The Scythe

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Road from Mane Country to Grier, the following day

“I said I’m hungry.” Nim was screaming at the top of her lungs.

Lonnix covered his ears at the piercing note.

“We men have no need to stop.” Disseus said so confidently despite that Lon’s stomach had been uttering complaints for several hours.

It was the last thing Disseus said before she knocked him off his horse. Propelling a rock the size of her fist into his chest with extraordinary force.

To her credit, she's tolerated much already this morning. Disseus knew. Though it didn't abate his rage at her action.

First thing that morning

With a hand to his forehead and eyes barely open, Disseus had tossed open their doors and insisted they get moving back toward Battling before dawn.

"Come on! We're losing daylight." He'd clapped cheerfully near her face, in the doorway of the chamber.

Lon had uttered more complaints than she had.

She’d simply closed the door, pulled on clothing neither man had seen in her possession, and come out. Cloak billowing around her ankles. Flashes of a rich red dress peered between the edges of the cloak.

The dark color matches her hair perfectly.

Green eyes more alert than he’d ever seen them in the morning, barely spared him a glance.

That rankled.

Waiting at the bottom of the stairs. He proclaimed. "Had you taken any longer, I'd have aged where I stand!"

"One can only hope." She frowned.

Taking her to the stables he directed her. "Saddle the mare."

He'd bought the filly from a man last night. Probably for double the price it deserved.

In truth, Disseus was stalling for Lon to fully wake and join them.

“Where’s your friend?” She asked perceptively with a lifted brow.

Damn her for being so sharp.

“You were taking so long dressing, I told him to get a little more rest.” Disseus looked at her levelly.

Lips tightening, she gave him a sideways look that told him she saw through his deception.

Yawning, Lon finally stumbled in. Tripping over a slight heap of hay. “Where’d you go? Thought you were waiting downstairs.”

“Not after I sent you back up.” Disseus said meaningfully.

Usually adept at keeping up with Disseus, Lon only blinked blearily at him.

Far too early for him to catch on.

Nim gave a small snort that could’ve been laughter.

Tossing her a dark look he caught her wrist and pulled her off the horse she’d mounted.

“You’re on Lon’s horse.” He hissed.

Staring at him wide-eyed she defended. “You said to saddle the mare.”

“No. Your deaf as a post. I said to saddle Bear.” He gestured to a scrawny gelding that gave them a wild look while he chomped hay.

Lon gave him a quick look which he refused to acknowledge.

Yes. I'm being a bastard.

She’d ridden over rough terrain several hours without complaint...

On Bear.

The nag had already bitten her countless times.

When she tried to steer the rein, tried to pull him to a halt, tried to heel him faster. The horse fought every command.

It was why Lon generally wore leather arm bands. The horse had left him enough scars he knew better than to ride it bare armed. Bear was usually his horse. As the nasty thing had grown old, one of their clients had given the horse to them along with a bag of coin.

Probably to get rid of the damnable beast.

There were many occasions when Lon preferred to walk.

The sun was high and she'd only her thick dress and the cloak covering her. Though she was undoubtedly steaming in it, she did so silently.

Bear nipped her again and she swore.

Turning with a glower, Disseus ordered her to stop goading the animal.

Nearly on fire, her cheeks had reddened as she quietly fumed.

Lon had been just on the verge of chastising Disseus for his lack of compassion, when the rock flew.

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