“It’s snowing.” Zuren said to no one in particular as he stared out the window.
“Jowey upstairs or out?” Alec asked as he downed a mug of ale in his hand.
“I’d say out, I haven’t seen her all morning.” Martain said as he washed some dishes in the sink.
“Wonder how long Paul’s gonna take?” Alec muttered.
“Hard to say.” Martain said drying his hands, “If it keeps up like this is could be another day. I know Jowey’s anxious about him coming back.”
“I would be too if I were in her boots.” Zuren pointed out.
Each sighed and nodded in agreement.
When the pair got back to the tavern, it was not only full, but everyone congratulated Paul on taming the Red Shadow. When they tried to deny it, everyone said how they could hear Jowey moaning all the way there. Needless to say that they excused themselves as red in the face as humanly possible.
At the base of the mountain however, Reggie and Paul were quickly ascending wanting to beat the storm that was rolling in.
“I don’t know how slippery the short cut’ll be in the snow.” Paul told his older brother as he finished explaining how he’d gotten down the mountain so fast.
Reggie nodded at his younger brother as they picked up the pace a lot more than they had.
“So tell me how much your Jowey has grown up.” He said curious to his brother’s unusual good mood.
“The true picture of beauty.” He said.
“Way to elaborate.” He scoffed, “I know you layed with her, just admit it.”
“I can’t admit it.” Paul said as a smirk tugged at his lips, “We weren’t in a bed when we did it.”
Reggie whistled, “Got her in the bath house.”
“Nope.” He said, “Against a tree.”
He chuckled deeply, “She really must be something then.”
“You have absolutely no idea.” He said.
Jowey on the other hand was running at top speed up the river towards the waterfall. She jumped up on the rocks leading to the top, pouncing up like a cat. She touched the top and continued on in a straight line.
When her breath became shallow, she stopped and turned around pulling out her blades and began to fight against an opponent that wasn’t there.
Sloppy. She thought as her left kick came out weaker than she wanted.
She sheathed her blades and took a deep breath as she looked up at the sky and the snow falling from it.
“Just like the first winter up here without you.” She whispered to the wind as it carried her voice to an unknown location.
All of them sat around a large hump of snow as more came down slowly covering them. Each of them said not a word, but they sat in silence staring at it. “We should gt back to the tavern.” Martain said and got up brushing all the snow off f him. “You’re right.” Zuren said following suit. “Are you coming, Jowey?” Alec asked as they started to walked away noticing the girl still sitting in front of their father’s grave. “You go on ahead.” She told them, “I wanted to do some training.” “Don’t stay out too late.” Martain called back to her as they walked. But his voice was mostly lost before it even reached her ears. Slowly she stood up and headed over to he river. She stripped down to her underwear and dove in. She began to swim. Strengthen your body and your mind. Her Baba’s words echoed in her head as she continued to swim until she became fully numb. “I will.” She whispered as she quickly dressed, “Just for him.”
She slowly walked back to the waterfall she had jumped up. Jumping back down and stripping down to her underwear again she placed her clothes on a rock where they’d be safe and sat under the ice cold rushing water as she was instantly drenched.
Cold. She thought. Just like before. . . .
She was left under a weeping willow tree when she was a few months old. The mountain sage and the boys found her in the snow. Somehow, she remembered something.
Red, everything was red. Everything was cold. She remembered pain in her neck, and crying out in pain. Something warm dripped onto her. She opened her eyes and saw a beautiful woman carrying her and rushing. loud noises, Bangs, pows. People screaming was the only thing that filled her ear drums. It was warm again, glancing over she saw fire. More yelling, something she couldn’t make out. Everything went black again. When she opened her eyes again, she was being held by Reggie as Paul handed him a bottle.
Jowey’s eyes shot open realizing she had fallen into her daydreams again. Often she had them. Remembering little bits and pieces that never quite fit together in her mind.
She quickly got out from under the water fall and dressed.
“What could it mean?” She muttered as she walked back to the tavern.
She sighed and pushed the doors open stepping into the warmth.
“There you are!” Candice cheered, “Did you want something warm to eat?”
Before she could even answer, Candice had scurried off to the kitchen to get her something.
“Sure I guess.” Jowey muttered to herself and jammed her hands into her pockets as she walked towards the bar.
“How come your hair’s wet?” Martain asked without looking up at her.
“Training.” She replied and rubbed her face.
“Seems like more than that.” Misty said as she sat down next to her.
“Yeah, what’s wrong, Jowey?” Candice asked as she placed some hot stew and fresh bread in front of her.
She stared at it a moment debating weather or not she should tell them or not.
“Another day dream.” She finally admitted and went to rubbing the back of her head, “It’s nothing to worry about.”
“The one about you being left there?” Zuren asked.
She nodded and began to wolf down her bowl.
“Maybe Reggie could shed some light on what might have happened.” Martain suggested.
“They here yet?” She asked as she pulled back from the bowl to breath.
“Not yet, but soon hopefully.” He answered.
She nodded and finished, setting the bowl down and wiping her mouth on her sleeve.
“Go dry off.” Martain told her.
“Don’t tell me to do something I was going to do anyways.” She playfully snapped as she went up the stairs.
Jowey had just closed the door to her room when the tavern doors were pushed open and in entered two purple haired young men.