The Dragonborn Hunts

Onward

Katja’s internal clock woke her at what she hoped was sometime after dawn. Here on the Suite’s upper story, there was no natural light. She was pressed in between Wyll and Anders – and though it was a little crowded, it felt so wonderful to have them with her once again. The few days of separation had been far too long – but the passion of their reunion had been, perhaps, worth the trouble. Ooh. She lay there recalling the things they had done in bed last night. Taking them both on at once always left her feeling a bit overwhelmed.

Well, time for a bath before getting on with the day’s activities. Getting out of the bed without waking the men might be a bit of a trick, though. She chose to climb over Anders on the theory that he was harder to wake, but he still grabbed her as she made her way across. “Where do you think you’re going?” he murmured softly, hugging her to him.

“Bath time,” she whispered. His eyes popped open.

“I’ll come with you,” he said softly, and rolled out of bed. Wyll slept on. Well, this was a turnabout…

The two slipped on robes and descended the stairs. Evidently it was pretty early, for almost no one was stirring around the Suite. One early customer, dressed for traveling, sat eating a sweet roll and sipping tea while studying some papers propped on his table. Ellis was behind the bar. They waved to him and got into the tub, relaxing in the hot water. “The map’s in my pack,” Katja told Anders. “I guess you’re going to be needing it pretty soon.”

Anders’ expression was not a happy one. “I wish I didn’t have to leave again. I feel like I just got here. But I promised Sorine I’d take her back. I’m going to miss you…” She turned from where she sat beside him in the hot water and threw her arms around his neck, kissing him deeply. She’d scarcely been with him for a few hours, much of that time asleep, in the past several days.

“You’re going to just turn around and come right back, right?” Katja murmured.

He grinned at her ruefully. “Bloody well right!”

The two had climbed out of the pool and were sitting at the table deciding what to have for breakfast when Sorine and Ray emerged from behind the bar. They appeared to be dressed in their travel garb, and came swiftly over to the table. “Katja! When did you get in?” Sorine asked.

“Oh around 10 last night,” she replied. “Looks like you’re about ready to return to Fort Dawnguard?”

Sorine nodded, gesturing toward Ray. “Ray’s coming with us. I’ve sort of talked him into joining the Dawnguard.” Katja’s eyebrows rose. Ray had always seemed to be one of the Suite guys who, like Wyll, really enjoyed the hospitality aspects of his job and had taken relatively few quests – let alone something as serious and open-ended as joining the Dawnguard. That would be like signing up with the Companions, or perhaps the Blades. Maybe Anders’ belief that the connection between Sorine and Ray was more than a brief fling was accurate.

Searching for something to say, Katja finally came out with “I’m sure they’ll be glad to get you, Ray. You’re pretty good with a bow, from what I hear.” He nodded un-self-consciously, and smiled at Sorine. “The next time I’m down there, Sorine, I’ll be expecting a hot bath mind you,” Katja teased.

“That might be sooner than you think,” the older woman promised.

Unbidden, Ellis arrived at the table with a tray on which an array of breakfast goodies were presented. He set it down and passed them all plates, pouring mugs of tea for the four of them. Katja enjoyed a couple of the sweet rolls, which were fresh from the oven and smelled too good to pass up, while Anders had some scrambled eggs and a toasted bread roll with butter. The others ate with good appetite as well, and in short order they had finished their meal and all stood up.

Katja and Anders returned to the master bedroom, and found Wyll just finishing his dressing. Not expecting to go anywhere much today, he was wearing casual clothes. His friends soon donned their own garments, Anders going with armor since the region around Fort Dawnguard could be hazardous. On one occasion, they’d arrived there only to find themselves in a pitched battle with vampires.

They all went outside and Anders enfolded Katja in a careful embrace, then squeezed Wyll’s hand. “See you in about 30 hours,” he said. Then he, Sorine, and Ray walked on down the road far enough to assure that Katja and Wyll did not get included in their party, and soon shimmered out of sight. Katja stood gazing at the spot where they’d vanished and sighed. Wyll took her little hand in his big one and gave it a gentle squeeze, then put his powerful arm around her.

“We’ll all be back together pretty soon, love,” he told her philosophically. She smiled at him, and they returned inside.

76

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