Peace

Peace

Status: Finished

Genre: Fantasy

Details

Status: Finished

Genre: Fantasy

Summary

Ten years on from the Shadow Wars peace has seen Severine thrive under the continued leadership of King Titus. Alexander Tor’al has vanished into the footnotes of history while Nathan Drison has retired to the quiet life. For Brent T’elc, Chosen of Heironeous, life has also changed. No longer adventuring beyond the next horizon he has finally found peace in one location. Commander of an army and beloved leader in Land of Zealots he continues to walk the difficult path of Chosen. Yet Brent knows all to well how fickle finding peace can be. I have used the D&D religion of Heironeous and have done so only out of deep and abiding respect and love for it. I have written added my own analects and personality, but have tried to keep as honestly to some materials found in the D&D world as I can. This is, for legal purposes, a fanfiction under the Open Games Licence.

Summary

Ten years on from the Shadow Wars peace has seen Severine thrive under the continued leadership of King Titus. Alexander Tor’al has vanished into the footnotes of history while Nathan Drison has retired to the quiet life.

For Brent T’elc, Chosen of Heironeous, life has also changed. No longer adventuring beyond the next horizon he has finally found peace in one location. Commander of an army and beloved leader in Land of Zealots he continues to walk the difficult path of Chosen. Yet Brent knows all to well how fickle finding peace can be.


I have used the D&D religion of Heironeous and have done so only out of deep and abiding respect and love for it. I have written added my own analects and personality, but have tried to keep as honestly to some materials found in the D&D world as I can. This is, for legal purposes, a fanfiction under the Open Games Licence.

Chapter11 (v.1) - Chapter Eleven

Author Chapter Note

*My apologises for the terrible lyrics - rhyming poetry/lyrics and I do not mix.

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: October 23, 2016

Reads: 235

Comments: 1

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: October 23, 2016

A A A

A A A

CHAPTER ELEVEN

 

Supper was in full swing in the mess hall. All around people were conversing, their voices raised in laughter and drink flowed freely. “I didn’t see you defeat the Black Knight,” teased Damien nudging his friend’s shoulder. Jason looked at the beautiful woman by his side. “She agreed to be lenient,” he said. Seeing her smile he grinned and added, “And after all, who could resist me?” Their friends laughed when he ducked the expected backhand.

 

“What’s with you tonight, Chosen?” said Aly changing the topic. “You’ve been rather quiet the last two days.” Brent blinked and turned his gaze on her as Patrick joined them. “I’ve been considering my actions and their consequences, Errant,” he said gently. “It is not your burden to bear.” Patrick touched his shoulder and bent low to his ear. “You sure you should be out here rather than resting, my lord?” Brent gave him a crooked smile. “I’m okay, Patrick. Between the Black Knight and myself I was patched up quite well.”

 

Patrick grimaced remembering the scene two days passed.

 

The pit had filled with darkness and screams of agony. A heroic voice called out and then there was a blinding flash of light. Along with half the stand he had run head long to the edge of the pit where his master was being dragged up by a rope. While he saw Brent hold himself together, when he assisted him he could feel the tremors that racked his body. By the time the three of them had entered the Keep he had collapsed. Unable to walk the mysterious Black Knight had carried him the rest of the way.

 

Patrick stripped his master while the Black Knight had heated the fire. When he moved to the cupboards Patrick called out, “You shouldn’t touch that,” but the Black Knight had waved away his objections. On Brent’s outer right thigh was a nasty cut that continued to bleed. Patrick had watched in horror as bright red droplets seeped between his master’s fingers. He must have made a sound because the stranger then walked over and sat on the edge of the bed. Placing a hand in the air over his master’s wound the Black Knight bowed his head. Moments later blue mist filtered down and sealed the wound. He could hear Brent breathing easier and saw the pain ease from his face. When the Knight stood Brent called out, “Do I know you? Your stance is so familiar.” However the Knight simply paused, looked long in their direction, and left.

 

“You shouldn’t trouble yourself about him, my lord,” fussed Patrick pumping his pillows. Brent smiled tiredly and held out a hand towards him. Grasping it Patrick sat on the bed by his chest and held his hand close to his heart. Kissing his knuckles he grumbled, “I told you so.” The paladin chuckled softly. Then he noticed Patrick’s ashen face. “I did not intend to frighten you, Patrick,” he soothed gently. “The games have never been that dangerous before or I would not allow them in my lands.”

“You could have died!” whispered Patrick squeezing his hand.

“Aye,” acknowledged Brent, his mood darkening. “We couldn’t see anything in that darkness . . . And they continued to raise more.” His voice turned cold and he muttered to himself. “We had beginners fighting with us. How could any of them have been so foolish?”

 

“What’s gonna happen Brent?” asked Patrick softly. The Chosen’s eyes met his.

“Fion is gone. I’ll write a writ about him to go out to our fellow churches in the morning. I shall also personally see each and every summoner in the Council Chambers tomorrow. Beyond that I need to rest.” The paladin yawned abruptly and rubbed his aching temples. Releasing his hand Patrick threw a blanket over his master and tucked him in. “I’ll get the lights,” he murmured softly. Stooping he kissed his brow and went to extinguish the lanterns. The late afternoon sun still brightened the room until he pulled the heavy curtains. “Patrick?”

“Yes, my lord?”

“Come to bed.”

 

The young man felt a flush of desire go through his body. Then he remembered his master’s exhaustion. “Yes, my lord.” Changing into his sleeping trousers he quietly padded over to the edge of the bed. Brent felt his weight on the mattress. Silently Patrick pulled a spare blanket over his legs and lay on his side facing the weary paladin. He looked so worn, even with his eyes closed.

“I know you’re staring,” commented Brent, a small smirk forming on his lips. Patrick grinned. “Someone’s got to watch over you since you won’t look after yourself.”

“Someone like you?” repeated Brent, his words beginning to slur. “I like the sound of that.”

“Brent?” whispered Patrick. But the paladin was already asleep.

 

“So has anyone worked out who our mystery man is this year?” asked Damien.

“Maybe it’s a woman!” countered Aly. “We’re just as good if not better then you men.” Sam grinned and nodded wholeheartedly.

“No,” said Brent with finality. “He’s a man.”

“How can you tell?” countered Aly. Brent looked at her for several moments in silence. “He’s a man and a high ranked one at that.” 

 

Wanting to distract his commander Jason placed his elbows on the table and leant forward. “They’re going to start the music and stories soon.” Brent took a sip from his mug. Frowning Jason tried again. “Do you remember the old songs we used to sing, Chosen? The ones we sang during the Shadow Wars?” Brent grunted and lowered his mug. “I haven’t thought of those for years, Gallant. Why bring them up now?”

“Well they haven’t been sung for so long and you’ve a strong voice.”

“What’s this? Brent can sing?” questioned Patrick squeezing in between the paladins. Brent flashed him a sheepish grin. “There was a time when my voice often graced the rafters. We’re lucky they didn’t fall down around our ears.”

“Piss off, Brent!” discounted Jason tossing the idea aside. “When you first built this place we used to all come and sing together in the evenings.”

 

“Oh please, Chosen!” begged Aly using her best puppy dog expression on him. They could see his resolve weakening. Jumping to his feet Jason clapped his hands and signalled those closest to silence. “He’s going to sing!” the blonde paladin announced with glee. Knowing he was trapped, and secretly pleased by it, Brent stood and finished his drink. “So you want one from that dark time eh?” he said softly yet his voice carried far. “Aye I have one in mind but it is not a pretty one.” Blue eyes lifted and scanned the vicinity. “I sing in the memory of those that do not stand with us today.”

 

Dawn awakens across the field

The tents lie still in mourning

Too deep for words or to describe

For those not with us today

 

Trumpets sound and I see them come

Heroes to take a final stand

Men and women united against

A foe too powerful to comprehend

 

Smoke is all I breathe and blood pounds within my heart

To find the courage to fight on

When all around me dies

Tis hope and honour, love and justice

That alone can bring me forth

I know this day might be my last but still I’ll take my place

 

Warriors upon a blackened field

Black and red, blue and silver

Mortal enemies yet now made one

Against a common foe

 

Death is all I breathe and fear pounds within my heart

To find spare tears that I can shed

When those around me die

Tis hope and honour, love and justice

That strengthens my resolve

I shall not let my fellows down for I will take their place

 

Pausing Brent lowered his eyes, his head soon following. A brief silence ensued before a lone mug began to bang upon the table. The beat was soon picked up by others, their feet, hands and mugs beating out the rhythm. When the Chosen sang the final verse of the song a dozen other voices, veterans from that time, lifted theirs too.

 

The cost is high yet on we fight

Ne’er a battle to falter

We are the pride of Severine

With our blood we buy her life

 

Courage is what I breathe and hold determination within my heart

I’ll find the strength to lift my blade

When the dark arises

Tis hope and honour, love and justice

That orders me march on

I’ll lift my voice and sing aloud that I have held our place

 

Brent’s eyes were wet when the song concluded. Those that joined the song came passed and clasped forearms in remembrance. “It is a good time to sing their stories,” observed one veteran. “Have you heard the Black Knight sing yet?” Brent shook his head and the older man chuckled. “We came up from Aldur together. He chose it especially for you.” Curiously Brent looked around as the veteran moved off.

 

The smooth strumming of a well played guitar lifted into the air from a fireplace on the other side of the hall. Brent sat with his friends, his hand brushing Patrick’s discreetly under the table. A voice accompanied the musician and sang of times where everything was falling into blackness, where each breath seemed hazardous, when another voice joined in. Brent suddenly jumped to his feet, his hands clenching the edge of the table as he mouthed the chorus with the singer.

I will be there in the dawn

To pick you up and carry on

Help you walk when you can’t crawl

I’ll be there to mend your heart

From your secrets I’ll never part

If you need to break then know that you are not alone

 

Brent felt as if time itself stood still. Slowly he turned and his expression turned from astonishment and shock to one of delight and deepest joy. Standing tall the interloper stood, his russet hair neatly hanging by his ears. Grey eyes focused solely on the Chosen in the room. Without his armour, his royal blue clothes did little to hide the muscular form of the knight valiant. A small smile crossed his lips. “Hello soldier boy,” he greeted dryly opening his arms. “Miss me?”

 

Decorum aside Brent ran across the room and threw himself into his arms. Their embrace was intimately tender and full of love, uncaring of who looked on. Pressing himself into Nathan’s hard chest Brent’s heart raced as strong arms encased his back and held him close. Feeling a gentle kiss on the top of his head he murmured, “I have missed your company, my dearest friend.” Lifting Brent’s chin Nathan smiled kindly at the young man. “I am here now, soldier boy. Don’t fret.”

 

While most of the room turned back to their conversations Patrick continued to intrude on their reunion. His shock had transformed into mounting jealousy at the open public affection between his master and the stranger. He kept expecting the Chosen to thrust the stranger away yet he seemed only to draw closer. His breath lodged in his throat when the stranger caught his master’s lips in a powerful kiss. By the time they broke apart Patrick’s fists were white. “We should talk in private,” he heard the stranger murmur. Anger rose within him when he saw Brent’s excited expression. “My rooms are nearby.” Hand in hand the two paladins quickly left the mess hall.

 

Standing Patrick moved to follow them when Sam grabbed his sleeve. “Sit,” he ordered gruffly and poured the man a stiff drink. “This is one reunion he should make alone.” Blood pumping in his head Patrick took several deep breaths. If he was going to get answers he reckoned he’d likely find them here. “Who is he?” he demanded dropping heavily onto the proffered seat. “That,” said Sam indicting the door, “is Nathan Drison.” He stopped as if the name itself meant everything. Patrick growled and downed the drink. “So he’s got a name. What of it?”  Sam and Jason shared a look. “Patrick,” started Jason, “hasn’t Brent told you about him?”

“No,” answered Patrick petulantly as Sam refilled his mug.

“Knight Valiant Nathan Drison is famed throughout Severine. He has been the Chosen’s closest confidant for almost twenty years.”

“And by ‘close’ you mean?” hazard Patrick already suspecting the answer.

“Friend, advisor, travelling companion,” Sam listed on his fingers.

“And lover,” added Jason. Patrick wilted. Finishing a second drink his head fell to his chest. “Keep them coming, cleric.”

 

 

 

Closing the door behind them Brent smiled brightly at his guest. Stepping inside Nathan slowly let his eyes wander around the room. “It’s changed,” he commented admiring a painting of their old company. “For the better I hope,” grinned Brent gazing at his companion. Nathan looked back over his shoulder and gave him a wry smile. Grey eyes then fell on the opened door to Patrick’s room. “You share your quarters,” observed Nathan catching his eyes. “I’d have never expected that from you, Alex.”

 

The blue-eyed paladin froze. Nathan smirked and nodded. “Aye, I got your letter Alexander Tor’al.” The Chosen’s eyes misted over and his shoulders fell. Dropping his mental barriers he succumbed to Nathan’s warm embrace. “It has been years since you called me that,” he murmured into Nathan’s shoulder. He felt a hand cup the back of his head and pull him close. “Aye,” replied Nathan quietly, “such words are dangerous but I feel they are appropriate for now.”

“I need you Nathan but I only expected a letter. I never thought you’d come.” Holding the Chosen close Nathan kissed his forehead lovingly. “What did I promise you when we parted? That I would support you as I did my Brent T’elc.” The Chosen smiled and hugged him tight. “Now,” said Nathan taking his shoulders in hand and holding him at arm’s length. “Are you ready to discuss what was in your letter?”

 

 

 

“Another drink,” demanded a surly Patrick. Damien narrowed his eyes and frowned. “You’ve had enough Patrick.”

“Have to do something until they’re finished,” Patrick snarled lifting his mug skywards. “I’ve already been cast aside so why not drink? Unless of course . . .” He looked at his drinking companion and laid a hand on his knee. “You are rather cute,” Patrick observed, “and I haven’t seen you flirting with any women tonight. Perhaps you’d like to try the other side of the fence?” Damien’s eyes darkened with anger. Removing the offending hand he said coldly, “Not interested.”

 

“Oh?” questioned Patrick leaning close and whispering by his ear. “Aren’t you at all interested in having someone suck your juicy cock tonight?” Seeing Damien stiffen he chuckled and sat back in his chair. “There is a reason why I never had to buy a meal when travelling. Or a bed either if I so chose.” His sneer increased until the paladin laid a hand on his chest and yanked him forward. “Now listen,” threatened Damien, his fingers digging into Patrick’s shirt and twisting the neckline tight. “I don’t know why the Chosen suffers you, you venereal pig! Don’t ever touch me like that again. I may not like your choice of bed mates but I will not tolerate having you insinuate that I partake of such filthy habits.” Thrusting him roughly away Damien stood and dusted off his pants. “You disgust me,” he muttered and walked off without a backward glance.

 

 

 

Nathan propped himself up on one elbow and looked across the bed at his friend. “Then what’s stopping you, Alex? It sounds like the chemistry is right. You both care for each other and he obviously wants what’s in your pants if he’s wandering around butt naked in your room.” Brent sighed and hooked his leg between Nathan’s.

“As ashamed as I am to admit it,” he said quietly, “I thought I loved Daevon right until the end. How can I be sure that this time it truly is love?” Nathan gently ran his fingers along Brent’s arm. “You know how I feel about my lover. Even with death separating us he remains the other part of my soul.” Seeing Brent nod he continued. “I also know that you loved us just as we loved you. So my question is this: do you feel about Patrick the same way you feel about me?” His lips quirked at the side. “With the added element of wanting to fuck his tight arsehole of course.” Brent’s face flamed. “Nathan! I’ve never heard such language from you.” Nathan chuckled, his fingers tugging on Brent’s hair and drawing him close to softly kiss. “You don’t know the half of what I used to say to your predecessor.” Nathan smiled kindly and rested Brent’s head on his chest.

 

 

 

Hurting and quite drunk Patrick staggered to his feet and wandered into the kitchen. Unable to find booze he did however stumble across a tired kitchen hand. The man grinned and waved at him in a friendly manner. “S’up?” asked Patrick resting against the wall. “Not much,” the kitchen hand answered with a smile. “I’ll be finished in a minute.” His eyes travelled down the length of the man’s body while he washed the dishes. He was older but neat and tidy. “You get enough to eat?” the man asked reaching for a towel to dry his hands. “Yeah,” answered Patrick, “but I’m hungry for other things now.”

 

“Oh?” replied the kitchen hand turning to grin at him. “Not many folk come in here lest they want another sandwich for the road.” Patrick smirked, his eyes flicking to the man’s groin. “I’m not after a sandwich but I’ll happily take some meat,” he replied. The man grinned back and placed a hand on the wall by his head. “I’m up for that,” he murmured. “Get on your knees,” he ordered, one hand already unbuckling his belt. Grinning wolfishly Patrick fell to his knees and licked his lips in anticipation. Yet for the first time in his life, when faced with a thick piece of meat, he found his desire dry up. His heart felt heavy and his mind’s eye pictured sad blue eyes. Bowing his head Patrick groaned in pain. Getting to his feet he shook his head at the stranger. “I can’t,” he apologised and stumbled out of the kitchen.

 

 

 

In the wee hours of the morning an inebriated and sorry looking Patrick poked his head around the door into Brent’s chambers. In the moonlight he saw his master bare-chested and asleep in another man’s arms. Fury boiled his blood only to be replaced by the pain of loss. He stood looking down at the entwined bodies bathed in palest blue light. “You should have been mine,” he muttered, the anger gone from his voice to be replaced by hopelessness born from a night of heavy drinking.

 

His master continued to sleep, his head resting on the stranger’s chest and a hand over his heart. Wiping his face Patrick groaned softly and sniffed. His eyes travelled to the stranger. Muscular and well formed, he had none of the fat older warriors developed when they retired from the field. He saw a light scattering of hair decorating his chest in a T formation and lifted his gaze higher.

 

Steel grey eyes burned into his, trapping and ensorcelling his mind. Frozen like a rabbit caught in a snowdrift too long Patrick was unable to look away. The paladin’s eyes cut through his inebriation and saw every secret Patrick tried to hide. 

 

He watched as Nathan put a finger to his lips. Bowing his head the paladin kissed the sleeping man’s brow and gently disentangled himself from his embrace. Slipping a pillow into his position Nathan reclaimed his shirt and signalled for Patrick to follow him.

 

Leaving the room Patrick felt his blood begin to boil again. This stranger simply came to the Keep and walked into his master’s bed within minutes of announcing his presence! While he, Patrick Owins, had spent almost two months wooing the reluctant paladin and risking life and limb, not to mention the frustration of going without, all for a few kisses that he could count on one hand! His master wanted love yet here he was shacking up with a man fresh off the street who wouldn’t even stay with him! It was all so unfair.

 

Reaching the chapel Nathan beckoned him in and closed the door. “You are Patrick,” he stated simply when Patrick glared at him. “You’re bloody right I am!” hissed Patrick, his slur more pronounced with his anger. He let off a string of profanities. Ignoring Nathan’s distasteful expression Patrick stormed closer and tried to punch his chiselled jaw. Catching the drunken man’s fist with ease Nathan squeezed it tightly and twisted his hand backwards until he whimpered. “Sit down,” he warned coldly, “and shut up.” Releasing him Nathan pointed to the closest pew. Nursing his wounded hand Patrick’s eyes flashed with fury but he complied when the paladin raised an eyebrow in question.

 

“You two,” began Nathan, “have to stop acting like little boys and grow up.”

“I’m an adult!” retorted Patrick. “I’ve been on my own. I know the ways of the world.”

“Rutting in the mud is not being an adult,” sneered Nathan dismissively. “No, I’m referring to him talking and you taking his concerns seriously.” Patrick rolled his eyes and snorted. “As if you know anything about it.”

“I’ve had my share,” responded Nathan. Grey eyes locked with his from across the room. “You’re nothing special, Patrick. Your love is no different from any of the countless others that have fallen in love over the centuries. Relationships hurt. They’re full of fear.” Turning Nathan headed for the exit.

“So what? I should back away and let you have him?” shouted Patrick recklessly. Pausing by the door Nathan spoke quietly. “Get over it. Be a man and decide for certain if this is really what you want. Think about it. Sober up. We’ll speak on the morrow.”

 

 

Brent stirred as warm arms encased his body and drew him close. A man chuckled softly at his questioning groan and gentle lips left their mark on his forehead. “Rest, soldier boy,” murmured Nathan resettling under the covers. “It will be okay.” Nuzzling into his strong embrace Brent sighed happily, his hand once more on Nathan’s chest, as he fell back into a dreamless sleep.

 

 

 

By the time his pounding head had cleared Patrick was feeling very guilty and confused about his actions the previous night. Having slept in the bathing room he took a long soak and watched the various people come and go. A familiar face appeared and soon Jason joined him in the water. “Nothing like a good soak, eh?” he greeted with a smile. “Yeah,” replied Patrick half-heatedly.

“What’s up with you? Still hung up on Nathan’s return?” Jason asked. At Patrick’s nod he continued, “I wouldn’t worry about that if I was you. He’s got a wife waiting for him in the south.”

“What?” spluttered Patrick. “Then what the hell was he doing last night?!” Jason waved away his comment. “Ack I don’t want images in my head!”

 

“OWINS!” came a loud bark from the doorway. A tall broad shouldered man scanned the room for his target. Patrick cringed. “Gotta go,” he mumbled climbing out of the water and towelling off. Dressed he hurried over to the grey-eyed paladin. Without a word Nathan turned and headed for the stairs.

 

 

“It’s funny,” observed Patrick dryly, “that you would choose the same place he does.” They stood on the roof of the Keep looking down at the people milling about. The hint of a smile flicked across the paladin’s lips. “He likes roof tops,” he explained quietly, “because there is freedom here. No one watching or looking down in judgement.” Patrick leant between the turrets and mindlessly watched the competitions. “Do you love him?” he blurted unable to keep the burning question inside any longer. “I have loved Brent with every fibre of my being for the better part of my life,” replied Nathan calmly. “And I love my soldier boy still today.”

 

“But I heard you have a wife.” Patrick glanced sidelong at him wanting to catch his reaction. Nathan smiled warmly and withdrew a large locket from under his shirt. Snapping it open he showed Patrick an image of a black hair beauty, her eyes lit up with joy. “Vanessa,” Nathan claimed proudly. Patrick let out a low whistle. “Not my type but hey,” he complimented. Bringing the image back to his sight Nathan chuckled and gazed with loving fondness at her face. “We’ve a little one on the way. A girl I hope.”

 

Patrick grinned then recalled the seriousness of their situation. “Then why were you in bed with Brent?” Clipping the locket shut the paladin focused his gaze on the young man. Ignoring the question he countered with one of his own. “You and the Chosen. Are you sure that is really what you want?”

Patrick’s expression hardened. “Haven’t you people caught on yet? I don’t care what you think I should do. I want him. I can’t help the fact that the most amazing man I’ve ever met is also the Chosen but it won’t make me love him any less.”

“So you do love him,” stated Nathan with a smirk. Patrick rolled his eyes.

“Of course I do. It’s not hard to understand why.” His eyes narrowed. “Wait. You believed me too readily for this to be a coincidence. What did you do?” Nathan chuckled knowingly and left his question unanswered. “Is there any reason the Chosen may need to fear you?”

 

“What? Back up a few paces. What the fuck is going on?” The paladin lifted a hand and dusted his fingernails on his royal blue shirt. “I cast zone of truth on this area while you were distracted. Now answer the question.”

“Arrgh! What is it with you and Brent zone of truthing everywhere I go?” exclaimed Patrick throwing his arms up in the air. Frustrated he folded his arms over his chest and glared at the paladin. A small smile graced Nathan’s lips and lit his eyes. As loathed as he was to admit it, Patrick could see why his master was attracted to this infuriating man.

 

“Patrick, I have a fair amount of influence over whether or not you have a relationship with my Brent,” warned Nathan quietly. Patrick noted his self-assured use of the word ‘my’ and grimaced. “And so I repeat; does the Chosen need fear you in any way?” reiterated Nathan. “Any action you might do, anything you might say?”

“What do you mean?” asked Patrick. “Are you saying that people will judge Brent on how well I know religion and stuff?” Nathan’s mouth quirked to the side.

“If you are not respectful, if you speak poorly of him or your relationship at any time, if you cheat, it can drag him down and give power to his enemies.”

“He has enemies?”

“Aye he does,” replied Nathan seriously. “But this is neither the place nor time to discuss it.”

“Is that why you came? To check up on him?”

“In a way, yes. We often correspond but his latest letter was . . . concerning. I came innocuously as the Black Knight so that I might observe you both and draw my own conclusions.”

 

Patrick nodded slowly and rubbing his upper arm subconsciously. “What did you find?” he asked softly. Reading the hesitation on his face Nathan placed his hands on his shoulders. “That you care for each other deeply. That, perhaps, your teasing ways will bring back the soldier boy I once knew. Now answer me.”

“I’m an outrageous flirt but, well, as drunk and angry as I was last night, I still couldn’t go off with another man. So no, I don’t think he has any reason to fear me.”

“Then I have a final question for you, Patrick.” Grey eyes searched his. “Are you a danger to Brent?” The manservant frowned in confusion.

“How is that any different from your first question?”

“The Chosen is his title, his position and the face he puts on when he leaves his room. But inside, in those few precious moments where he can lay down his burden, he is simply a man.” Patrick considered his words for several moments.

“I don’t think I am. I mean, I like to flirt when he’s not around but I picked up pretty early on how he wanted me to act around him in public.” Patrick grinned to himself. “He’s very different in private, isn’t he?” Nathan gave him a wry smile.

“You have no idea how right you are, young man.”

 

“So,” asked Patrick kicking the ground absentmindedly, “are you going to go speak to him now?” The paladin shook his head. “But I thought you were going to help?”

“I am,” replied Nathan leaning one shoulder onto the turret. “I have a plan.” Patrick grinned and rubbed his hands together. “Well? Tell me.” Nathan chuckled and hooked an arm around his shoulders. “What I am about to tell you is a secret sure fire way to win someone’s reluctant heart.” Patrick snorted.

“How can you be sure it’ll work?” Nathan grinned toothily.

“Because Brent did it to me once and I’ve followed him ever since.”


© Copyright 2017 Justin Fyld. All rights reserved.

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