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Briale stared out the window of her bedroom boredly, tapping her feather pen on the desk she was sitting at absentmindedly. It was such a nice day, and she just had to be doing boring paperwork. It brought her mood down, even taking a bit of a toll on Jaikur, who was anxious to get out of the room. 

She swiveled around in her chair and pet her bear, smiling when he started purring in happiness. She has had him since she was a young girl, ever since she took up becoming a ranger like Daeghun. She remembers the day she got him fondly...

It was a quiet night in the Mere, no one but her occupied it. She was sitting on a rock, watching the swamp water glisten in the moonlight. She had been able to escape Tarmas from his usual lecture, and taken solitude in the Mere. The air had a light breeze that made her want to stay out here forever.

She didn’t really care for West Harbor. The only people she liked were Daeghun and Bevil. She thought Amie was snobby and annoying, but she suffered through having to be around her because Bevil had the biggest crush on her and wanted her to play with them. What he saw in her she would never get.

A loud rustle in the bushes made Briale looked over, squinting to see what it was. A small, brown head poked out of the bush, tired and weary. It was clearly a baby, and had lost its mother. Whether it be hunters or the mother left mattered not to the young girl, as she slid off the rock slowly and treaded carefully to the small animal. The bear was hurt, limping from its back leg.

She crouched down to the animals level and put her hand out. Her heart hammered and she watched the bear sniff it and rub against it. The baby bear let out a loud mewl, and limped up to the girl and laid in her lap. Briale giggled, hugging her new found friend who she would cherish forever.

Briale watched Jaikur roll over on to his back and let out a bored huff. “I know boy, I want to go outside too..” She sympathized. 

She totally could go outside too! Who would dare to try and control her? She was the fucking Knight Captain of Crossroad Keep! Damn them if they tell her she can’t have the day off. 

Briale stood up abruptly, walking to the door. Jaikur stared in confusion but soon jumped off the bed — damn near breaking it — and trotted behind her happily. She ignored the look of contempt from Kana as she breezed through the Keep and out into the fresh air. It was warm, but not too warm to not be able to wear full armor. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. It was absolutely beautiful out. 

She clicked her tongue in a special way, and Karnwyr ran up to her. He brushed heads with Jaikur and happily accepted the nice rubs on his head. 

“It’s too nice out to not bask in it! Let’s go you two; we’re having a day off.” Briale smiled happily, as the wolf and bear let out happy cries.

They followed along a path that lead to a big pond. It wasn’t too far, so any scout could find them. Bishop would track them easily. She blushed at the thought of the rugged ranger. He would no doubt be wondering where his wolf went now, but she knew Karnwyr would much rather be with her than be yelled at by the brute.

They reached the pond and Briale signaled them to run off. The pair took off in a chase, slamming into the water and splashing around in it. She took her boots off and sat on her favorite rock, dipping her feet in the cooling water. It was tempting to just jump in it, but with the ranger always watching her, she’d best not do that.

A damn shame. Damn you Bishop.

What in the hells?

Bishop whistled again, but heard no response. No movement from what he could tell. Usually Karnwyr would respond immediately or at least make a signal that he heard. Where the hell was that mutt? 

Was he dead?

No, he wasn’t that stupid. Karnwyr was smarter than anyone he knew. Smarter than the paladin, the stumpy dwarf, the gith, anyone.

’Except your dear Knight Captain’ He ignored his minds taunt and sniffed the air.

No sign of him nearby. Well shit.

”Where the hells did you run off to, mangy dog..” He murmured, pulling his bow out in case there was anyone around. You can never be too careful. 

‘Found your trail, little puppy. You’re mine.’ He thought and headed off towards the wolf’s direction.

Karnwyr growled playfully, swiping at the big bear in front of him. Jaikur lifted his paw and slammed it onto the wolf, holding his head down. Karnwyr whined, trying to wiggle his way out of the bear’s grip. It was obvious Jaikur wasn’t hurting him, just holding him down for amusement. 

Briale giggled from her spot and smiled. How glad she was to have come out here with the animals and give them a break. All week, they've been going into ruins and traveling and fighting enemies, with no breaks. Today would have been their only break, as they head off for the Mere to see the Circle with Elanee tomorrow. There was no way in Hells she was doing any work today. 

Her ears perked up at the sound of near silent footsteps nearby, and she knew who it was. No one else walked that quietly besides...

”Bishop.” She said calmly, halting the footsteps right behind her. A low chuckle sounded behind her, and she turned around to the ranger right in front of her. 

“So, what did you think you would accomplish with taking my wolf from me, Captain? Is your bear not enough to protect you?” He sneered, glaring at her. She rolled her eyes and turned back around.

”No. I thought the animals deserved a break, considering how we’re heading out for the Mere tomorrow and today was our rest day. They deserved a break, Bishop.” She snapped. Karnwyr and Jaikur stopped playing, the wolf tucking his tail between his legs and lowering his head. Bishop snorted.

”I think the animals will be fine. The mangy runts aren’t delicate, you know.” Briale rolled her eyes.

”Everyone needs a break every once in a while. Even you do too, with you being grumpy from lack of rest.” She grinned up at him. Bishop crossed his arms defensively. He was not grumpy.

”The gnome was being annoying! What did you expect, me to just be happy with that nuisance talking his ass off every second? Hells no.” He sat down next to her, much to her dismay, and waved Karnwyr off. Karnwyr let out a happy bark and ran off into the pond with Jaikur.

She covered her mouth with her hand and giggled. “Whatever you say, Bishop.” She smiled at him. ‘Dammit..’ Bishop stared at her. Her hair was down in loose curls, previously kept up in a braid for a long period of time. Her face was clean of dirt, as she had finally bathed when she trusted that Bishop wasn’t there.

He couldn’t help but stare.

Briale blushed with the intensity of Bishop’s stare, his yellow eyes studying her face. She had not realized how close they were until just now, their faces only inches apart.

’Is he going to kiss me?’ She wondered, staring right back at the man with a teasing look in her eyes. He cursed to himself before capturing her lips with his.

”Oh!” She let out a little squeak, eyes widening as Bishop pushed her down onto her back, laying flush against her, trapping her with his hands. She closed her eyes and returned the kiss, reaching up to pull him to her by the neck. 

He groaned lightly as they deepened the kiss. Oh how badly he wanted to take her, right here right now. He should’ve. But he couldn’t.

His rough hands grabbed at her hips, pushing her legs apart with his knee. She moaned when his legs brushed her lower regions, a fire ignited in her that had spread to everywhere. Only he could do this to her, only he could light this fire so deep inside her. 

She gripped his jerkin tightly, pulling him closer. All she could breathe in was the smell of pine, smoke, and a hint of honey. He was everywhere. She loved it.

He was suddenly flipped over, his arms pinned above his head. Briale smirked into the kiss. Bishop wanted to laugh at her. ‘You think you can best me, little girl?’

He bit her lip, causing her to loosen her grip. He then grabbed her wrists and slammed her down besides them. His knees pinned her legs down, and she struggled against the hold. He gripped her wrists tighter, kissing her deeper and pressing his bulge against her. She let out a breathy sigh at the contact.

’What are you doing? Stop this before you do something you regret.’

Bishop suddenly pulled back, staring at her with an unreadable expression. He then covered it with a smirk, and slid off of her. 

“I would never sleep with a wench like you. If I wanted to, I’d go to a brothel.” And there he was, back to being an asshole. Any other girl would be offended and probably slap him, but she knew it was a cover. A cover of what, she didn’t know. But a cover nonetheless.

He whistled, watching the wolf break free of the bear’s hold and run up to his master, tongue lolled out happily. He looked down at the beautiful woman in front of him, looked at the wonderful flush she had on her creamy skin. Her hair fanned out beautifully past her shoulders. She looked majestic. 

He had to leave. He could barely breathe next to her. He wanted to go back down and take her, take her like how he did before. Before everything went to Hells. 

“I’ll be seeing you, Captain.” He raised two fingers in a mock salute and turned around, walking away from the woman on the grass who was still staring up at the sky in confusion, lust, and content.

Briale closed her eyes and listened to the rustle of the leaves on the trees, a breeze passing through. Of all men she had to fancy, why did it have to be him? 

Damn you, heart.