The InnMature

'Amria,' I mumbled, shaking my head, 'your hair is all in my face.' 

I puffed out my lips, trying to blow away the strands of hair. It seemed all his ageing over the years had all gone into that thick, chestnut hair of his which tumbled all the way down to his slender hips. 

He really did have the frame of a women.

'Sorry, I guess I should tie it up...' Amria murmured thoughtfully, tugging it around so it fell down his back.  

'But you shouldn't cut it.' I told him, taking in a deep breath, keeping my pace steady.

'Why not?' Amria asked, curious. 

'I was serious earlier about joining a brothel. It's likely you'll be kicked out of the palace and that's the only place that'll accept you,' 

I felt him shift uncomfortably on my back, his body heat shot up as he grew flustered by my comment, 'I couldn't possibly do that!'

I shrugged indifferently, 'you look enough like a women to pull it off. But, hey, if you want to have no home and starve in the streets - it's fine.' 

It was a cruel way of phrasing it, but someone as weak as Amria would never get a decent job like farming or working at a blacksmiths. He would almost certainly waste away within the first week. 

'I wont have to join a brothel!' He declared, 'this new "government" will recognise me! Furthermore, even if I did join one, what would happen when they found out I wasn't actually a women?'

I licked lips, looking around awkwardly, 'well... you get all these funny religious blokes around now, don't you?' I coughed, hoping he got what I was eluding to. 

'I wouldn't know.' He answered, confused. I rolled my eyes a complete three sixty his reply.

I groaned loudly, 'never mind!' Before smiling, 'anyway, they wouldn't care if you were a man! You still look like a kid, anyway!' 

I felt his jaw slacken against the back of my neck, 'that's vile!' He crowed, shock lacing his voice. I laughed loudly, adding a light bounce to my step.

'Things've changed whilst you were snoozing away your sorrows!' I chuckled.

A silence washed over us as I waited for Amria to laugh or make another dense effeminate comment about brothels. We waited and waited until I finally summoned up the courage to mutter huskily, 'uhh... are you okay?'

I felt him nod against my back and I licked my lips nervously, the awkward quietness churning my insides, 'um... umm... oh, I think there's an inn over there!'

I sensed him perk up a little at the prospect, 'perhaps they will have something to tie my hair back with?' 

'Hmm...' I hummed, 'maybe. You feeling sleepy?' He have a short laugh at my feeble attempt at a joke, 'hungry? Thirsty? Need a wash?'

'I'm not a child!' He replied a little angrily. I smiled at the tone of his voice which contradicted his statement.

I paused, wondering if I should make another light hearted joke about that face of his, but thought better of it. I'd cracked one-too-many of them today. 

'But, really, are you?' I asked seriously.

'Well, I am a little hungry.' He confessed.

'Shall we go in then? I'm feeling a bit tired myself.' I sighed, looking up happily at the prospect of being able to crack my aching joints. A first, Amria wasn't heavy at all; but as our journey grew longer he'd become somewhat of a hinderance to my usual fast paced stride. 

'Sure.' He said quietly, bobbing up slightly as he hoisted himself up on my back. 

I hope I don't have to carry him everywhere...

The End

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