The Eternal Lion. A weapon Griever's master found nearly fifty years back. Why did Griever feel so calm with it? What was it about this sword that gave him comfort? Ever since he had got it back the week before during the fight with the Fae, a calm seemed to form in his heart. Was it true that all he cared about was fighting?
"What's on your mind?"
Griever leaned up off the ground and placed Eternal Lion at his side then took in the site of Jem as she walked up to where he had been resting. "You out here to ask me to dance like some of the other Hawks?"
Jem glared at him. "As if. I was told to tell you it's your turn for guard duty." Griever sighed and stood up, sheathing Eternal Lion as he made it to his feet. It had taken quite a while to clean up the site of the battle, so the celebrations were halted until Kate had been satisfied. Of course, she only wanted to make sure the villagers wouldn't happen across a field full of burnt animals and humans and assume the worst. "Why aren't you with the others? I would have thought someone like you would take this opportunity to flirt with our drunk Hawks."
"Come on, Jem, I am better than that," he responded, "Just ask all of them and they will say I am a perfect gentleman!" It was true, some of them would. Of course, that 'some' included Norida, who seemed to be overly happy since the battle, Selena, who was always flirting with Greiver, and Ali, who still bothered him to go hunting every chance she got. Well, maybe Kate would think he was a gentleman, too.
Better to get him off the hook, though. "How is the Marshall?" Griever asked, his face serious.
Jem sighed. "No change. He is still looking in bad condition. The arrow hit him dangerously close to his heart. Kiera found some local woman to help, but it's taken a while to convince them since it IS the Marshall we are talking about."
"Yeah, not much love for him with the people. Even the Hawks are still distrustful of him." Jem glared at Griever, then. What did he do? "Look, all I am saying is that the man deserves some respect for what he did."
"What? Blow up half the field? I know it worked, but he could have-"
Griever cut her off. "He saved Kate." She looked down, obviously torn. Griever had the urge to embrace her, but felt it would make him lose something precious to a man if he tried. It was Jem, after all. Who knew what she would do? "Did the messenger return yet?"
Jem nodded. "From what he says, the Sheriff is furious at his armies disappearance and thought the Fae were just another group like us in disguises. He was, however, glad when told the Fae had been wiped out by the Marshall, though not so much when he found out we helped him."
Well then, that would come back to haunt them. But, why did Griever care? Eternal Lion had proved he only cared about fighting with the blade. Such a bleak thing, yet so addictive... "OK, I am going to scout the perimeters. If what Norida said was right, we may not be safe." Griever walked off, thinking about where to start, when a hand stopped him. "What is it, Jem?" he asked, looking back.
In her hand, pushed toward Griever's face, was a white envelope.
"How do you know him?"
Griever took the envelope and opened it, reading about the victory of the Bird In Battle and how he saved his fair maiden. He promised double the pay at the earliest possible time. The only issue was that he did not sign the letter as the Bird In Battle, but his real name.
"Jem, you can NOT tell anyone, alright?" She gave him one of those looks that said 'why not?' and put a hand on her hip. "I mean it. We have had enough excitement for one month, alright? I'll tell them when I can, but just be quiet for now, OK?"
She sighed. "Fine. But is it really him..?"
Griever just walked away, not answering. There was no need to. It didn't matter if King Richard himself hired him. A job needed doing and Griever would do it. Maybe if the Sheriff died the villagers could live in peace..? It was a start, but it probably wouldn't work. No, for now Griever would wait and scout while the Hawks and soldiers danced and celebrated victory.
The Lion Who Watches, once again.