Jenny: Heroes in Bronze

"Ah! You will have stayed with Gaius and Lucretia, then." The Guttersnipe tucked her hands over themselves before her and looked about at the bustle of the atrium. Kay and Bedwyr were nowhere to be seen: she remembered hearing the sounds of horses in her dreams. Gaius was up already, deep in conversation with Master Lucius. Artos sat at the table across from them, leaning to one side and eavesdropping with an expression of faint and amused interest. In the far doorway her Lord Ambrosius appeared, tying up the last strings of his tattered, horse-smelling leather vest and she gave a little thrilled sigh. But then the sunny patches round the vestibule were scattering, and in came Jason, the sight of whom made her heart leap unabashed. The wind had kicked up his hair into a sort of glowing, ragged crown of gold about his head so that he looked beautiful in the best sort of way. He hesitated, looked around, and came their way.

"You're up!" he said, slipping his arm round her. "I thought you were going to sleep forever. I have been up since before dawn."

"Didn't you sleep at all?" she asked worriedly.

He shrugged noncommittally. "A little." He turned to Domitia. "Good morning - I seem to have missed your name."

The Guttersnipe supplied, "Domitia. Her name is Domitia."

Jason smiled in a friendly way, for which she was glad since Domitia seemed as shy as doe around anyone. "A sturdy and respectable name," he said warmly. "Welcome to our valley, Domitia." He then broke off, hand on the Guttersnipe's shoulder, and said, "I need to go talk with Ambrosius and Artos. I'll be back presently."

He gave her a light kiss on the forehead and strode off to join the great ones about the table so that in the tangle of rosy shadows and mellow spangling of early light they were forms of red and black, gold and bronze, and beautiful, she thought, in the best sort of way.

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