Kate seemed to like using different smiles to express herself. From a cruel one making her the image of a hunter about to pounce – or, in her case, shoot – on her prey, to the almost innocent one with a hint of a jesters grin, she had shown a variety in their short exchange. Was it her superiority that gave her the confidence to smile in the face of a powerful adversary? Or was it that Griever was seen as weak? Maybe it was simply in her nature.
Whatever it was, it was pissing Griever off.
Kate was smiling as if someone told her a good joke. “Impasse?” she said, her smile not faultering in the least. “I’m willing to bet my best boots that if I shoot you in the heart or the head, you wouldn’t be healing any time soon.”
‘It’s a pity,’ Bash sighed. ‘But she is not wrong at all. I can restore limbs and minor organs given time, but a fatal hit is still fatal. In other words-‘
‘If I die, I don’t get back up,’ Griever interrupted. ‘That’s obvious as hell, isn’t it?’
“So, are you going to tell me how you know me? Or am I going to have to start shooting again?” Kate was no longer smiling.
So, Griever did what any mercenary faced with a choice over pride or living did. He chose living. Though it killed his pride, he decided to tell Kate the truth. His name… well, he would see how far he needed to rub his pride in the mud before Kate believed him. After all, a mercenaries pride was that they were known for their skill, not their background.
‘I find this interesting,’ Bash commented, oddly sounding serious. ‘Please, tell me more once we get out of this, if you will.’
‘Don’t you already know it from reading my damn memories?’
‘Talking is much more enjoyable than searching memories.’ Damn Gear.
“First of all, the bit about me being your cousin is not a lie.” The bowstring tightened. “Hey, easy! I’m serious! My grandfather was Leonard Dominos, married to Jem Thranis. Their daughter is my mother and her sister, Ruby Dominos, is your mother. Of course, now she is Ruby Twynam.”
Kate’s eyes narrowed. “What is your name?”
Griever sighed. “I am Griever, also called the Bloodfist, Former Commander for the White Boar Mercenary Band.”
“No, I want your real name. The one you were born with. The one your m… mother gave you.” Kate seemed to tense a little, which, considering the force it took to hold that bow, was not good for Griever. He sighed. He had no choice.
“My birth name is Griever Dominos Vayr,” Griever said, feeling his pride as a mercenary dying. When he came to protect his name and past, he did not know, but he knew he had probably lost something. And yet… this loss paved the way for his revenge. It was an even trade, to be sure.
Kate loosened her bow, but did not lower it. “Named after Grandfather?” she said, but seemed to be saying it for herself. “Do you have any proof?”
“Only that I know our grandparents were part of a group called the Nighthawks and they told me stories of all manners of Fae they defeated.” Griever relaxed himself, and even ran one of his hands over his fiery hair. It had, somehow, managed to stay back even with all his running around. He would need a new shirt, though.
Kate lowered her bow, though she STILL left it knocked; a very real threat, if an idle one. It was still better than one hundred and eighty pounds of pressure aimed at his head, if Bash was right. “That does sound like the old man. Alright, I believe you.” She smiled slightly, though this time, as unbelievable as it was, seemed to be sincere. “Now, tell me you mean me no harm.”
“My only aim is to kill Lord Droil,” Griever nearly growled. Whoa… where did that come from? He wanted the bastard dead of course, but losing his cool was…
Griever focused on Kate. “Yeah, he got the White Boars killed. I’m the only one left.”
‘First you won’t tell her your name, now you are telling her your plans! Are you foolish, bonded, or just stupid?’
Griever grunted. ‘Neither,’ he thought to the Gear, oddly not feeling like he thought he should about doing so, ‘She seems to be wanted, meaning that Lord Droil, as head of the War Seat, had something to do with it and I think she actually believes me.’
‘As you would say; fair enough.’
“Yeah,” Griever continued. “I’m going to ram a blade into his heart, or whatever else I can do to kill him.”
Kate stood still for a moment, then nodded to herself. She was probably talking to Lien. If Griever didn’t have his own Gear to annoy him, he might have found it disturbing. “Aright, we need to move. We will make camp about two miles down the road. I know a good spot.”
‘That was fast.’
Griever agreed with Bash this time. It was suspicious. “Hey!” he called out to Kate, who had already turned and started walking, bow still knocked. “You’re going to trust me, just like that?”
Kate stopped and turned back. “My Gear, as I’m sure your own has told you, has the ability to enhance my body. By doing this to my hearing, I can hear your heartbeat and tell if you’re lying. Now try to keep up.” And then, as if she had explained everything in perfect detail, Kate turned and started jogging – but not before blowing a playful kiss back at him.
‘Was that what human’s consider flirting?’ Bash asked.
‘No, that’s called mockery.’
Griever took off after the woman, ignoring his starving body.