Foto bij 038.

toepasselijk? Weennie maar vond het ergens toch wel x

Hunting seems to be a lot harder when your mind keeps creeping back to the girl at the campfire. Woman... seems like a better word for it now.
The last tracks I found, were of a deer. Only to find it being eaten 50 minutes later by a different predator. However much hissing I was doing after finding out, bringing a half eaten feast back to Avis, didn't seem like the best idea ever.
I move gradually across the side of the river. Reminding myself of the cold and frozen ground making noises. Shifting my feet and allowing my senses to deepen further.
Not too much later, I walk back to camp. Dead rabbit in one hand, and the other hand empty but bloody. I might have gotten into a fight with an owl, where that thing got the idea from to pick a fight with me. Might remain a mystery, but I hope the poor thing will find its way to some new claws very soon.
Slowly I move towards the dimmed campfire, quietly, not to disturb or frighten Avis too much. She has been through hell and back in the past couple of days, and I doubt she wants me to make that even worse.
"Azémar?" She whispers from afar.
I step towards the fire, "yes Avis?"
I hear her sigh, then some shifting from underneath the blanket. The knife she kept holding onto falls onto the ground. "Oh thank the gods."
Her whole appearance is a mess. The bruises and cuts have almost all healed. Between the days that I found her and now, it must have done so while she was resting up. Or more like, trying to get the drug out of her system. Her blonde hair is forming a nest on top of her head, and there is still some dried up blood on her cheeks that hasn't been washed away yet.
"I know I look very godlike, but no need to flatter me." She gives me a fiery look, as if she would've killed me if she'd had the energy. I hold my hands up above my head, surrendering. "Brought dinner."
"And before nightfall..." She mumbles. I nod as I sit down next to her. Usually I wouldn't have sat myself this close to her, but I want to give her the physical support. If she ever needed it in the moments to come.
I start skinning the animal. The sounds of its skin tearing filling our surroundings.
"We have to move soon." Her words come out soft, but I notice the edge to her voice.
I sigh. "Avis, please..." I start to counter her words. But I know full well, that she won't have any of it.
"We do - have to move Azémar, even your thick head can wrap its head around that." She sneers.
Avis is right, we do, indeed, have to move. Even though I've killed all the men and women at the camp Avis was being held at. There still might be a chance that there are more. Looking for revenge. Never mind the fact that the weather could change up here in a moments notice.
"You must rest." It comes out as a command, hauntingly so.
She shivers ever so slightly. Her heart skips a beat, and I know I've done wrong by her. It is as if her body knows what makes me tick, and what makes me crumble to pieces.
"We also need to move," the blonde repeats herself.
We could keep bickering for the next few hours, I would've even enjoyed it even. If only it were under different circumstances.
"Fine, we will start moving..." I start, giving in to her. She sighs of relief. "Towards an inn." She opens her mouth to fight me, but I give her a look, which makes her give up.

The icy wind cuts my cheekbones. I am still buzzing with anger, with the ideas of the people that hurt Avis in my head. She's curled up to my chest, sitting in front of my on my saddle. Arrow is strung up behind me. I found her after two nights had past, after I had gotten so hungry that I had had to find food. I'd caught her scent towards the river, too close the a frozen waterfall.
I haven't slept in the past few nights, haven't slept since that frightful day. Night maybe... I hadn't seen the sun in a while. The days seemed to all be the same by now. As long as Avis was safe(r) than she was before.
Andruil be damned, no one hunts my moody elf. It makes me hiss again, causing Avis to shift. I hold my breath for a moment, only continuing once I've finally found the road again. Which was - lucky for me - some ticks later.
I measure the tracks before me, and make a rough estimation. Hopefully five more hours until we reach the first inn. And may the creators have mercy on the ones that cross me before that time comes.

The Tawdry Beetle the sign of the inn reads. Nothing more tasteless than that, but there's nothing better to find in the nearby area, so it will have to do. I give both the horses to the stable boy once I've unpacked. Avis waiting impatiently, angrily and immensely pissed at me, in the background. I can hear her foot tapping on the ground, I wonder if she's even noticing it herself that she's doing it.
The boys hand touch mine for a moment, I give him a silver. "For your silence." The halfling nods quickly, bowing and dropping his eyes towards the ground immediately.
With our bags slung across my shoulders, I gesture towards the princess to continue walking. D'assan, a child. Who would've thought.
We enter the inn, silently. The innkeeper, a filthy dwarf for that matter. I'm not sure if he's really dirty, my mind is just. Very much on edge.
I lay both my hands on top of the bar, "your finest room, sir" I grumble. The dwarf's eyes slide across our faces, nodding slowly and handing us a set of keys. "And draw a bath for the lady." I grumble, a bit nicer this time though.
"I'll have my wife do that, you can follow her dear." He sounds drunker than he looks. He gestures towards the redheaded dwarfen lady at the end of the bar. Who smiles sweetly at Avis. Can I trust her? Can I trust anyone truly. My ancestors would've been disappointed in me.
Avis follows the lady, as I pay for the room and a heavy mead for myself.
Two and a half meads later, as I walk up the stairs, towards the rooms, I feel the environment drop. Something is wrong, very much so. My senses go on high alert, even higher once I've dropped the bags on the floor of our room. Avis isn't here. Where is she? Where could she be? Did I lose her again?
I almost flip the bed before I open up every room in the hallway. Asking - screaming - where Avis is. The last room I barge in however, I find her. In her bath.
She looks up quickly once I've entered. Her whole body is covered in bruises, just once I thought she was healing. "Oh, you frightened me Azémar," she snarls. Lifting up her nose and scrunching it. Annoyed by my presence she shifts in the deep wooden tub. Heat still coming off her body and the water.
My cheeks start to redden a little. "Sorry... I just... I couldn't find you. And I..." Panicked? Freaked out? Almost went on a rampage again? I hold my breath for a moment, calming myself, putting my calm back together. "I'll just leave you be." I start to move towards the door handle again, attempting to close it again.
Her breath is heavy. "No," she sniffs. Sounding weak almost. "Could you stay for a moment? I would like..." Avis pauses herself for a moment. "I don't want to be alone right now."

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