I tried to put everything out of my mind after leaving the infirmary, but there was too much going on in there to really focus on celebrating. The hawks danced, and I participated, feasting and smiling and playing the gracious hostess to the soldiers who, hopefully, would be returning to their ordinary duties before long.
The logical, strategy planning part of my mind looked forward to the transition stage, when the soldiers, fresh from the alliance, would hesitate to defend against the Hawk's next raid and we would be able to win a battle or two against the sheriff.
I avoided eye contact with Griever as he came back from his scouting mission, keeping my eyes fixed on a point on his chin as he gave me the report.
"There wasn't any activity from the forest, and the keep was quiet. We should sleep well tonight." He was trying to catch my eye, but all I could see was the signature on the letter. He worked for the hood. How much did I know about this man? He was a good fighter, but a mercenary. Shameless flirt- Risking his life for a sword-
"Jem?" I blinked and looked up at Griever. I'd missed most of his report.
"I'm sorry, you take care of it, I'm tired. I'm going to check on the Marshall, and then go to bed."
"Uh, I wouldn't go in there--" Someone said, putting an arm out to stop me as I approached the infirmary. I had my hand on the door before I stopped, realizing that nothing inside the dark room would make me feel anything different than what I felt before the battle.
"You're right. Kate will take care of him." I said sharply, before turning and heading toward my own bunk. I just felt cold inside. I glanced at Griever, but looked away before he could notice. Focus on the cause, Jem. Focus on the cause. There's nothing but the cause. Don't get distracted now, when we're so close.
What was the cause again? When I closed my eyes all I could see was Griever in battle. He fought like nothing I'd ever seen, his skills were unparallelled, and under the gruffness, and the beard, there was a handsome man, he even had moments where he was a gentleman, and he respected me, despite the flattery. As I thought about him, something stirred in my chest. I wanted something. Something that wasn't the cause. That wasn't fighting. I wanted a distraction.