"Alexios! This is a pleasant surprise." Lykaon greeted the mercenary with a smile as he rode up and dismounted near the doctor's house.
After settling Phobos, Alexios walked over and hugged the healer. "It's good to see you again, Lykaon. I trust you're well?"
"As well as can be expected," Lykaon replied, returning the hug with a relieved smile. "And you? It has been some time since I last saw you."
Much to his surprise, Alexios slumped in his arms so his head rested on Lykaon's shoulder. "I'm exhausted. I've traveled far since I left you, seen and done so much..."
"If you're that tired, why are you here?" Lykaon couldn't resist asking, even as he gently rubbed Alexio's back, realizing that he wasn't wearing armor like he had when they'd met.
Lifting his head, Alexio's honey brown eyes met Lykaon's, a soft smile on his face. "I wanted to see you and I didn't want to wait any longer."
"I'm glad to see you again, but..." he trailed off, not sure how to explain that his grandmother happened to be visiting.
As observant as Lykaon remembered, Alexios asked, "Is Praxithea here? I'd like to see her."
"I'm here, misthios," Praxithea responded from the doorway, looking nervous, but determined. "Have you come to kill me after all?"
Disentangling himself from Alexios, Lykaon hurried to his grandmother's side. He'd come to terms with what she'd done and he would defend her if necessary. "No, Grandmother. You've done so much--"
"I'm not here to kill anyone," Alexios interrupted, joining them and taking Praxithea's hands in his. "I'm here to forgive you, Praxithea, for what your prophecy did to my family."
She stared up at him in confusion. "How can you forgive me? I did you a great injustice."
"Under duress," Lykaon reminded her, remembering their discussions since Alexios had rescued her from the bandits.
Alexios nodded. "Exactly, and my family is all alive and together again. We were hurt by the false prophecy you were forced to give us, but it only made us stronger."
"Thank you for your forgiveness." Praxithea gently freed her hands so she could hug him. "Even though I don't deserve it."
After she left, Lykaon led Alexios into his house. "What of the people who made her give all those false prophecies?"
"Gone." Alexios answered simply, stifling a yawn. "Wiped out by my hand."
Taking his hand, Lykaon guided Alexios into the bedroom. "So we are all safe from them."
"We are." It took little coaxing for Alexios to stretch out on the bed once he stepped out of his sandals. Then he tugged on Lykaon's hand. "Join me, please?"
Smiling faintly, Lykaon sat down on the edge of the bed. "You need sleep."
"I know. I'd like to hold you, that's all." Alexios' lazy smile made his heart melt.
His smile growing, Lykaon stretched out beside the misthios and draped his arm across his waist. "I'm glad to see you again, Alexios."
"I'm glad to be here again, Lykaon." Alexios kissed him, light and swift, before drifting off to sleep, a smile on his handsome face.
Smiling fondly, Lykaon rested his cheek against Alexios' hair and drifted off to sleep as well.