„By the Maker, give it to me, Alistair“, Lientje sighed.
The man next to her smiled and handed the shirt over to her.
He had spent half an evening with whining about the fact that Wynne had refused to mend any piece of his clothing in the future.
In a way, Lientje could understand the mage. None of them could count the holes and tears that have been mended by Wynne.
Alistair had been quite good in convincing her to help him with these kinds of repairs. But for two weeks Wynne’s “no” always stayed a “no”.
Since then he had tried to do it himself, without any satisfying results. His clothes were whole again, but he had been right when he had said that it would look ridiculous.
But he had shown it to her every night. Wynne had told her not to do it for him. She had said he had to learn it at some point.
Now, while she bit through the thread she had used, she was sure it had been more the fact that Alistair hadn’t stopped calling her grandmotherly.
Wynne always behaved like it was no big deal that she was older than the rest of the group, but Lientje assumed that it was more of a deal than she would admit.
“Here, finished.” She threw the shirt back to Alistair who had begun to clean their shoes at least a little bit.
“Oh, thank you. I wouldn’t know what to do without you.” He winked. They both knew he would possible be able to do this himself. With a bit practice, he would become better at it.
“Without me? Possibly ending up with no pants.”
He threw a questioning glance at her. Not that he kept his pants with her around, but he seemed to have no clue what she meant now.
“You would have to take the lead. Someone has to do it, you know. You told me once what that would end in. So I assume without me, you would end up with no pants,” she pointed to the shirt in his hands, “and no shirt.” She smiled widely. Without him she would have ended the same way he does in his nightmares of himself leading. Not so much with a ripped shirt or without pants, but more lost and helpless.
“Oh… oh, yeah, I suppose you’re right.” He returned the smile. “I’m lucky to have you here.”
A wicked smile tugged at her lips. “Lucky you, but now I want my reward.”
He started ginning. “A reward?”
“Yes, a reward. Do you think anything in life is for free?”
He looked at her with the exact same smile on his lips that she was showing him. He got the idea. “Are you thinking about anything in particular?”
He leaned forward and looked into her eyes. “Do I have to guess, or will you tell me?”
Lientje smiled a bit wider. “Oh I love it when you are guessing. I think I won’t tell you.”
He chuckled quietly, leaning even closer and gently nibbling at her earlobe.
Lientje tilted her head a bit to grant him better access to her ear and neck.
“I suppose I’m on the right track?”
She sighed when his lips wandered over her neck while he spoke.
“Hmm,” was the only thing she said.
Alistair smiled when he drew back to his former position.
Lientje opened her eyes and watched him from the corner of her eyes, a confused look on her face. “What do you think you are doing?”
He smiled. “I think I’m going to pay in installments.”
Lientje smiled and nodded once. Then she got up and strode towards their tent. Since she shared her tent with Alistair most of the time she couldn’t call it her own anymore. And she wouldn’t want to do so.
“Where are you going?” He called after her.
She turned around and smiled, but said nothing before she continued her way.
She heard him getting up and following her. He grabbed her around the waist and stopped her right in front of the tent. His lips were again gently moving over the skin of her neck.
“Oh you rethought your installments?”
He snickered, his breath brushing warm over her skin. “Not quite. Maybe just the intervals. I wouldn’t want you to think that I don’t pay off my debts.”
He turned her around and pulled her into a tight embrace, planting a kiss on her lips.
She thought about this while she was sitting in another chamber down in the Deep Roads, mending a hole in her own shirt. Her heart felt heavy with love for him, and she even missed him more than usual. She missed his smile, the way he looked at her when they were teasing each other, his lips, his embrace, his fingers on her skin and his caress when she wakes up due to the nightmares.
And the worst was that she didn’t know if she would ever see him again. Those thoughts about him didn’t make it any better. The more she thought about him, the more she missed him and wished him to be here at her side.