Jenny: One Little Soldier

Aithne departed, taking her ill-working spells with her, and the boy was left in the hall with the dog. Only it's teeth showed in the blurry darkness of its form, a row of shining white peering back at him. His arms still aching, he sat down against the wall across from Aithne's door and said muttered under his breath, "Orders are orders. But God help whoever marries her."

And there he sat, in the dark, with the dog watching him suspiciously, until a step sounded down the corridor and they both looked round to see Gaius coming toward them, having slept and refreshed. But the boy noticed chiefly that he was in a short tunic of dark, stained red, patched and worn, and he had a pair of hail-shod boots strapped up over his breeches. He could never remember seeing Gaius so clad, nor could he remember seeing the flare in the clergyman's eyes that seemed almost wild. He jumped awkwardly to his feet.

"Master Gaius!"

The other halted beside him. "What, still on watch?"

The boy nodded. "Yes, sir."

Gaius smiled, and some of the wildness went away. "Good pup. Keep an eye on her, and keep her out of trouble."

The boy put his fist to his chest and swung it out, palm open. "Yes, sir, I will, sir," he assured Gaius, and stood straightly as the Companion returned the gesture solemnly and continued down the hall.

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