Jenny: Little Cu

Like a little dog, watchful even as he slept, the boy lay sprawled across the doorway of Aithne's bedchamber. Gaius had come by, late coming from the Hall with the other great ones, and had checked a moment. The soft petal of flame in his lamp had illuminated his face against the old darkness of the cloister walls, and he had smiled a little, always that gentle distance in his eyes, as though he were looking from a long way off - which reminded the boy ever more strongly of the Land of Summer - and the Companion had bent down, ruffling the boy's head of hair. "Good pup," he had said, and had passed on.

The cold flags of the floor did not keep him awake. He had stretched out afterward, full length, and had dropped off instantly into sleep with his full belly and the voice and eyes of the Companion in his dreams. But the door at his back was thin, warped and gaping at the edges so that it did not quite meet the jamb, and he was woken in the night by the sudden sound of stirring from within. Soft as a cat, he turned over and came to a squatting position, pressing his ear to the gap, having no notion Aithne might dislike an eavesdropper. But there was no other noise, only the little snap and tick of bare skin on the stones, sticking a little as warmth to cold, and he eased back down onto his belly, drifting off again.

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