“Yo, pass the sausage.” Abhay grunted, his mouth full of rice and other assorted meet. “Like now, I don’t know how much longer I can swallow this and have it not come back up. I need to taste it before I get sick.”
“Abhay please!” Ray sighed, covering her eyes with her hand.
"What? I am not going to die. You know that more than anyone." He nudged her and smiled, his cheeks bulging with food.
"Swallow please." She replied, her eyes squinting in disgust.
"Hey, I heard you are trying to seek out the Trinity." Spencer said, coming to their table and whipping his slender hands on his white apron. He threw a rolled up piece of parchment down and watched as they stared at it. "I believe this will help."
"Uh, thank you." Rentham said and started to unroll it.
"Oh, its a map." Drusilla said as she popped a small piece of a roll into her mouth.
"Yes. It states that the Warlock of Light is . . . being held prisoner." Rey danced his fingers along it for a moment, his sharp, icy eyes flitting across it.
"You know what that means?" Abhay asked, gulping down a swig of ale. "That, right there, is action. Adventure and action."
"Oh yay." Ray waved her head back and fourth sarcastically, laughing a little as her companion glared at her. "Don't you think we have had enough adventure for one lifetime?"
"Much more, and I don't intent to stop." He shrugged and bit into a juicy leg of bull. "You guys are going to have fun with that."
"Your not coming with us?" Rey asked, a split second of disappointment showing on his face.
"Oh yes we are!"
"No, we are not." Ray hissed beneath her scarf. "Abhay, control yourself. We are here to relax. Out there I am hunted, and we have barely been here more than two days."
"Its just because that one baker friend of yours is starting to get overly friendly isn't it?" Abhay laughed, pointing. "You sap."
"What . . . baker friend?" She asked, sitting back and staring at him. "What in the name of the Abyss are you talking about? Are you drunk?"
"No, but you are-" He took a swig of ale. "On love!"
Her hand flew across the area and slapped him across the face, making him spit his drink out all over the floor, and drawing a grimace out of Spencer.
"You wanna go?" Abhay asked, balling his fists.
"Come at me." Ray stood up, taking a few steps back, her thick, gray robes slapping at her feet as she took a stance.
"Come on guys!" The bar tender shouted, jumping over the counter and getting in between them. "Please, I am done with replacing tables! I would like to have them be old for once! Gives the place some character. Now sit down and eat your food."
"Yes mommy." Abhay mocked and than sat down, Spencer giving him a glare as he returned to his spot.
"We are not going Abhay, that is final." The mage stated and turned around, going back up to her room they guessed.
"Yes we are." The wanderer said under his breath and than pushed his plate away. "Rentham, you look like you need some help with this."
"Well, I can use all the help I have, but you two are not essential to this mission. I have fought many battles with my companions, and we are all we need. I would be grateful if you could come, but if your friend is bent on refusal, than stay. I do not want to break anything here."
"Nah, she will come, she is just so lazy its not funny anymore. I'll go talk to her." The wanderer got up and jogged up the stares to the upper room.
"Do you really want them to come?" Blagdon asked, his now yellow eyes shinning out from the dark corner. "I fear that they will be a nuisance to the mission."
"Don't you hate the Light?" Drusilla tilted her head, staring back at him as he shifted a little.
"I don't hate anything." He replied. "And I don't like sitting in dark shadows just to escape the terrible hand of death."
"I thought you were the most powerful magic user of all time, you know, besides your sister and the Light?" Rey asked.
"I am, but . . . never mind, you all." He waved a shadow for a hand. "Stop asking such idiotic questions. Leave me in peace."
"You are coming with us are you not?" Rentham asked, standing up and checking his gear and gold.
"Yes, I am."
"Good. Lets go ask Abhay if they are coming, and than we will depart." They got up, pushing their chairs in and following their leader to the upper rooms.
"Ray." Abhay said, knocking on her door softly.
"What do you want?"
"To speak with you. Come on, open the door please."
Slowly it squeaked open, her burned, now ungloved fingers wrapping around its side as she pulled it open. "Shut the door before light comes sneaking in here."
"Yeah, I know." He shut it behind him and sat down on the chair across the room, staring at the darkness. "Where are you?"
"Here." She touched his hand, letting him feel the bone that was once her finger.
"Is that shade covering the window well?" Abhay asked softly, his eyes adjusting to the absence of light.
"Yes, it is. Thank you for putting it up for me. Now what are you here for?"
"Ray . . . I want to go with them." Abhay said, shapes starting to appear.
"Why in the Abyss not?" He said loudly, seeing her form shift a little across the room.
"Because, they will pass, and we will be left to ourselves once again. We can't get attached to them." She sighed, her breath rattling in her throat.
"Your afraid of them aren't you?" Abhay reached out, taking one of her hands like it was a nearly shattered piece of glass. He felt the crisp skin, the white, charred bone, and the delicate yet strong veins that pumped her life blood. "Your afraid of loosing more friends."
"We have no friends. We never did." She pulled her hand away, one of her eyes showing in the darkness. It was glowing a soft red; the infravision of a Half-Elf.
"Yes we did. Have you forgotten them? You can't forget them Ray, you can't leave me here to live by myself." He felt a tinge of fear crawl down his spine, his eyes wide.
"I love you Abhay, that will never change."
"You have to love all of them, even . . . even Rajnish."
"DO NOT SPEAK HIS NAME!" Ray lunged forward, wrapping her hands around his throat. "I told you never to speak his name! He might come back here! He might try and reunite with me! I can't face him again, Abhay, I can't do that . . . again."
"I am sorry, but you have to."
"Look I . . . do still care for him. I did once, which means I will for an eternity, but he can never know that. Never!" Her face turned, her eye scanning the door. "I will not leave you here to die. Not without me."
"What are you talking about-" One of her fingers came up and hushed him.
"Here." A cold, hard blade was slipped into his hand.
"What is this for?" He looked up at her, his eyes seeing the shape of her face. She was nothing but a pile of muscle, with a single patch of white, beautiful skin around her right eye. Her left one was white like a marble, unseeing, damaged. She could use her magic to see through it when she needed to, but she couldn't keep it for long.
"Kill me, kill me here. I will do the same to you as well. We will do it at the same time, go to the after life together, we will live with them than Abhay! We will finally be together!"
He couldn't say he didn't think about it. His hands caressed the blade, the stroked it lovingly. He could do it, he could stab her, and he him. They could leave the world, they could depart together.
"Ray, tell me something." He asked, grasping her hand still.
"What?" She whispered, her tongue hitting her bare, lip-less teeth.
"When did you become such a coward?" He looked up at her, his hand sliding up to the side of her face. "This was never at option before. Why . . . why now?"
"I am tired Abhay." She answered, her head drooping. "I am tired of being alive. We are not supposed to live forever."
"No, but we are now, so lets live it." He wrapped her in a tight embrace. "I am tired too, but you know what? I would have already been dead long ago without you. I would of kept going, but I would of been the walking dead. I would of been a man without a soul. Through all of this time, you have been here, beside me. I don't know how it happened, how this bond was formed, but it has, and you have been a patient companion, to a bumbling fool."
"Same to you, my friend." She replied, a single tear falling form her right eye. "And you have been a compassionate comrade, to a snapping dragon."
"Ok, that's true." They laughed a little. "Now . . . how about we go down stares, and meet up with Rentham?"
"Abhay?" The king called, as if he was summoned outside their door. "We are going to depart, we need an answer."
Abhay turned towards his companion, seeing her suck in her breath.
"No." She replied, disappearing from his embrace and standing up behind him to get her coverings.
Abhay got up and opened the door slightly, just enough to exit the dark room. "We will lead you to the gate, and make sure you make it out alive." His eyes darted back at her, seeing her pause for a moment before slowly nodding. "We will be ready in five minutes."
Rentham asked, his violet eyes fixing on the mans shaggy hair. It was quite distracting.
"Are you coming?" Rey asked, looking at Abhay as he exited his room, carrying his things on his back.
"We are are going to make sure you make it out the city alive."
He smiled strangely and than went down the stairs, soon the other companions following as well with their stuff piled around them.
"Meet us at the city border when you are ready." Rentham put a hand on Abhay's shoulder. "We will be waiting."
"Sure thing." The wanderer smiled and watched as the fallen king went down to meet his group. He noticed the way he walked; graceful, neat, yet with authority. His weapons as well were the same, with an ounce of lethal as their decoration, and his clothing was like the shadows themselves.
He smiled in admiration, crossing his arms and shaking his head in wonder. "Man, that guy is cool."