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31 Days of Fic

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A breeze brings a hint of flowers too sweet to be blooming in the cold seasons. There's honey and rose, neither of which are possible atop the Frostbacks mountains where the soil is too thin and rocky for deep and thirsty roots. Insects are abound, as they are where a crowd of people gather to leave crumbs and wastes and forgotten food for roaches, flies, and fleas. Grasshoppers jump through the weeds and crickets chirp at the waning sun but never is there a hum of bees, wild or tamed. Honey is too rare to be used for frivolous self care, anyway, and the training grounds are too far from the kitchens to catch a whiff of sweet cakes.

Fahleon smells it, too, and he tugs at his hair with frustrated jerks, deep lines of determination etching out the sharp corners of his jaw, as if each tug could tear the scent from him. It clings to him, much in the same way the servants Josephine sent to his chambers had even as he struggled from the bath they pulled him into and the soaps they rubbed him down with. It masked the natural woody smell of him - sap and dirt and worn leather. Old blood. Off-putting it was to nobles, their aid wasn't worth the perfumes and soaps.

Ada was hesitant to near him, now, and it took a moment's coercion with meat and low whistles to get her to come close. She watched him with a tilted head, wary, and the great flapping of her wings smacked him with the full force of her confusion until she settled at the customary perch at his shoulder with a beak full of fresh kill.

Fahleon ties up his hair again into a loose tail and hopes for the wind to change and take the smell away from him and the sweat beading on his skin to wash it off. He lifts his bow to another target. He could find a patch of mud to roll in, if nothing else.