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Fyra
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Eleforian Elite Guard
Echo knew a bluff when she saw one. But there wasn't much she could do to call him on it. Standing, she reached for his hand and tugged at him. "Whatever I'm supposed to do? Please, Shad. I'm the Court Bard and the Court Flirt. My job is to be pretty and charming. Occasionally, someone requests I sing. And I do worry. You're a troublemaker," The laugh that came from her throat was an echo of her chiming bells. But the smile was genuine. "Come, walk with me. I'll show you how things used to look with words..." Her eyes pleaded with him. Give me time... Everything has piled up and it's all so complicated. Now, I have duties to my family, when I never have before, save to kill Gideon... I can't leave my father without his liaison into Court, nor my sister alone. I have to practice and work on my magic and find a way to retrieve my...our... son... It was her first admittance to herself that he might have any claim to the child.

She led him around the complex the rest of the day, painting pictures of what it used to be like with words, avoiding crowded areas for the most part. She lingered over the training grounds, trying to explain the rope course that had stretched between the burnt stumps of the trees. She brought him also to the rock her father often went to when he needed to think, and Whisper followed his example. As evening came around, she got his help in setting up a tent, feeling uncomfortable with the amount of people that were in the dorm. She was pointed to where Tomick had left her pack, the tent still with it, and she picked a spot that was relatively secluded, in a small grove. It was one of many out here in the fields that separated the Victory Shrine from the Court. She left note of where she was going to be sleeping with Whisper. The dinner horn called everybody from work, and they were served a very wholesome stew. Echo pulled Shad to sit with her near Whisper, and Tomick joined them not soon after, mostly clean. He had joined his mother helping in the medical wing. There was some blood on the sleeves of his shirt, but it had darkened and dried.

Tomick, still running in his efficient, second in command mode, took one look at Shad and found himself thinking of clothing for the man. The set he had was far too worn at this point, and if he was going to be associated with Echo he needed at least presentable clothing, even if it wasn't anything especially fine. And boots. Definitely boots. It was the details that were running through his brain. Make sure everyone got bathed, fed, clothed, had a place to sleep. He didn't worry about himself. His room was, as he had found, mostly whole. There were a few knick knacks missing, but nothing else. His drapes had been ripped, a table overturned.

When he finished his bowl, the man murmured to Whisper that she was welcome to claim his rooms that night, and, truthfully, for as long as she liked. He gave her a kiss, and then moved away, hurrying off so that he would be able to get back to Shad before he and Echo disappeared for the night. The sun was setting swiftly. Echo, as they finished eating, looked at Shad and suddenly found herself unsure. After what had passed between them that day, she felt as though she could not just assume that he would sleep with her. Many of the lions had finished and were heading their own ways, either to sleep, to bathe, or to work a little more before the light was all gone.

Tomick came as they were leaving, a bundle in his hands. He caught Shad and pushed it upon him. "I had to guess the size of your feet, but the boots should fit, and there's at least three sets of clothing." He waved off any protest. 'I'm a noble, Shad. I've money to spare at the moment, and it doesn't take much to clothe a friend. If you feel you must repay me, help out with the Order where you can, and keep doing what you've been doing for Echo." The man spun to move away, and Echo shook her head.

"C'mon... let's find where they've got the baths set up." After they bathed, using a tent that had been set up as a bathhouse with temporary pools set up. It felt good to be clean, and dressed in clothing other than her leathers, which had been whisked away to be cleaned or burned, as she hoped. When she saw Shad once more, she reached out cautiously to link her fingers with his. Her voice was nervous. "Stay with me?" she was unsure if he wanted to stay with her after what had transpired that day.
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Respite · Phenvast City


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