Level 24 ~ Vixie cont’d

Vixie hadn’t slept well last night. There were all kinds of things that just didn’t seem right, and right now the one that bothered Vixie the most is that Patricia smelled like Andrew this morning. Yeah, Vixie had gone to see Andrew last night. When he’d been holding her in the well she’d gotten heady from his scent, her nose pressed to his chest. It had been all she could do to walk back to the inn and sit through dinner without doing anything inappropriate in front of Naomi. The rain had watered down Andrew’s scent a bit, but it really wasn’t until she tucked Naomi in for the night that her head had finally cleared.

About halfway to Andrew’s room Vixie realized she was making a mistake. She’d been traveling with Andrew for about a year now, and it really was pretty obvious how his determined and honorable mindset would feed into relationships. He was a commitment kind of guy, when he made a decision—for example to hunt evil—it was for life and he never wavered from it. If he was with a girl, he’d probably want that to be for life too. And what she should have figured out sooner was how he felt about her.

If she had gone to him last night he would have seen it as a commitment, and confirmation that their relationship was headed toward a life-bond. She wasn’t ready for that sort of commitment. A night of fun with Andrew? Gods yes! Vixie loved a good time, and in the last several months she hadn’t met anyone she’d rather share good times with than Andrew—gods knew he could use some good times. But she had figured out in the hallway that Andrew was the sort who would’ve read too much into that, and Vixie didn’t like commitments. It was impossible to know what life would throw at you, and she liked to be ready to roll with whatever came. Normally she was inclined to say it was the fault of the people who planned ahead when they came out disappointed that things didn’t go as they planned.

But not Andrew… She didn’t want to disappoint him. And one night of pheromones wasn’t enough for her to make a promise, even an implied one, to him that she didn’t know she could keep. But now today Andrew’s scent was completely covering Patricia’s weak, pathetic, sycophantic scent and both of them were looking pretty damn smug. Why would Andrew? Maybe Vixie was wrong about him? She’d been so sure last night though, and she usually thought better when her head was clear. Either way, Vixie couldn’t help glaring daggers at the mousy inn-keeper.

“Can I get anyone more of anything?” The inn-keeper lilted cheerily as she stopped by their table. Vixie didn’t really have the appetite this morning she’d had last night; really Andrew was the only one who’d eaten much of anything.

“No. I think we better keep moving.” Andrew smiled at Vixie, “Our work is done here, but evil still abounds in the world.”

Patricia’s clingy pleas to stay actually appeared to bother Andrew as much as they were bothering Vixie—and Naomi was too hard to read for Vixie to actually care given the strength of her own opinions about the fawning wench.

“I can go with you! My magic isn’t too strong yet, but it could still be useful to you!” Patricia practically begged Andrew. This time Vixie caught Naomi’s snort, that Naomi gracefully covered by coughing.

“You stay here and keep up your parents’ inn.” Andrew looked seriously into Patricia’s eyes, “You won’t need to worry about any more evil infiltrating this village. Better times are finally coming.”

Vixie was still puzzling through Andrew’s apparent lack of interest in the inn-keeper as they made their way back to the church to retrieve their horse and wagon. Then she caught a scent she knew so very well. Mint, from the mountains of her home. She broke into a gentle smile in spite of herself as she looked for the source of the scent. When she was a kid, her best friend used to love to chew the mint-leaves. He’d keep a pouch of them with him when they went on little adventures around the village and environs.

“Vixie?”

Then Vixie’s jaw dropped as the gorgeous young man with a glowing silver staff addressed her. His scent had deepened to a more manly scent since she last saw him, but when their eyes met she knew it was him.

“Cen? Wha, what are you doing here?”

With a flash of his boyish grin, Taecendar spun his silver staff around to his shoulders, “I’m here to bring you home, Vixie! A priest traveling with a woman warrior I met in a port town gave me this staff to help me find you.”

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