37 - Peeing for Two

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Supper was an awkward affair, composed of a mixture of stiffly polite conversation and thinly veiled insults. Every time Xander looked at the duke, Fye sensed that a volcano was about to erupt. Every time Lady Salvatrice began probing the bishop about the church's marriage edicts and how it was possible to obtain a divorce or annulment, Fye was tempted to start throwing her food at her lovely mother-in-law. Every time Fye addressed the bishop, she felt the man's dislike for her deepen.

It was all very amusing. The only thing Fye didn't enjoy about the debacle was that Xander was uncomfortable. He watched his mother and the duke with daggers in his eyes, and whenever Fye and the bishop had an exchange, he shifted slightly in his seat. She tried to rein herself in for his sake, but it was just too much fun to watch the bishop try to maintain his equanimity while he was under assault by a fearless lady knight.

She would have to apologize to Xander for her conduct—later.

After supper, Fye left Salvatrice's house. She knew Salvatrice wanted to talk to the bishop without her present, and she would probably want Xander there, as well. Fye would let Xander tell the bishop that under no circumstances did he want to annul his marriage to Fye. Fye had more important thigs to do—like check on Sir Reuben.

Now, where was that inn? Xander had told her how to get there, but she might have taken a wrong turn along the way.

Fye paused at a quiet intersection around dusk, trying to figure out how the place fit into the instructions he had given her.

As she tried to figure out her next move, she stepped aside to let a group of a dozen soldiers pass by her.

They didn't pass by her.

"Are you Fye Underbush?" the soldier asked.

She hesitated, suddenly wishing that she had changed out of her dress and into her armor before she left Salvatrice's house. "I used to be," she said. "Now my name is slightly longer. It's Dame Fye—"

"Take her," the soldier instructed his fellows.

Instantly, Fye had her dagger in her hand. One woman against twelve well-armed soldiers. It was about time she had a good challenge.

*

37.2

Fye woke up with a throbbing head and a collection of various cuts and bruises. As she dragged herself to awareness, she drank in her situation. Chilly air, tainted by a special stench that Fye didn't want to contemplate too deeply, made her shiver slightly. The small stone-walled room featured austere décor—namely, chains on the walls and an old bucket in the corner. The only light came through the metal grating on the door, from a torch that was set in the corridor. Fye hung from thick chains, her feet barely touching the floor.

Not only was hanging from the ceiling immensely uncomfortable, but Fye had to pee. Why had she never thought about things like this before she chose a career wherein hanging from the ceiling of a dungeon was a realistic possibility?

She didn't know how many minutes or hours crawled by before the door of her cell squealed open, but she did know that the pressure on her bladder continued to increase. Lovely. Just lovely. Not only was she going to be tortured, but she would do it with soggy underwear.

"Finally," she said when the bishop and a sweaty man in black garments entered the cell. "May I please urinate before you torture me? And then you can tell me why you were rude enough to arrest me."

Had she really been that rude toward the bishop? Eh, well, men could be overly sensitive sometimes.

"You've defeated powerful men in the arena," the bishop said. "Your conduct toward holy men is deplorable. Such brazen strength could only come from evil forces."

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