Tainted Victory – Chapter 4, Part 4 (Page-a-Day)

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“He apologizes,” Evelyn said. She pointed her quill at him.

“I can speak for myself!” 

“I’m sure you can.” Evelyn directed that comment to Siguard. “But he apologizes.”

“Are the beds all made up?” Claudia asked.

“Yes,” Hugh said. “We’re all adults so we can choose among ourselves who has which bed?”

“Can we share?” Evelyn said.

“Oh the Runocs,” Siguard massaged his temples. 

“I am a doctor, not a priest. I don’t care what you get up to in your personal time as long as it’s safe.”

“It do…”

“Just get the ducking thing done with!” Claudia yelled. “I’m getting sick of this stupid flirting nonsense back and forth.” She wagged her finger between the two. 

“I wasn’t flirting,” Hugh said.

“Neither was I,” Evelyn said, cocking her eyebrow for effects. 

“Runocs…” said Claudia with a sigh. 

A black mist wafted in from the kitchen. It was a thick black, and carried with the draft of the film. It stank of charcoal, burnt chicken meat, embers, and too much pepper. The scent crept up the nose and crisped the nose hairs. Claudia was the first to get the hit and began coughing. Olivier and Evelyn followed. 

Olivier covered his nose and mouth with his hand. “We forgot the food we were cooking.” Olivier ran toward the smoke.

Claudia took a band that wrapped around her head and moved it down to her mouth. “Let me go help him.” 

“I’ll go too,” Goblet said. “Smoke does not bother me. That’s the way meat should taste!” His meaty feet shook the stones beneath him while he ran up the stairs and into the kitchen. 

Siguard waved the smoke from his face. He turned his back from Evelyn and walked toward Hugh and Colt. “I’m going to walk a perimeter around the castle.” He stopped in front of the two. Even a few steps below them he still stood taller than them. He rested his leg on a step. “Make sure none of those damn blues have invaded.”

“You’ll miss dinner,” Hugh said.

“It’ll take them more and more minutes to get that chicken cleaned up to eatability.” He adjusted the sword on his hip then rustled the hood along his collar and flipped it over his head. “Would either of you like to lend their eyes?”

“I’ll go. Hounder probably needs to go, and four eyes are much better than just two.” He raised the hood on his cloak.

“What about you, doctor?”

“I think I will go to the kitchen. Burning food usually results in people getting burnt themselves.”

“Fair.” Siguard opened the metallic door out to the elements. The metal was burnt, rusted, and flaking off with the slightest touch. His gauntlet scraped against the metal and flaked off. The pelting rain muffled any noise the contact would have made. The two looked at Hugh. They were both pennant. Their mouths were single lines. They sighed before breaking the barrier separating the wet from the dry, and quickly disappeared.

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