The cold was crawling up his back despite the fire warming his face. Maybe it was the wind, or the dipping temperatures of the early summer night, but he couldn’t help himself but shiver.
Casting glances at her, not even trying to be inconspicuous, searching her eyes. If she noticed, she did her best to ignore his gaze, which didn’t help his unease.
It had been four days since she walked into his camp, put down her bag, and seated herself opposite him across the small fire. After the first shock- and he must’ve been in shock, he was certain of it- they had fallen into a wordless routine. He meant to speak to her, but if he usually had few words, now he had none, all the while he was shouting a million questions at her in his head.
All of her movements were deliberate and efficient. Graceful even, but there was hard tension in her shoulders, he noted. All of her was hardened, in ways he could not have imagined. Seeing her again, her face void of that warm smile that everyone had come to draw strength from, it left him with a feeling of grief once more.
It wasn’t the scars, the memory of gunpowder smell in his nose when he searched for that hole in her head beneath the familiar blonde locks that made him hold his breath. It was the way she’d take her time skinning a rabbit she’d caught, hyperfocused on the task with gleeful fascination as blood ran over her hands. She was suddenly the most terrifying person he’d ever seen.