After the victory they drank hot mead together and watched the Orc corpses burn. Her people danced and chanted and cried out Hal - chief. She stood impassive. Silver strands flecked her red hair and dark pouches hung beneath her eyes, but Caranthir wanted her, this hawkish warrior woman - far more than the wife he'd left across the Sea.
At dawn he approached her, offering a fiefdom within Thargelion in exchange for his protection, but pride snapped in her grey eyes.
Her mouth was as taut as a bow's string. She did not need protection. Chief indeed.
Smiling, Caranthir withdrew.