Jeanne: Odd Creatures

Poor Lucius. He was not sure what had passed between Jason and Druce, but he caught the sly mischief in the latter's tone as he spoke to the woman. He found himself in an unenviable position. He could see that there was something stiff in both men's attitude toward the newcomer - something just slightly begrudging - and he did not want to fall in with someone who had earned herself disapproval; yet the woman's eyes were hurt and seemed, more importantly, earnest enough in question. Lucius glanced hurriedly at Druce, took a step backward to begin mounting, and found the words to say, "I want nothing now, thank you, but patrol on such a dreary day does leave a man hungry."

With that hint Lucius turned, face burning without any good cause, and swung onto his mare's back. Druce nodded politely to the woman and turned his mount's head away; Lucius did the same and put his horse into the same gait as his companion's to come up beside him. "You're laughing at me," he commented, glancing back discretely at the bedraggled woman.

Druce shrugged almost imperceptibly. "Jason and I are arranging a match for you."

The other made a face, hunkering down into his cloak to keep the last remaining splatters of rain off his face. Squinting at the line of clouds on the horizon, he grunted, "Arrange one more to my liking next time. I only meant to be polite to her."

"I know; we meant nothing by it. It would needs be a strong-willed man indeed to keep her in check, I think." He realized after he spoke that Lucius could take it as an insult, and he grinned to soften any perceived blow. "She's an odd creature, that woman."

"So is the Guttersnipe."

"So are all women, at that. Here, watch your hooves: you'll write into that mud pool." He drew his own horse around the thick mess of brown and leaned forward thoughtfully over her neck, beginning to whistle snatches of one of Caleb's tunes through his teeth.

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