He finally laid down in bed with a groan. Shifting to make his right elbow as comfortable as possible, Tegil looked down to the bandaged limb. It was just bruised, bandaging it wasn’t really necessary, but she insisted. And so he let her. He didn’t regret it until he had to take off his tunic when he returned. The robes, they were easy; but it was a struggle to finally tug his undershirt off. His eyes drifted from the elbow to his hands, clasped over his stomach; it was a natural progression to the faint but deep bruise above them.
That bruise was even more unexpected than the one on his elbow. He had a sister – older or not – and he understood the desire to protect family…but why punch someone in the stomach when they had not done anything yet? Well, in truth he had; but Nethali didn’t know that. …Or did she? No, she couldn’t have. If the drunken woman wasn’t even aware of the dress, she didn’t know about the other night.
Tegil shifted again, pulling his elbow to rest on his chest instead, hand clasped on his left shoulder. Nethali would do whatever Nethali wished to do, of that he had no doubt. His eyes flitted back to the bandaged elbow, fingers following suit as they lightly dragged along the thin cloth. Thinking about previous nights couldn’t wipe the memory of only an hour ago from his mind, as much as he tried. How could it? He could still hear the whispered words, breathless and unsure.
There are…things…to consider, Mister Tegil.
His fingers absentmindedly came to his mouth, gently resting fingertips on lips. He stared at the ceiling above, trying to distract himself by inspecting the grain of the wood. It didn’t work. He considered, then reconsidered again as she had asked…yet he always came to the same conclusion; which, he imagined, was not what she wanted. It was certainly too soon for words of any concrete nature, but as he lay in the cold dark, he knew one thing for certain. He didn’t give a damn what anyone thought of him. Closing his eyes to try and drift to sleep, her voice drifted across his consciousness one more time.
Of course it was. It wouldn’t be…no, not yet. Sleep first, think tomorrow.