(continuation of Autumn)
Our pay was average, but my “findings” enabled us to splurge a bit on dinner. A rack of beef to share, a fresh loaf of bread, and milk to wash it all down gave us one of the best meals we’ve had in a while. There were even leftover coins in Elsworth’s purse when I returned it to him at Luella’s insistence.
“It’s a shame,” Simon said in our room that evening. “That was a nice coin purse.”
“I’m sure the headman thought so too when he got it.” Luella’s words were accompanied with a soft smack to Simon’s arm.
I smirked at the exchange as I folded up my cloak on one of the room’s chairs. It was still rather lumpy with my daggers, bandages, and liberated items from our travels, but as long as no one sat on it, it was fine.
“You alright there?” I asked Brom, noticing he had been over by the wash basin for longer than usual.
He glanced at me before scrubbing at his shoulder with the available cloth. “Elsworth’s touch was sweaty. Feels like the spot can’t get cleaned.”
Simon’s and Luella’s voices stilled from their bickering at Brom’s response, and Simon was by our warrior’s side with a bound. He glanced at the spot, red from continuous scrubbing, and poked it gently.
“Think I have some aloe paste left,” he said, ignoring Brom’s slight flinch. “Want some?”
“I could freeze something for you to use to numb it,” Luella offered.
“Don’t strain yourself,” Brom told the mage. He did, however, nod to Simon. “I’ll try the aloe.”
“Want it wrapped in bandages?” I asked, unfolding my cloak.
We moved to wrap up Brom’s shoulder, ensuring the bandages weren’t tight enough to hinder his movement or restrict his blood circulation. He swung his arm in a wide circle to test the bandages, his muscles only making a small tear appear by the armpit.
He ignored it, finding the tear insignificant, and nodded. His gaze anywhere but us, he murmured out another, “Thank you.”
“No problem.” Simon’s response was a loud contrast as he sealed up his small jar of aloe paste.
“If it doesn’t work,” I said, “let me know and I’ll get you some of the finest soaps this village sells.”
“Through legitimate means, of course,” Luella said.
“Considering you made me return the rest of the purse, we’ll have to see—”
“Let’s go to bed.” Brom cut us off, a small smile tugging at his lips as he fell onto one of the mattresses. Being the smallest and least likely to accidentally roll over onto his side after his episode, I took the other side of Brom’s mattress. Luella and Simon claimed the other.
I tossed Simon my extra pillow and he placed it on the floor next to his side. With how much he moved in his sleep, he wasn’t a stranger to his bedmate shoving him away only to have him tumble off the mattress. Being a deep sleeper, he tended not to notice until the morning.
The morning came much sooner than all of us cared for it to.
“It’s still dark out—” Simon’s words strangled themselves as a flash of light and a wave of heat washed into our room.
“Easy enough to see what’s gotten the village up at this hour.” Luella reached the window, hearing the shouts and alarms at the dragon’s appearance.
“Did the sands and troughs help keep the fires from spreading?” I asked.
“Difficult to tell with the smoke,” she answered.
“Are we staying to help,” was my next question, “or are we booking it in case the village feels our work wasn’t worth the payment?”
Luella’s eyes rolled and she grabbed her staff. Brom already had his axe in his hands and Simon shouldered his pack of supplies. I sighed as I put on my cloak and touched the hilt of my daggers.
“Here’s hoping chasing off a dragon is worth more than sanding a field,” I said, leading the way out of the inn and into the fray.