"Possibly an...invisibility spell, Ma'am!"

I smothered a snicker into my sleeve. That man is getting promoted.

I could hear the icy glare that Kana gave the young man, but her next words sent a chill through me. "Very well. I'll simply look for her myself."

Oh crap.

I turned, and skittered down the hallway as those boots began clop clop clopping towards the corner I was hiding behind. Think, think...I sprinted down the hall, knocking quietly but furiously on the first door I came to. Gods, hurry up...I fidgeted madly, hearing Kana's steps getting closer, and then the door opened a crack. I didn't even give whoever it was a chance, I merely sucked in my breath and squeezed inside, throwing myself under the bed against the far wall. "Hide me!" I hissed.

There was a confused pause where all I could hear is my own shaky breathing in the dark space unde the bed, and then relief flooded through me as Casavir's voice rumbled by the doorway. "Lieutenant Kana is trying to make you read the week's reports, I take it?"

"Please!"

"Anything for you, my lady." His voice was wry with amusement, and he turned as the clop clop clop of Kana's boots came to a stop in front of his door.

"Have you seen the Knight Captain, Sir Casavir? I need to discuss a few important matters with her as soon as possible, and she seems to have...escaped my notice."

"I have seen her, Lieutenant Kana," said the paladin, and my eyes widened in shock. Why, of all the...."She ran down this hallway a few moments ago; she seemed in quite a hurry." Oh, clever man. "Was it something extremely urgent? I could help you look."

I bit my lip furiously, laughter bubbling in my throat as Kana replied, admiration in her voice, "Thank you, but no, Sir Casavir." She snorted ruefully. "I wish my troops had the same gracious attitude as you. I'm sorry to bother you; have a good evening." And she continued on down the hall, her footsteps fading into the distance.

I heard the door shut and let my breath out in a thunderous sigh of relief. "That woman will be the death of me."

"In all honesty, my Lady, you will have to speak with her eventually."

I felt my irritation rise, and stuck my head out from under the bed to tell him that reports could wait until the morning, duty be damned...only the words never escaped my lips.

Casavir was standing by the door, arms crossed in front of his chest...his bare chest...in only trousers and boots. His armor was arranged neatly on the armor rack in the corner, weapons laid out at the foot of the bed. What was covered by day in full plate was revealed in the lamplight to be hardened, scarred, and well-muscled. My eyes seemed to move of their own volition across his chest, down the front of his rippled abdomen and...No. Stop right there.

The words I meant to say stuck in my throat, and instead I uttered "Gulp?"

He arched a brow at me, an unreadable look in his piercing blue eyes. "Are you all right, my lady?"

I noticed he had gauze in his hand; some of it was wrapped inexpertly around his shoulder, and the hap-hazard bandage was stained with blood. I shook myself out of my wide-eyed stare (un-Captain like, I know...but my gods...) and the next time I tried to speak was more successful. "Are you hurt? I thought Zhjaeve healed everyone..."

"She did; it's a minor wound, and it wasn't worth expending the last of our magic over."

I crawled out from under the bed, and brushed myself down, quirking an eyebrow at him in amusement. "It looks a little...um...crooked..."

He chuckled. "While I can tie off bandages with the best of them, my lady, doing it one-handed is a little beyond me." He began fumbling with the knot, and my leader instincts (what little of them I actually had) kicked in. I stepped forward and brushed his hands away impatiently. "Sit down and let me do this; you're worse than a drunken bugbear trying to weave a tapestry."

He seemed to hestiate for a moment, and then he complied, not meeting my eyes. He sat on the edge of the bed and wordlessly handed me the roll of guaze, which I began tearing into strips. I was trying very hard not to let my eyes wander; my fingers worked deftly, and I winced slightly as I peeled the useless bandage back away from the wound. "You should have let her heal you," I said gently.

"I'm fine, my lady," he said; his voice was just as quiet as mine, and I kept my eyes down on my work, wrapping the guaze around his shoulder snugly. My fingers were prickling pleasantly from brushing against his skin, and an unfamiliar awareness of how close he actually was to me was slowly creeping over me. I had bandaged him up before, of course; I had done the same with most of my companions at one point or another. But the heat rolling off of his bare skin near inches from mine washed over me in a dizzying wave until I was as light-headed as if I'd drunk too much wine. I carefully tied off the knot and tucked the ends under, smoothing it down, and it was then that I met his eyes...

There was a softness there, and at the same time such a burning intensity that my heart started pounding erratically, though I couldn't have said why. My hands were itching to touch him again, and I fumbled with the left-over guaze uneasily, wanting desperately to bolt out the door...and desperately wanting to stay, too. I felt his arm rise from where it had rested on his knee, barely brushing the back of my elbow with his fingertips, and my skin shivered in response. I looked down into his face, frozen where I stood, a multitude of sensation rushing through me as his caress rose up my arm.

His voice, when he spoke, was hoarse, throaty, barely above a whisper. "Ceadra...I..."

THUNK THUNK THUNK!

I nearly jumped a foot in the air; Casavir snatched his hand back as a voice snapped through the doorway, "Jump to it, paladin. The old sage has finally figured something out, and requests our presence in the library." Bishop didn't wait for a response, but stalked off down the hallway on the other side of the closed door. My breath escaped my lungs in a whoosh, as if I'd been holding it this whole time. Well, maybe I had...

"We should go," I said quickly, stepping back and turning towards the door. I couldn't look at him, couldn't watch as he stood and moved back to where his armor waited, ready once more to cover that exquisitely carved torso...

When he entered the library a while later, the last one to arrive, he was fully armored once again, an expression of blank concern etched on his face as he heard what Aldanon had to say to us.

I hoped I looked the same, for all I could think of were his fingers trailing across my skin...





Armored Ch. 2 - Revelation © Avariel

Migrate Wizard: 
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