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Nature Abhors a Vacuum

his backpack, opened it, and pulled out Alcott's book after a few moments of sorting
through the contents.
A feeling of dread washed over him as he brought the book into the light, however,
for he could see severe water damage on the cover, and he suddenly realised that he
hadn't placed this book in the waterproof oil-sack along with the rest of his recovered
valuables.
“Oh no,” he sighed, opening the book to see that the contents had dissolved into an
unreadable mess.
“Is that book supposed to be like that?” Sayana asked, sensing something amiss.
“No, not really,” Aiden replied flatly, dropping the irreparably damaged book onto
the floor like so much rubbish. “Never mind. I'll just say that this cube has writings on it
similar to my orb, which is another clue to discovering what it's all about. Tomorrow, I'll
take it to Dale and see if he can make heads or tails of it, but this is still a huge find.” He
looked at the cube for a little longer before accepting the fact that it wasn't going to reveal
its secrets without a fight. Aiden gathered up all of his new treasures, carefully placed
them back into the protective sack, and lowered it to the floor.
“Okay, I think we're done for the night,” he said to his guest, who was looking at him
in a very strange way. “Is... there something wrong?” Sayana shook her head, and gave
him a strange smile before jumping onto him, and planting a kiss on his lips.
“Wha?” was all that came out of Aiden's mouth, as her lips were getting in the way
of any meaningful conversation. After a few moments, he mentally shrugged and just
went along with it. To his surprise, Sayana pulled back and lifted his tunic off, and then
pulled the covers over both of them.
“Oh, and by the way, I did see you undress,” she murmured with a grin before she
blew out the candles.
Chapter Twenty One
The day dawned to the sound of rain after an eventful night, which was fast
becoming the norm in Bracksford. Sayana was sleeping peacefully, her head nuzzled
against Aiden's shoulder as they huddled together for warmth under the blankets. Their
lovemaking had been gentle at first, for they were both still recovering from their
respective wounds, but they eventually found their rhythm.
Aiden had been with a girl before, roughly a year ago - a brash young farm girl
named Millie back in Coldstream, who wanted to get back at Pacian for something he'd
done (or not done) to her, it had been quite an education for the young man.
Aside from that encounter, he'd never really had time to chase girls around. He was
driven by events outside of his control to learn more and more about what had happened
to him in that cave, and as a result, part of his life had been neglected. Apparently, he had
been paying attention to Millie's 'lessons', though, for he found last night to be a pleasant
diversion from more pressing matters.
He glanced over at the other bed, expecting the blond rogue to have brought back a
'trophy' of his previous evening, as was the custom, but surprisingly, the bed was empty.
It was entirely possible he had slept elsewhere after hearing the amorous activity going
on in this room, although fro m what Aiden had heard, the inn was booked solidly now –
 
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