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A Moment of Peace
Set shortly after 'Silent Song'.....
Blaen jerked out of his deep concentration when he heard the front room door being yanked open and then slammed shut with a loud, reverberating thud. He shifted to glance outside the window behind him. With a start, he realized that the sun was setting. That had better be Jydan. He leaned across the arm of the chair, eyeing the doorway of his room, and called out hesitantly, "Jydan, is that you?"
He heard a low, displeased grunt and the sound of heavy boots hitting the floor before Jydan continued down the short hallway to his own room, stomping all the way.
Shaking his head, Blaen murmured quietly to himself, "I guess that would be a yes. Must have had a bad day." He carefully marked his place in the book he was currently reading -- one of Tulan's histories -- then set it beside the covered lamp on the small table next to his large, overstuffed chair. Taking a moment to stretch, he pushed himself up from the chair and padded in stocking-feet out of his room.
Jydan's low mutters grew louder as Blaen approached his friend's somewhat larger bedroom. Once at the doorway, Blaen leaned against the doorjamb, watching with some small amusement as Jydan loosened and yanked off his leather jerkin and underlying light chain mail vest. Must have been working with some of the trainees today. And they must not have done very well by the looks -- and sounds -- of things.
It wasn't until Jydan turned that Blaen realized that he was using one arm much less than the other and that there was a vivid red streak decorating the sleeve of his upper arm. He shoved away from the doorjamb in alarm. "Jydan! You're bleeding!"
Jydan nodded once, his mouth in a grim line. "Yeah, I know. I accidentally backed into a pair of trainees practicing and caught a sword backswing. A very bad backswing, I might add. In any case, it was more stupidity on my part than anything else."
An eyebrow raised, Blaen pushed Jydan down onto the bed, making him sit down. "So, you're, what, more mad at yourself then?"
"You got it in one."
Blaen helped Jydan get rid of the torn, bloody shirt, then he took a closer look at the cut. "Doesn't look too bad, actually. Fairly shallow. Let me get a bandage though. Wouldn't do good for the captain of the guards to start bleeding during court tonight." He stepped across the room to a small dresser, pulling open a drawer to dig out some medical supplies they kept for just this very reason.
"Court? Tonight?" Jydan's voice was distinctly unhappy, close to sounding suspiciously like a whine.
Blaen came back to him, grinning, sitting down next to him. "Yes, tonight. And you have just enough time to clean up properly before we have to get going. I'll stick on a light bandage right now, though, so you don't bleed all over the bathroom. I just cleaned it today."
Jydan rolled his eyes. "You're so kind."
He grinned back cheekily at him. "You're welcome, kind sir."
Blaen just laughed and concentrated on cleaning the cut and bandaging the wound. Once done, he put the rest of the supplies back into their small case. Jydan didn't move, just sighed and ran a hand over his face. "Sometimes I wonder what I'm doing here."
"What do you mean?" Blaen paused as he prepared to stand up. He shoved the case aside and looked up at Jydan's somber expression.
"I have to wonder what good I'm doing. How I'm helping. Some days it doesn't seem like the cadets are improving much to me. And today, the mistake I made," he shook his head, "I never would have done such a stupid thing a year ago. Maybe this kind of life is softening me, making me weak."
"Do you want to leave?"
Jydan shifted his eyes from the wall to stare down into his guide's guileless and concerned deep blue eyes. "Leave? No, no, I don't think so." He looked away again. "I just, oh, I don't know. Maybe I'm getting antsy again. You know me and my dislike of being cooped up too long in one place. I need to get out and do something, go somewhere, be just a mercenary for awhile instead of a guard captain."
Blaen had to smile. "You sound sorta like Linet when she complains about being stuck in the palace."
Jydan chuckled ruefully. "Well, I can definitely identify. Trust me."
"But if this is what's wrong, well, then, have I got the solution for you. Dorien and I were talking earlier today and he told me that there are some raiders bothering some of the smaller coastal villages up in northeastern Rillandan border. He was saying that Stefan wants to send someone up there to, uh, have a little chat with them. So ..." He paused and grinned. "You feel up to thumping on some raiders?"
Jydan laughed, blue eyes twinkling in evil delight. "Thumping on some raiders, huh? I think I could go for that. Do we need to arrange this with Stefan or are you one step ahead of me as always?"
Blaen's grin widened. "What do you think?"
Laughter dying off and a smile softening his face, Jydan lifted a hand and tapped at Blaen's cheek. "I think you're taking good care of me," he let his hand slide down to Blaen's shoulder, which he squeezed warmly, "like you always do. Thank you."
Blushing suddenly, Blaen looked away, then back up at Jydan, returning that smile. "What else are tayaerra for?"
Jydan drew Blaen into a quick hug, saying softly, "What else indeed."
- The End -
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