"No. It didn't go the way I'd planned," she mumbled.

"I'm sure there's a lecture in there about your brazen attitude but . . ."

"I'm sure you'd like to sleep under the roof tonight instead of with the horses."

He chuckled. "Yes, I do enjoy a bed over a bale of hay. I also like being able to walk straight without your proverbial foot up my ass."

"I can't imagine it's any easier to walk with your foot always in your mouth." She rubbed her fingers over the lip of her mug and sighed. "How did we do with the kills?"

"The skins sold, except for one. I kept that for our travels this winter and took the liberty of having it treated in exchange for some of the meat I couldn't sell."

She nodded. "Good idea."

"We gave some to the Foundling House, but over all I managed to obtain two hundred coins for our troubles today."

"That's not bad. Would've preferred at least five, but it'll do." Siobhan leaned on her hand and watched as Ivan walked from behind his counter with two plates of food. Her stomach growled when he slid the plates in front of them. The chicken pierced her nose and it took all her good graces to not eat like a common behemoth and lick the plate.

Ivan leaned against the table and glanced toward the other patrons before saying, "I'm going to need some assistance to refill certain objects."

Siobhan nodded and took another drink. "I'll be sure to take care of it when we settle our tab in the morning."

He nodded and said nothing else, returning to his spot behind the bar. Siobhan grabbed a chicken breast off her plate and peeled away some of the moist meat, licking her fingers when Elias shook his head. He took a spoon full of rice from his plate and ate it with all the manners Siobhan knew she lacked. There was a time when appearance was everything even for her. She spoke proper, dabbed her lips with a handkerchief, and used all the appropriate utensils. After near six years on the road, her manners reverted to that of any commoner in any city. Sometimes worse.

The door to the tavern opened, bringing with it a gust of wind that flickered the flame even on the sconces closest to their table. Siobhan groaned when the stench covered vagrant slithered in. Even with limited interaction, she couldn't forget that smell or the stained brown cloak he wore over his body. The fool bowed his head, but she still saw his lips twitch when he caught her eye. Elias turned when she frowned.

"Is that . . ." he started to ask.

"Our moronic thief." She shifted her chair so it faced correctly and leaned back in the seat. Her arms crossed over her chest as the buffoon made his stumble toward the table. Other guests covered their nose when he passed, but otherwise remained uncaring to his presence. It wasn't the first time someone smelling worse than horse dung came for a drink, nor would it be the last.

Siobhan arched a brow when he grabbed a chair and sat beside her. His blue eyes danced between her and Elias, occasionally dropping to their food. At their close proximity, with no fresh air to dilute it, the smell was wretched. It burned her eyes and nose, bringing with it the taste of bile crawling up her throat. She grunted and pushed away from the chair. The fool jerked and fisted his hands as if he'd punch her if she attacked. She grabbed the collar of his cloak and ripped it off his shoulders.

"Hey!" he shrieked.

She ignored him. Holding the cloak outward from her, she marched it back to the door from whence it came and tossed it into the dirt street. He was frowning when she returned, slapping the smell from her hands.

Draygon Frost | Book 1 | ✔️Read this story for FREE!