Nature Abhors a Vacuum
â€œHow do you deduce that?â€ Aiden exclaimed. â€œShe lied to you about being with
â€œYep, and that means sheâ€Ÿs still single, so Iâ€Ÿve got a chance.â€ Aiden shook his head
in silent disbelief at Coltâ€Ÿs single- mindedness.
â€œSo I guess this is goodbye,â€ the young explorer told him, feeling strange about this
rude, offensive man who had somehow, over the course of the past month, become one of
â€œDonâ€Ÿt start crying, Aiden, youâ€Ÿll look weak in front of the women.â€
â€œIâ€Ÿm just joking, mate,â€ Colt grinned, offering Aiden his hand, which the young man
grasped. â€œYouâ€Ÿve done alright, kid. If youâ€Ÿre ever in the area, stop by and weâ€Ÿll have a
â€œWaitâ€¦ did I hear a compliment?â€ Aiden asked in fake surprise. â€œYou all heard that,
â€œBah, donâ€Ÿt make a big deal of it,â€ Colt growled.
â€œYou know something Dante?â€ Aiden said, â€œYouâ€Ÿre all right.â€
â€œYes, I might even miss making clever remarks about your smell,â€ Nellise added
wistfully, calm once more. â€œTake care of yourself, Dante. Iâ€Ÿve never embraced anyone
while wearing armour before, so Iâ€Ÿll spare you the pain.â€
â€œI appreciate that,â€ Colt grunted. â€œYou got anything to say to me, Sy? You look like
you do, but youâ€Ÿre keeping quiet.â€
â€œIâ€Ÿm not burdened by armour,â€ she replied softly, coming forward to embrace Colt
fondly, the big manâ€Ÿs bulk all but obscuring the tiny girl in the process.
â€œIâ€Ÿll pass on the hug,â€ Pacian said to Colt, dryly. â€œUnless you really canâ€Ÿt help
â€œNone of that for you,â€ Colt growled at him. â€œI think Iâ€Ÿve gotten to know you pretty
well, these past few weeks, and I donâ€Ÿt like what I see.â€
â€œWhat the hell is that supposed to mean?â€ Pacian replied defensively.
â€œYouâ€Ÿre a hard man, Pace. Youâ€Ÿve killed more than one man in cold blood right in
front of my eyes. Maybe thatâ€Ÿs what the situation demanded, and maybe it ainâ€Ÿt, but to
me, youâ€Ÿre almost as bad as the bastards we fought.â€
â€œI canâ€Ÿt believe Iâ€Ÿm hearing this,â€ the blond rogue remarked, looking around at the
others in disbelief. â€œI killed murderers and traitors, I did it really well, and Iâ€Ÿm not
apologising for it.â€ Colt leaned in close, and the next words he spoke were barely above a
â€œThe others may not see who you really are, but youâ€Ÿre not fooling me. If I hear that
youâ€Ÿve hurt Nellise in any way, Iâ€Ÿll hunt ya down, and Iâ€Ÿll kill ya myself.â€
â€œI would never hurt her,â€ Pacian growled back in a harsh whisper, â€œbut if it came to
it, one way or another, youâ€Ÿre welcome to try.â€
â€œEnough bluster, we can hear you, you know,â€ Criosa interrupted, her arms crossed,
a stern expression on her face that Aiden thought was surprisingly cute.
â€œWeâ€Ÿre done here,â€ Colt replied, as if nothing had happened. â€œI hope your trip to the
capital is smooth, but at this time of year, I think you might be regretting the decision to
go by sea. Farewell.â€
They waved goodbye to the big ranger as he headed over to a nearby damaged
house, and set about assisting a small group of people pulling valuables out of the