It was the middle of the day as their cart was steadily moving down the dirt road with Lawrence in the drivers seat and Holo leaning on his arm her amber ears and tail where on display, her eyes where half closed and a small smile appeared every time she breathed in Lawrence scent Lawrence’s eyes where fixed to the road ahead of them. Every so often he would look down at the wise wolf and he would see the small smile become a bit bigger from him acknowledging her, every time he looked at her she felt happy as if all the worries of her home being destroyed where gone.
They had quit pretending to be a couple in towns and villages three weeks ago and became an actual couple, it took Holo time to admit she had feeling’s for Lawrence with her being a wise proud wolf. The wise part of her was at war with her pride, the pride was saying don’t put yourself at the same level as a man who hasn’t lived a tenth of what you have, a man who has seen very little outside of business, but the wise part of her was telling her to be with him, he makes you happy he gave up so much for you he would only do that if he truly loves you. It took Holo time for the war inside of herself to finally end with her pride running with it’s tail between it’s legs from how wise she was, with the war inside herself over she confessed her feelings to Lawrence and they became a couple.
On the cart Holo was starting to fall asleep on Lawrence’s arm he looked down at her and said smiling “you shouldn’t fall asleep sitting up you will regret it” Holo smiled lightly and said in a quiet voice “I know I am the wise wolf after all any way your lap would be more comfortable” as she said that she slowly moved her head down to his lap to sleep Lawrence pulled a blanket out of the back of the cart and covered Holo with it, he gently placed one of his hands on the top of her head while having his other hand gripped firmly on the reins. He slowly massaged the place between her ears knowing full well how much she liked being petted like she was a tame wolf, the moment he started petting her like that she smiled Lawrence began to think to himself “have I a mere merchant tamed the wise wolf no... I can’t have tamed Holo goddess of rich harvest maybe Holo has tamed me instead”
One hour later Holo was starting to wake up Lawrence looked down to see her looking up at him with a big smile on her face, Holo decided to get up from Lawrence’s lap to sit next to him after she put the blanket back in the back of the cart Holo turned to face him and said in a demanding voice “I’m hungry do we have any meat left?” Lawrence looked back to the road in front of him as he spoke “I’m sorry we ate the last of it yesterday” Holo looked down at his hand and a small grin started to appear on her face she quickly said “well then your hand will have to feed the wolf” as she said that Holo grabbed Lawrence’s hand and put it in her mouth Lawrence quickly turned to Holo as he felt her teeth gently bite into his hand, after Lawrence realised she was playing with him he smiled and said in a playful tone “you could eat my hand but then I would not be able to pick up the apple I was saving for you” the moment he said that Holo’s mouth opened and a tiny bit of drool slid down from the corner of her mouth. Lawrence looked at her expression and moved to the edge of the cart and pulled the small door in the side of the cart pulling out a bright red apple and placed it in Holo’s hand, the moment she saw it her eye’s lit up Holo looked at Lawrence and said in a happy tone “you know the quickest ways to my heart” it did not take Holo long to eat the whole apple when she was done with the apple she leaned on Lawrence’s arm and looked up at him with a big thankful smile on her face “I thought we ran out of apples a week ago” Lawrence moved his head to look at her and smiled “we did but do you forget who you are with I can get you anything your heart desire’s”
20 minutes later Holo was leaning on Lawrence’s arm again her eye’s where closed but then Holo’s amber furred ears started to twitch and her eye’s shot open “Lawrence stop the cart!” Lawrence did as he was told and pulled on the reins bringing the horse to a complete stop, he looked to the small forest to the right side of the road and said in a concerned voice “what is it?” Holo eye’s narrowed as she looked at the forest “there’s something in there” Lawrence stared intensely at the forest trying to prepare himself for what was going to happen next “do you know what it is?” Holo sniffed the air a few times “wolves. Two of them chasing something, the thing that they are chasing smells odd similar but not at the same time” suddenly a man jumped out from the thick tree line about seven meters in front of the cart, the man was wearing a dark black jacket and dark blue trouser with a sword in his right hand the sword was trailing behind him as ran. Holo quickly pulled her hood up in case the man looked back and saw her, suddenly two wolves jumped out from the forest chasing after the man the wolf ran up alongside the man’s left side before the wolf was next to the man he quickly stopped running and swung his sword around cutting into the right side of the wolf’s body, the man quickly swung his sword on himself grabbing the end of the blade in his other hand just in time, as the second wolf jumped on him, the wolf quickly went for the man’s neck but only got the sword in it’s mouth, the wolf struggled trying to get closer to the man’s neck but the man pushed his sword into the wolf’s mouth. The wolf’s mouth was dripping in blood from where the blade had cut it and the end of the sword had a few drops of the man’s blood from the wolf pushing so hard on it, the wolf squirmed until it dropped on to the man, it’s mouth covered in it’s own blood the man pushed the wolf’s corpse off him and stood up and looked down at the two wolves he had just slain.
Holo and Lawrence where watching the whole thing as the man looked down at the wolves Holo saw not anger, fear or happiness for being the one to come out on top but she saw sadness for some reason, that is what was in his eyes. Lawrence wasn’t looking at the man’s eyes he was staring at the back of the man’s left hand at the small scar, Lawrence had a blank look on his face Holo looked at him “Lawrence what’s wrong with you? You look like you have seen a ghost” he slowly turn his head to look at Holo and quietly said “no not a ghost but someone who I thought I would not see ever again” Lawrence whipped the reins to get the cart moving again as the man slowly dragged the wolves carcases to the side of the road. When the man heard the cart getting closer he looked up from what he was doing and saw the silver haired man in the driver’s seat, instantly he started to walk over, when he was in shouting rang he shouted in a happy voice “Lawrence is that you, you silver haired money bags” Lawrence stopped the cart and got off to meet the man, Holo was confused by the man who’d killed two wolves and looked sad about it and Lawrence had a look of extreme shock on his face.
When the man was standing in front of Lawrence he gave Lawrence a quick manly hug “Lawrence I thought I would never see you again” the man was slightly shorter than Lawrence with pale white skin, he had short scruffy dark brown hair and green eyes. The look of shock left Lawrence’s face when he knew he was right in thinking it was his old friend, Lawrence then said in a happy tone “me to I thought the last time was the last I’d see of you” the man looked over Lawrence’s shoulder to see the young woman looking down at them, he quickly walked around Lawrence to meet her “ hello my dear my name is James” Holo looked at him and replied “nice to meet you I’m Holo” James turned around to continue talking to Lawrence “James what are you doing out here miles from a town or village without a horse or supplies” he looked at Lawrence and replied “I did have a horse but when those wolves showed up it flicked me off and ran, taking all my stuff with it” the moment he said wolves a drop of sadness entered his face Lawrence didn’t notice it but Holo did.
Lawrence looked at James with a little smile on his face “looks like you need a ride we can take you to the next town” Lawrence climbed back up on to the driver’s seat while James walked to the back off the cart, Holo leaned into Lawrence “I don’t think we should let him travel with us there’s something off about him” Lawrence looked at her “something off about him? I’ve known him since we where kids we grew up in the same village” meanwhile James climbed into the back of the cart, the cart was covered in fur pelts with a cupboard at the end for storing food and water, James sat down only to be greeted by sharp teeth from one of the pelts “aaw” Lawrence and Holo quickly turned their heads to the noise that broke the silence only to see James jumping up rubbing his ass “I survived being attacked by wolves with next to no injuries only to be bit on the behind by a soon to be coat” Lawrence and Holo started to laugh at his comment. He sat down again slower this time avoiding any more teeth he took out a small cloth and started to clean the blood off his sword, the cloth made a squeak on the steel blade the squeaks got Holo’s attention she turned around to see James cleaning his sword. Holo jumped in the back of the cart opposite from James the quick jump into the cart made James jump, Holo was staring intensely at the sword, the blade was a dull silver and the handle was black with a wolf’s head, the base of the blade went into the wolf’s mouth, the eye’s of the wolf’s head had small green gems in them.
When James had cleaned all the blood off the blade of his sword he looked up to see Holo still staring at the sword intensely, after a few seconds Holo still staring at his sword spoke not moving her eye’s from the sword “there’s something familiar about that sword but I don’t know what” Holo was deep in thought trying to remember where she had seen that sword but she was brought out of her deep thought when James slowly moved the sword closer to her, Holo held out her hands as James passed the sword over to her “careful it’s sharp” the comment made Holo mad she was the wise wolf but she hid her anger and continued to look at the sword. After five minutes James smiled “still not figured it out have you” Holo growled under her breath before James spoke “you see these swords are pretty rare” Holo looked up at him and said in a slightly annoyed tone “why” James smiled “you see only people of the right family line or highly respected swordsmen are taught how to make one” Holo handed the sword back, slowly being careful not to touch the sharp edge “so which one are you?” James began to laugh “my grandfather taught me how to make it, the only people that are given them are knights” Holo went back to the front seat next to Lawrence and said in a smug tone “so you’re not a good swordsman then” James began to laugh even more “no wonder Lawrence has fallen for you” Lawrence turned his head to look at him “how do you know that?” James smiled and moved a bit closer to where they were sitting “well there’s the way she looks at you, it’s a bit of a giveaway and the fact when I was getting in the cart she leaned over kissing you”
The wise wolf decided to correct his remark in a serious tone “you are wrong, we were not kissing when you got in the back but you were right as well” Holo quickly grabbed Lawrence’s collar and pulled him to her face, Lawrence was shocked by Holo’s quick action but he just embraced Holo kissing him meanwhile James said in a happy playful tone “woo hoo nice one Lawrence you finally got a girlfriend” Holo and Lawrence broke their kiss after a few seconds with them both smiling and blushing slightly, James reached into his black jacket and pulled out a leather pouch with a cork in the top Holo instantly noticed it. James smiled and passed it to Holo “congratulations on the two of you finding each other” Holo did not comment she just took the cork off and drank it Holo let out a little cough and passed it to Lawrence, Lawrence then drank his share the moment when alcohol went down his throat Lawrence went into a huge coughing fit Holo looked at him with a devilish grin on her face “be careful it’s strong stuff” Holo leaned on Lawrence’s arm Lawrence then gave the leather pouch back to James “yeah it’s best you give that back to me, we don’t need a repeat of your first time drunk” Holo’s ears moved under her hood and said in a curious tone “why what happened?” Lawrence placed his hand on his face in embarrassment “no please don’t remind me of that” this comment only made Holo more curious , Holo thought to herself “ what could he be so embarrassed about?, what happened that day?” James smiled at the memory of what happened “Lawrence you know if a lady asks I must answer in full truth” Lawrence turned to Holo just as she spoke “so what happened to my poor Lawrence” the smile on James’s face got bigger “well there was five of us and we got Lawrence dressed up as an old man to buy all the wine” Holo looked at Lawrence in a bit of a shocked face “you where under age and drinking I never thought you would be so bold” Lawrence looked down in embarrassment as James continued “ so after we had the first few bottles Lawrence became a mad man singing and dancing badly, but the most embarrassing thing was when we were going home when Lawrence was passing the church and.... and....” Holo looked at him “and what, what happened next?” James began to laugh at what he was about to say “when he was walking pasted the church he... he... was singing a song about goblins the priest of that church grabbed him and took him in, they thought a demon had possessed him they poured a lakes worth of holy water on him and beat him with crosses to expel the demon” Holo was trying hard to hold in the laughter “they only realised he was drunk after half an hour of beating” Holo laugh hysterically at the story of drunken Lawrence putting her arm around Lawrence to comfort him, Lawrence decided to finally speak after the story of his past was told “that was a walk in the park to when my parents found out about our night out”
After the drunken Lawrence story Lawrence started to lightened up with Holo leaned on his arm again “come on Lawrence don’t be angry that I asked, I did it because I love you and I want to know everything about you” Lawrence moved his arm that she was leaning on and wrapped it around her hugging her tightly “I love you to Holo” Holo looked up at Lawrence’s smiling face she smiled back at him as they heard a voice from the back of the cart “you’re a lucky man Lawrence you have found someone who loves you” Lawrence and Holo didn’t look back at him they continued smiling at each other. “Oh Lawrence how did you know it was him?” Lawrence looked up with a guilty look on his face “well James has a scar on his left hand that... well... I put it there” Holo got up from leaning on Lawrence’s arm “what happened? did you get hurt too?” then they heard a voice from the back of the cart “no I was the only one to be hurt but it was half my fault” Holo looked at Lawrence’s guilty face “James made a bet, the bet was I couldn’t do the knife game at a high speed so I put my hand on top of his and... well I was planning on scaring him by pulling our hands away and stabbing where our hands were, but I slipped and his hand didn’t move and well you know the rest” Lawrence looked at Holo and then James, Lawrence said in a sad tone “sorry about that” James looked at him “it’s all right I shouldn’t have used the one weapon that all merchants fall to a big silver coin” Holo began to laugh “your right Lawrence did used to fall to money” James’s eyes locked on Holo “what do you mean used to?” Holo placed her hand on Lawrence’s head in a playful manner “money has become a second priority when I’m around” Lawrence was smiling at Holo’s comment “money only has a use if it makes my dear lady happy”
Lawrence pulled his head up looking up at the sky “so what are you doing so far north?” James looked up from his sword that he was polishing “well you know my line of work getting hired to protect travellers from highwaymen one trip after another and I’m all the way up here, after realising how far north I was I decided to keep going” Lawrence turned his head a little “why did you keep going? There’s less work up north” James put his sword in the scabbard on his back and replied “well my grandfather told me story’s about the north when I was a kid and I thought I might as well see it” the moment Holo heard that she turned around and quickly said “what story’s have you heard?” He looked at her in confusion as to why she was asking so persistently “well just stuff about the snow covered lands and some other things that I only remember bits and pieces of” Holo’s ears twitched there was something, he was hiding something, probably something small that doesn’t matter. “oh Lawrence remember when we were kids you said I’d probably be a knight when I was older” Lawrence turned his head around “yes what are you a knight?” James smiled and laughed “no but I nearly became one on several occasions” Lawrence looked at James in confusion “why didn’t you become a knight you’d have got good pay and a title why not take it?” James looked at Lawrence and Holo “well I worked with the church guarding them on journeys to towns and villages” the word church was enough to put Lawrence and Holo on high alert while James continued “but I declined them every time their knights and knights of a city are a lot different, church knights go around killing people that the church call demons and false gods, killing people that have done nothing to other people that is something that I don’t what to be a part off” after hearing that Lawrence calmed down but Holo was still on edge, Holo began to think to herself “what if he see’s my ears and tail and try’s to kill me, what if Lawrence get’s in the way of his blade like in the sewers, what if this time he dies”, tears began to form in Holo’s bright red eye’s as she looked at Lawrence, Lawrence look down at Holo seeing her face he pulled her close to him and hugged her Holo smiled her as the thoughts faded she just focused on him hugging her.