Everyone stared at the pair that glided across the floor. And gawked even more as the three men who ran the Tavern jumped and all five of them embraced each other. Things were definitely strange.
“It’s been a long time, Reggie.” Martain said as things settled down.
“It has.” The older man nodded.
“Can I offer either of you a drink? Finest in the land.” He assured.
“That would be very nice, thank you.” He said.
They sat down and chatted about this and that for a little while, before someone came up in conversation.
“Jowey’s gonna be ecstatic to see you.” Zuren laughed.
“Where is the young lady anyways?” He asked looking around, “Paul told about how fine a young woman she turned into.”
“She’s up in her room.” Martain said, “She was out training so we told her to have a bath and put on some dry cloths.”
“Still living on the edge, I see.”
Martain shrugged, “She’s better than what she was. But she’s gotten even better since Paul showed up.”
“I wonder why?” He smirked in sarcasm.
“I’m sure she’s done now.” He told Reggie, “Misty, can you lead Paul, and Reggie up t Jowey’s room?”
The red-head with her hair in a side ponytail nodded and lead the way up the stairs for the boys.
“It’s so good to meet you.” She said looking back, “Jowey has told all of us so much about you. I’m almost honoured to be in your presence.”
“I wouldn’t go that far Misty.” Reggie assured her, “I’m not much different from you.”
“You can read and write.” She said quietly.
“I’m more than happy to teach you if you’d like.”
“Really?” she gleamed turning around and stopping dead in her tracks.
He nodded and smiled. Misty quickly pulled the older man into a tight hug. She then just as quickly let go and proceeded to continually thank him before turning around with the worlds largest smile on her face.
One more flight of stairs and almost at the end of the hallway they came to a door that had no number on it.
Misty raised a fist to the door and knocked softly.
“Jowey,” She cooed, “There’s a couple of men here to see you.”
They waited a moment, two, three. Misty was about to knock again when the door flew open too fast for anyone to react.
Reggie was sent straight to the floor, something blurred black and white knocking him down.
A curved dagger raised in the air about to be brought down, when it stopped.
The long, raven haired girl straddling him sighed and stood up. She put her right hand on her hip and held the dagger in left at her side. She glanced between Reggie and Paul, before sighing again.
“I’m happy to see you guys too, but you need to understand just how many people are after me. Whether Paul supposedly brought my head in or not, not everyone is going to believe it.” She told them.
“You sure have changed.” Reggie said standing up.
“I could say the same for you.” She told him, “Come on inside, I’m getting a draft.”
It was only then that the two boys realized she was wearing her black pants, sloppily tucked into black boots, her hair was down and damp, and her shirt only consisted of wrappings she wore under her shirt that only covered her bust.
Jowey smiled at Misty to dismiss her, and she left. Jowey lead the way into her room and closed the door behind them.
It was the same size as all the other rooms, same wood, same window placing. But it was different. The head board of the bed was pressed up against the wall furthest from the door, it was open on either side. She had two wardrobes, both where open. One contained her cloths the other containing weapons. There was a small vanity in between the two wardrobes, on it was a few roles of wrappings, a small mirror, a few pieces of string, and dagger she had just placed on the table. She had a divider as well, that was right in front of the window, on it was her cloak, two belts, and what looked like a whip. The floor was littered with a few weapons, hilts stained with blood, but blades shined like the moon.
“Sorry about the mess.” Jowey said grabbing a random shirt from her wardrobe, “If I knew you guys were coming back so soon, I’d of cleaned up a little.”
“You’re room’s the same as the other girls in the tavern’s isn’t it?” Paul asked looking around again.
“Yeah.” She said as she disappeared behind the divider as to save the two brothers embarrassment, “There’s supposed to be three on every floor.” She continued, “One right at the stair case, one at the middle of the hall, and one at the end. That way the guys don’t have to g too far from their room’s for one. I requested this as it’s an ideal position.”
“How would you figure, guards come in your trapped.” Reggie told her.
“Or am I?” She asked and pushed the divider aside so they could see out the window. She had her shirt on and towel on her head.
She motioned to the window and they walked forward.
“It’s the third floor.” She told them leaning against the wall and drying her hair, “I can jump down no problem, if I can’t the tree’s there and provides a lot more coverage then you’d think, especially at night. These wall’s are thin, Reggie. I heard Misty shout downstairs and that’s what set me off, so I was ready for anything that came my way. Unfortunately I wasn’t expecting to see you guys so soon, but it was a pleasant surprise, I must admit.”
“I’m glad.” He smiled at the girl, “You know, Jowey, Paul told me something interesting on the way up here.”
“Yeah, we banged each other’s brains out.” She stated boardly and then threw the towel she was using to the other side of the room, “someday we’re gonna be in-laws.” She walked over to the vanity and picked up a hair brush hidden behind the mirror.
“He told me that, too, but it wasn’t what I was going to say.”
“Shoot.” Jowey told him, “Not literally.”
“I know.” He chuckled, “You’re the Red Shadow.”
“Point?” She asked.
“No point.” He said, “It was good to see you again.”
Jowey put down her brush and hugged him, ” I missed you, Reg.”
“I missed you to.” He placed a hand on top of her head and pulled away.
“I wanna have a long conversation with you later.” She told him.
“I’d enjoy that.” He smiled, “But for right now, I’m leaving you and your lover boy alone.”
She grinned up at him as Paul just scowled.
Reggie saw himself out and shut the door behind him.
“So?” Jowey asked.
“So?” Paul mimicked
“How’d you convince the king t not let marry your princess?” She asked.
“I didn’t have to.” He said and sat down on her bed, “When I went in she was crying, the king was yelling at her, she was pregnant. I told him I didn’t want to be a part of her anymore, and I was pardoned because I brought him the Red Shadow’s head.”
Jowey smiled and sat down next to him, leaning onto his shoulder.
“Who’s was it?” The I-told-you-so smirk was starting to pull at her lips as she tried to fight it.
“We don’t know.” He said and rested his head onto of her’s, “You were right.”
Jowey only smiled, successfully fighting off the smirk.
They stayed like that a few moments in silence before Paul broke it.
“I know you wanna say it, so just say it.” He told her.
“Say what?” She asked playing innocent.
“You were right, I was wrong. You knew her actions better than I did. I was blinded by lust, and could only see clearly when I had you to love. Just tell me ‘I told you so’ already!” He almost snapped.
“Why would I wanna do that?” She asked looking into his eyes, “You know what you did wrong and I know you wont do it again risk of loosing your manhood. . . . . or life, which ever I feel like taking at the time.”
Paul only flinched sightly. He knew better than to cross this woman. So he merely smiled, wrapped an arm around her waist, pulled her into his chest, and leaned them back on to her bed.
Jowey was listening to Paul’s heartbeat as drowsiness started to take over her. The fact that he was lovingly stroking her hair wasn’t helping that fact either.
Paul was comforted by her steady breathing and stillness in his arms. He too was slowly being lulled to sleep.