The Morning After

Zahn woke to the welcome warmth of a plump little maiden nestled next to him. Carefully extricating himself from her he rose from the bed and put on his clothes before slinking off to find Lucinda and grab some much needed breakfast. He had a hell of a time finding her though, nearly exploring the entire castle until he discovered her in, of all places, the guard barracks.

It was the snoring that drew Zahn at first. The orc-girl snored like a dragon, usually keeping him awake during long nights in the deep and dark. Though it no doubt helped keep critters and unsavory folk away, because something that made that sort of sound no doubt wasn't one to be triffled with. If they knew the sound came from one of the sweetest creatures Zahn had ever encountered though...

The other guards were passed out, so deep into an alcohol-fueled coma that Lucinda's snoring fell on deaf ears. Anyone who didn't know Lucinda would assume the orc girl had returned with the men to enjoy some late night delights so despicable that even the goddess of debauchery, which Zahn was beginning to think was Cyndel at this point, would blush.

But then Zahn knew Lucinda quite well. The orc-girl was fully clothed and asleep on one of the bunks alone. One of her legs draped over the edge now dangled limply. Her boot having fallen off at some point during the night. Zahn picked up the boot and tenderly returned it to the green foot it belonged to. This was enough to stir the hungover orc to bitter consciousness.

"Zahn?" Lucinda said in a hushed tone. "What time is it?"

"Early morning, love." Zahn said with a sharp smile. "Time for us civilized folk to break or fast."

Lucinda yawned and nursed her head. "Sounds good to me."

"So tell me, what series of events brought you to the barracks?" Zahn asked.

"Some of the guys wanted to play cards and keep drinking." Lucinda smiled as he produced a large bag of gold from her coat. "Suffice it to say... they didn't expect me to be such a wizard with the cards."

Zahn pat his green compatriot firmly on the shoulder once she hopped out of the bunk. "Very nice. Then you can buy the supplies for our next journey."

Lucinda shrugged. "Fair enough."

They made their way down to the hall where they found Serenity half-awake at the table.

"Guess someone got up earlier than we did." Zahn remarked as he bid Serenity a hello.

"Is she hungover or just not awake? I can't tell." Lucinda said as she quickly put together a plate for herself.

"My dear, Lucinda." Zahn started. "This moon elf is far more innocent than even you. Dare I say she no doubt spent the entire night sober." He smiled at Serenity. "Though I do hope you had as much fun as the rest of us despite your reservations?"

---

Nate woke up in the tent with Kara's powerful arms coiled around him. She was holding him like a small child would a teddy bear. Her chin resting on his head with a small smile curling her lips as she slept peacefully. Though no child would've done the things she did to him last night.

For a moment Nate just basked in her presence. Enjoying her warmth and the sound of her breathing. But soon the call of nature demanded he leave her for the moment and struggled free of her grip. She awoke and released him. She shot him a fake look of hurt.

"Eager to leave me so soon?" She mocked a pained tone.

Nathan cinched up his breeches and threw on his cloak to protect him from the cold morning air. "Can't help it, gotta wiz to throw."

"Hurry back." Kara said in a sultry tone.

"Don't tell me you want to go again." Nate said.

The look in her eye was all the response he needed.

"Damn girl, you're gonna kill me." Though death by snu-snu was by far the most appealing way he'd ever want to go, though Nathan wouldn't admit it. He left the tent and made his way to a nearby tree to do his business.

Aside from the sound of his own stream there was no sound aside from a faint breeze going through the trees. It was chilly this morning and Nate could see his own breath. The stillness of the air was also bringing a different kind of chill. And maybe it was his own paranoia, but Nate felt somewhat uneasy.

Then he heard faint footfalls in the distance. Thank god for his high perception stat. Nate played it cool, however. He finished peeing and sauntered back to the tent where Kara was waiting for round five. However Nate quickly gestured for her to remain silent as he went to her and said in a hushed tone.

"We aren't alone..."

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