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Nature Abhors a Vacuum

“Hey, just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they're not out to get you,” Pacian
corrected. “Stay sharp and yell out if there's any trouble Sayana, I'll come help if you
need it.”
“Just don't set anyone on fire and I'm sure we'll be fine,” Aiden added. They
continued on for a little way down the road until they arrived at the Seaspray Inn, a huge
wooden building that had clearly been expanded over the years. The crashing of waves
against the shore was quite loud, yet another thing that spooked Sayana and she stared at
the surging grey waters in fascination.
Stepping through the front door of the inn, the smell of pipe smoke and rum
permeated the air. Dozens of patrons milled around in the common room, with some
seated at tables with large tankards grasped in both hands, while others sat at the bar,
laughing and chatting with each other.
Through the din, he paid for two rooms to stay in, one for the ladies and one for the
gentlemen, if Colt or Pacian could be called such. On the way upstairs, Aiden took the
opportunity to speak with Nellise for a moment.
“How did your talk with Pacian go?” he began. “We haven‟t been arrested yet, so I
take it things went well?”
“He took some convincing,” Nellise answered, “but I believe with time and
perseverance he can be redeemed. He's my new personal project.”
“If you say so,” Aiden replied dubiously. “Just don't go giving him the wrong idea -
he might mistake your interest for something else.”
“Let me worry about that,” she replied with a knowing smile. “Mine is a subtle art,
Aiden. He won't even know what's happening.”
“As you say. Oh, if this is your home town, don't you have some place to stay? A
house, or something?”
“My mother lives outside of town, so staying at the inn will be more convenient. I
could also stay at the church, but I'd rather have some time to rest before I report to the
Archioness. These rooms may be small, but compared to the chapterhouse, they're
practically palatial.”
Indeed, their rooms could definitely be considered cosy. The beds appeared
comfortable however, enticing Aiden to immediate ly lie down and rest his weary body.
Pacian was already lying face-down in his dirty leathers, snoring contentedly.
Aiden relaxed on the bed and it wasn't long before he drifted off to sleep, still fully
clothed.
* * *
Aiden started awake, the nightmare from the cave haunting his dreams once more.
He held his eyes tightly shut for a moment as he slowly calmed down and remembered
where he was. A chill and bitter gale was rattling the shutters on the window, and the
sounds of the bustling community outside were a constant background noise.
The presence of people nearby was comforting, helping Aiden calm down and catch
his breath. Recovering from the intense dream was second-nature to him these days, even
if the initial moment of waking wa s terrifying. Pacian was snoring loudly, so Aiden
slowly arose from the bed and moved quietly out the door without waking him.
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