“The gods only know why Tekr sent you out hunting” Celea greeted him, then saw the woman, “my word you poor child. Come in.”
“Celea, this is Seline.”
“May the goddess bless you child. You look a fright, please come in, we’ll get her a cot in the back.” The busty barmaid lead the way.
Delmar eased her onto the cot where the woman examined her leg carefully
“That’s quite a nasty one.”
“I didn’t want to bandage it to make it worse.”
She nodded, “Well don’t just stand there child, Tekr needs help closing up and get yourself cleaned up you look a fright yourself”.
He nodded and slipped out of the room.
Her features softened looking at the injured woman, she took a cloth and dipped it in a bowl of water, draining it and squeezing it before heading for the injured knee.
Seline tried to move away as the water hit it
“Gotta clean it to see the damage”
The liquid hit the knee again, this time drawing tears.
“What is this I hear of a guest? “A voice boomed startling both women a man come through the door,” And you’re making her cry at that.”
“Don’t you be frightened by him child. Tekr’s more bark than bite.” She said noticing Seline tense up.
“Aye. These hands’ve slayed many a men in my day but they aren’t much in sword play anymore. Still enough to impress and enforce when needed,” he winked at Seline,” Delmar said he found you huntin’ an’ ya’ve got the look to prove it.”
Celea finished bandaging the knee and handed her a bowl of food..
“The nights leftovers, eat up, less he’s feedin’ to the dogs.”
She looked at the bowl the food smelled so good tears welled up.
“Did I hit your knee? “Celea asked concerned
“No,” Seline sniffled” I haven’t got a copper to my name and I can’t begin to pay you back.”
“Hush child, don’t ya worry ‘bout that ‘til mornin’ for now eat and rest.”
She ate a few spoonfuls her stomach not used to so much food filled up quickly.
The cider was warm and soothed her frayed nerves. She put the bowl and mug down.
“Is that it?” Celea asked doubtfully.
She nodded sleepily.
They left, cracking the door a bit.
“Who’s going to watch her?” Celea asked.
“I’ll stay.” Delmar volunteered.
Tekr nodded his approval.
“I’ll ask ‘round see where she may be from.” Celea said
Tekr and Celea left, the tavern owner locking the two inside.
Delmar returns to the room, turns the lamp light down and notices she is shivering n he pulls the blanket to her neck, settling into the wooden chair next to her.
The dogs barking awoke him, checking Seline is still asleep scratches beard it was then he realized what a fright he must have looked to her.
When Tekr and Celea come in both surprised not only at his clean-cut appearance that fact that all the chairs have been taken down off the tables and the fires are burning and ready to go for the day’s cooking.
“You look quite handsome.” Celea said.
He shrugged and blushed slightly.
“How’s our guest?”
“I’ll go waker her.”
When the barmaid emerged with Seline she looked nothing like the woman Delmar had found the night before. Her hair shone like spun gold in the morning sun, beneath it lay two piercing blue eyes and fair skin with a hint of freckles. Delmar had a hard time taking his eyes off of her.
“I don’t know which of you two cleaned up better. “ Celea said.
“Let’s have some food.” Tekr supplied, handing them plates filled with fresh rolls and meat.
“Care to tell us how you ended up in the woods? Celea checked for missing wives, daughters and farmhands not a one fit yer description. “Tekr asked once Seline had a plate in front of her.
She realized suddenly all three of them surround her waiting for an explanation. Tears welled up in her eyes.
“Whatever it is child, you’re safe here.”
She hesitated for a moment, Tekr caught her looking at Delmar who nodded.
“I was a captive on a pirate ship, I don’t know for how long but I know that the captain told me I could join them or be freed. I choose freedom, not knowing they would throw me overboard. “
“I can work to pay you back.” Her voice wavered.
“you need to heal that leg first. Besides Delmar can make up for it.” He patted the young man on the back and laughed heartily.
“Oh no please don’t do that.” She paled.
“Eat up.” He said noticing her plate half eaten.
Seline finished what she could and Celea helped her back to the cot.
A few days later in the later afternoon, Seline asked,”May I go see the sunset?”
“I’ll go.” Delmar volunteered.
The two head down the path to the beach he walks close by her in case she were to stumble.
Upon seeing the ruins of the castle in the distance she asks,” What happened to the castle?”
He shrugs,” I heard it was called the Quartzmoon castle, but that is all I know.”
She turns quiet when they reach the water.
“Why do you want to see the sunset after being at sea for so long?”
“I never had the chance to stop and watch it. Besides it reminds me that I am lucky.”
“Yes, lucky to be alive to have survived living under pirates and be found by you. Thank you.”
They head back to the tavern.
“Do you know what happened to the castle?” she asked the moment she got in the door.
“What a greeting child! Come in before you catch your death. You don’t need to be hearing horror stories of the past,” he shooed her down the hall to Celea who was awaiting her.