I turned back before opening the door. Wren was close on my heels.
“Care for a round of sparring?”
Her strange eyes cleared from worried brown to an amused amber. “Do you have an extra sword?”
I shook my head as I shoved the door. “I was thinking along the lines of staffs or cudgels, something that won’t kill you if I miscalculate.”
“Miscalculate? You should be a bit more concerned about me hurting you.” The wooden door closed behind her with a muffled thump. “Do you want to be disturbed?” She indicated the repaired bolting system.
“Lock it. Let them wonder if we are killing each other.”
The worn stone floor, spread with rushes, lay empty. An old trestle table dug out of storage rested against the far wall, and the newly-beaten tapestries adorned the walls. I ignored them. Now was not the time to dwell on the past. I needed to drive history from my mind, far from my mind. Exercising until I was too exhausted to think would numb the pain. It would distance the ache enough so I might progress beyond the inclination to kill the enforcer slowly with my bare hands.
“Weapons?” Wren’s voice cut through my thoughts at just the right moment.
“Take your choice.” I indicated the rack of various implements next to the trestle table. Walking to the far end, I shed layers of clothing down to tunic and britches. “Are you sure you are up for this?” Discarding the last overtunic on the heap, I shivered in the frigid air. I welcomed the discomfort.
“Of course,” she said from right behind me. “On guard.”
A wooden club whizzed past my head. Striking the wall inches past my shoulder, it clattered to the floor. I stared for a second. Gone was the quiet, withdrawn woman I thought I knew. Hair wrapped around her head, stripped to her leather jerkin, shirtsleeves, and leggings, she moved like a sleek cat, feminine, yet deadly. Confidence radiated from her as she whipped another cudgel into her dominate hand.
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Wren Romany is currently in the last stages of editing.
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