"She is very much in love with you, you know." Silvius spoke as he slipped his shirt back on, the bright afternoon sun filtering through the sheer curtain of the Inn’s room. "She just doesn't think anything good would come of pursuing it."
Triaz sat on the edge of the bed, hair a mess and still shirtless. The comment caused him to pause as he regarded the words carefully for a moment.
A frustrated sigh escaped him, and he rested his face in his hands. This wasn’t the type of conversation he wanted to have after a mid-day tryst.
"She has told you as much, has she?"
"She doesn't need to." Silvius ran a hand through his dark curls, which somehow managed to look better after their tumble.
He leaned over and swiped Triaz's shirt off the ground, handing it to his brown haired companion.
"I've known her since before she looked at boys as anything more than a challenge on the sparing floor.
She's been around, Triaz, and I've met a few of them, and she has never regarded any of them with half the respect with which she regards you."
Triaz laughed and shook his head, accepting the offered garment and slipping it on before he responded. "Respect? That seems like a long leap away from a lover's adoration."
"Hm." Silvius dropped down onto the bed next to Triaz. "Don't misunderstand me. She calls you Prince Knife Ear as much behind your back as she does to your face.
The difference is that when I said I was going to get a group of Talons together to covertly kill you for what harm you had brought on her, she told me no.
No, he did nothing to deserve such a fate."
Silvius shifted and stood again, suddenly a bit uncomfortable with his own feelings. He always seemed to need to be moving, but topics like this made it worse.
"You didn't deserve to be killed after you handed her over to the guards for an assassination in which she did not hold the blade,
was beaten to within an inch of her life because of the harm she did to you trying to get away, and sentenced to execution, simply because she stopped one of her own from killing you.
She saved your life and she came nearer to losing hers for it than I've ever seen her come to death.
It took weeks of someone tending her before she could take care of herself again, and months before she was in full health."
The anger boiled underneath Silvius' calm demeanor and added a sharpened edge to his words. He actively avoided looking at Triaz, because he knew it might bubble over if he wasn't careful.
It had been one of the worst nights of his life, breaking her out of that dungeon cell and desperately trying to get her to help. Triaz remained silent.
"She respects the type of person you are. Your loyalty to those you're in treaty with, your sense of duty and honor.
In case you were oblivious, there are very few men like that in the guild, and even fewer among the men that hire us." Silvius laughed at the thought, breaking the tension he had created.
"Part of me also wagers that you remind her of home, both in how you present yourself and your race. She's always talked fondly of the elves.
“What of her thoughts on nothing good coming of it?” Triaz questioned, still skeptical of the young man’s assumptions. “How have you drawn that conclusion?”
“Rein is smart enough to recognize that you are going to live several human lifetimes.” Silvius found his vest on the back of a chair.
“She’s also dumb enough to believe that matters to anyone but her.”
The elf shook his head in disagreement. “She is practically Sharikyn’s shadow some days. He is as likely to live a few lifetimes as I am. That has nothing to do with it.”
“Ah, and that is where you are so very, very near sighted my dashing Prince.
” The chair scraped the floor as Silvius moved it to face Triaz, flashing him a heart stealing smile as he referenced his royal status.
“That poor bastard was neither born to such a long life, nor did he ask for one.
He is a damaged, angry, broken man who has done so many unspeakable things that they will haunt him for the rest of his life. She feels deeply for him, maybe even pities him.
Hell, she may even believe she loves him to some degree, but it’s misplaced compassion and a desire for self-destruction I can assure you.”
He took a seat in the chair once he was done speaking and started slipping his boots on.
Silvius prided himself on his ability to figure people out, and Rein was so transparent to him after all their years together that he had complete faith in his own words.
"And, the truly sad thing is, even if you were in love with her," He went on, tightening the laces on his boots.
"Even if you were to proclaim it to her and tell her all the things a woman wants to hear from a man she is in love with, she would turn you down. You see, you are too good for her.
It's the reason she'd still put herself between you and any of her comrades today, just like she did in Rindo,
because she is the dog who deserves the beating and you are the honorable prince that deserves to live."
He finished tying his boots and focused his brown eyes on Triaz, gold flecks catching the light. This time the charm was gone from his smile.
"Regardless of what sort of affection you may or may not feel for her, the next time she chooses to fuck herself over to save your hide, just settle for being grateful."
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