Carrone was staring at Deline. She didn’t care; she had a whole pack to go through. “Seriously,” he complained, “why are we looking for a pebble in our packs? Do you know how long I’ve been carrying this pack?”
“Possibly as long as I’ve been carrying mine?”
“Probably longer! What are you looking for?”
“Something larger than a pebble that isn’t something you packed,” she reiterated. “Carrone, I will go through your whole pack myself if I have to.”Continue reading →
Deline shifted, not quite meeting Carrone’s gaze. “How do you think you know anything about this?” she snarled, the first thing that came to mind. What was she doing, anyway?
“I’m a hunter, Deline, I think I know about being hunted just a little bit. For starters, let’s get back to the – the place before we finish this argument, shall we? In case our friend gets loose or someone else is looking for you.”
Deline set her jaw and nodded. “Back,” she agreed. She stalked towards the cabin, barely minding things like cleaning up her trail. What did it matter, when the Haloran spy was probably going to tell the Talon exactly where she’d been, anyway? And then the Talon would put two and two together and-Continue reading →
She watched the pebble flow true and thunk hard against a forehead before she had time to process who was standing there. No weapons out, no Imperial insignia, not someone she knew — they looked startled and took three steps back.
She dropped her slingshot in a pouch and grabbed her longknife. “Hello.” If they had darts, they’d be going for a pouch; a wrist-dagger, they’d be shifting their wrist, a sword or blade, reaching for their back or thigh. Sher shifted her weight to her back leg and got ready to block with a wrist or an elbow if she had to.
The woman had her hand halfway to her neck when the “Hello” seemed to make her pause. With her hand still hanging in the air over her shoulder, she cleared her throat. “Hello.”
“Are you here to kill me?” The woman had the same blonde Bear-family hair as Deline, the same blue eyes and broad shoulders. Probably not a Deklegion bounty hunter, but it didn’t do to take stupid risks.
“Depends.” The woman rubbed her forehead where the rock had hit her. “Who are you?”Continue reading →
“Are you sure you know how to hunt things that aren’t people?”
Deline was teasing Carrone – mostly. They had been living in the cabin for four days, and she was beginning to get more on edge than she wanted to admit.
It was easy enough to settle in to a routine – gather and hunt in the morning, cook a big meal in the afternoon and settle in to bed in the evening. It was easy enough to pretend that they were just having a little rest stop along the way, getting to know each other. But Deline knew that they were hiding, and she knew that she had to get back to the capital, and she knew that with every day she didn’t – with every day she didn’t make it back, there was a chance that they wouldn’t make it back, and if they didn’t, her information died with her. And that wasn’t acceptable.
The thing about an Imperial Bed was, even if it wasn’t exactly comfortable in an emotional sense, it was always perfectly comfortable in a physical sense. The spells that Deline used to keep her lodgings tolerable were the basis of the magic on the Imperial bed, but then there were layers and layers of other work there. One could lay here forever and not get the slightest bit uncomfortable – or at least for decades, until the spells wore off.
Author’s Note: This chapter is as the title says, literally. That is, they have sex. There is no conversation and no plot in this chapter, so if you’re not interested in the sex, you can safely skip this week. 🐻
For a moment, Deline thought that Carrone was simply stuck on a never ending circle. Then she realized that he was smiling.
She smiled back at him. “Well.” She raised her eyebrows. “I’d say ‘wouldn’t you like to know,” but I think we already established that you have an interest and an opportunity. But if we’re talking about the furniture… you could go upstairs and take a look yourself. It’s not quite as modern as the one back in the Capitol, but it’s an Imperial Bed.”