Friends or Lovers? Part 5
Although Edwin expected another very restless night, especially because of his mixed feelings about what Kane had said that evening, the combination of the two battles he had fought that day and the alcohol he had drunk, caused the wizard to fall asleep almost the minute he fell into bed.
He was woken several hours later, just as the morning sun was making its way over the horizon, by the voices coming from the next room, the room occupied by Kane and Viconia. Listening hard, Edwin could just make out what they were saying.
“Where did you get to last night?” Though gentle, Viconia’s voice still had a slight edge to it. “I fell asleep waiting for you. What happened, did the stupid wizard get himself into trouble again?”
“No!” the warrior replied sharply. “You know, Viconia, what you and Kagain said to him yesterday was highly uncalled for. We all make mistakes occasionally and that’s unavoidable. I’d thank you to remember that I lead this group and if there is anything to say about any member’s performance, then I will be the one to say it.”
“I was only saying what needed to be said.” Viconia answered defensively. “He needed to be told, Kane, he’s a walking disaster area right now and he’s going to kill one of us if he carries on like this.”
“Give him a break for once, he’s got a lot on his mind right now.”
“I’d be very interested to know what,” Viconia gave a cruel chuckle. “It must be pretty big if it takes priority over the safety of his companions. I can’t understand why you let him stay with us, Kane. Pity, perhaps?”
“He’s a good wizard!” Kane was almost shouting now and Edwin no longer had to strain to hear the words. “The best we are likely to find in these parts. Or perhaps you’d rather travel with bards or madmen who’d try to murder us in our sleep? I have no intention of replacing Edwin unless he decides that he wants to leave. If I hear another word on the matter…”
“Very well, fearless leader.” Viconia agreed, her voice softer now. “But if we cannot talk about the wizard, then we shall have to find something else to pass the time. And I have some rather good suggestions…”
Not again, the wizard thought angrily. Can that drow not keep her hands off him for more than two minutes? Has she forgotten that he was badly hurt yesterday or does she just not care about anything except her own pleasure?
He gave a sigh and pulled his blanket over his head, not wanting to listen to them yet again. They were always at it, morning, evening, even occasionally during the night. The drow would turn on her charms and her lover would nearly always comply. How Kane managed to keep up with her, Edwin had no idea. Even when the two of them tried to be quiet, which wasn’t usually very often in Viconia’s case, there was still some noise. It never seemed to bother Kagain, the dwarf could easily sleep through an earthquake, but Edwin was a much lighter sleeper. And no matter how hard he tried to ignore it, it was incredibly difficult.
It bothers you.
“Of course it bothers me,” Edwin muttered under his breath, burying deeper under the blankets. “It bothers me because they keep me awake, that’s all. There is absolutely no other reason.”
Apart from the fact that Kane could do so much better. That filthy drow doesn’t deserve him.
The wizard shook his head quickly and got out of bed. It wasn’t his business whom his leader chose to take as a lover or what they did together and he wasn’t going to think about it any more. He was going to get dressed and then go outside and get some fresh air, which he hoped would help to clear his head and allow him to focus on whatever task Kane wanted them to do that day. He wasn’t going to allow his mind to wander that day, he promised himself, he wasn’t going to think about things that he shouldn’t be thinking about, let his mind dwell any longer on the evil thoughts he had been having recently. The wizard knew that it would be difficult, but he also felt sure that as long as he continued to pretend that his growing feelings did not exist, they would eventually stop growing and go away. That was all he wanted…and surely some god would eventually take mercy on him. It couldn’t be that much to ask after all…
It was another hour before Kane finally appeared, though he still did not have Viconia in tow. Kagain had already joined Edwin at his table just a few moments before, although the two had not said two words to each other. Their leader looked a little tired and his hand, which he had purposely left un-bandaged, still looked rather painful.
“Good morning, Edwin, Kagain,” he said, giving them a very brief smile. He seemed to be in a rather good mood and Edwin knew why. “Sleep well?”
“Good enough,” Kagain grunted. “What we be doing today anyway?”
“I though we might take do some exploring to the west of here, along the coastline,” Kane told them. “Heard a few rumours of treasure there and I thought it might be worth taking a look. And of course we can look out for Edwin’s witch on the way. She has to be around here somewhere, it’s just a matter of finding her.”
“If there’s treasure to be had, then you can be counting me in!” Kagain said at once. “When we be leaving?”
“Whenever we’re ready, I suppose” the warrior shrugged. “Viconia seems anxious to be on the move again. You know what she’s like, doesn’t like staying in one place too long.”
“Then I’ll be getting my things.” Kagain rose from the table and hurried past them to the stairs, leaving Edwin sitting alone with Kane.
“How are you feeling this morning?” the warrior asked, once he was certain that the dwarf had gone. “Any better?” Edwin shrugged, wondering what he could say.
“I feel a lot better,” he said finally. He wasn’t tired any more, so he didn’t consider it a complete lie. “Alert and ready for action.”
“Glad to hear it.” A look of relief crossed the warrior’s face. “Don’t push yourself too hard today though, and don’t worry if you didn’t have a chance to memorise many spells. I’ve got a few, as you saw last night, and I’ll just use them if we get stuck.”
“One of your Bhaal abilities?”
“Yes, and a useful one at that,” Kane chuckled darkly. “Dear father does have his uses, I’ll admit that.”
“Here!” Kagain bellowed as he came down the stairs, dragged his pack behind him, his axe balanced on his shoulder. “I be ready now, just like ye said!”
“I am ready to leave also,” Viconia said, coming down behind Kagain. “And it is not a moment too soon. I like this town less every day I spend in it.”
“Very well then,” Kane got to his feet and quickly checked to see that his weapons were all in place. “Are you ready to leave, Edwin?”
“I suppose so,” Edwin agreed. He was not looking forward to travelling on the road, being a man who liked his comforts, but he had known what he was letting himself in for when he had first joined them. And of course, he couldn’t argue with them about it, Viconia and Kagain would only see it as something else to taunt him about and he was not in the mood just then. “As ready as I’ll ever be,” he muttered under his breath.
“Look out, treasure and monsters!” Kagain gave an evil chuckle, as the four of them filed out of the door. “We be coming for ye!”
Friends or Lovers? Part 5
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