“A bath! I would like a bath first.” I could not help the pleading in my voice. He had taken me completely off guard. I will admit I was finding him much more appealing than I thought I would but I was still unsure if I found him that appealing. “I must be clean, as must you. Also, we should talk first. If we are to do this, there are things we must discuss.”
He gave me a curious look, before sighing and leading me to the shower. “Fine, you have ten minutes. If we must talk I wish to be done with it.”
What happened to the Keyne I was enjoying so much? The brutish one was back and I was not in the mood to deal with him.
“As you wish Keyne.” With a huff I slammed the door in his face and with no small amount of satisfaction, slid the lock in place.
The water was close to boiling, even one more degree and it would be to hot to tolerate. It felt wonderful on my scratched and itching skin. I felt the dirt and sweat wash away, along with it the aches and pains of the day. I was beginning to feel more like myself. If he thought he would bully me into his bed tonight the man was in for a rude awakening soon. But first I must tell him what I had done. I owed him that much for all he had done for me today. Suddenly, the water was no longer making me feel better.
I finished my shower and dried off. Calling my magic, I was able to produce a flimsy night gown. This would not do. I needed to send a message and not the one this night dress would send. It barely covered my bum. Trying again, I managed a pair of shorts. Those two pieces of clothing draining what little reserve I had built up.
Tears were streaming down my face as I walked into the main room. Keyne was at the door, arm raised as though he was about to knock. When he saw my face he wrapped his arms around me and just held me as I cried. Crap, now we are back to the nice, thoughtful Keyne. Had the swampy air addled his whits? I wish he would just be himself, whomever that really was, and quit going back and forth.
“Why the tears love? It can’t have been that bad of a shower now could it?”
I tried to laugh though it sounded more like a snort. Taking a deep breath I began to talk.
“We should be home by now, in our own beds. We should not have to worry about those men, or if I will have enough magic to get us home tomorrow. I don’t understand why it isn’t working now. I feel lost, like the biggest part of me is missing. I do not like this feeling.”
I thought I saw him grimace but it was so quick, I’m not sure.
“It will be fine love, you will rest tonight and have food tomorrow. Then we will see the place in the picture and go home. You will see.” His kindness made me cry again.
Feeling a change in subject was in order I screwed up my courage and asked
“Why is it that here, alone, you call me love but at home it was woman this and woman that?”
“Because, here alone, you let me. At home you refuse to have anything to do with me most of the time and when you do you are looking down your nose. Last night, I know you were up to something but it was nice to have you at least pretend to like me for a while. And here, you seem to like me a little better than before. I am not really the man you see at home. That is just what everyone expects, so that is who I give them. It is also why I travel as often as I can. Why I always try to get you to go with me.”
Well, that was unexpected. Unsure how to respond, I wrapped my arms around his waist, hugging him tight.
“Lets go to bed Keyne.”