Taking the Black Part 2 – St John Wraith
06
June, 2001
Taking the Black Part 2 – St John Wraith

“Maud and Jakob will see to your needs, and I’ll come home whenever I have down time” Wraith said with a gentle smile on his face.

Ely looked a bit cross. “I don’t mind ye going John, I just want to be beside ye as we have in the past.” A subtle frown drawing her face down.

Wraith gave her a hug and kissed her forehead, “I know ye do love, and if we weren’t bout ready to have a baby, ye know I would want ye right there with me, but ye need rest, and to look after our child when he’s born.” He rested his hands softly on her shoulders.

She smiled softly looking up at him, “You better come back and see me, or I’ll take our child in one hand, and my mace in the other, and come looking for you” She said with a smirk on her face poking his chest.

He chuckled softly, “Its a deal.”

She smiled easing down into the chair taking the weight off her feet as he finished packing his things. “So who will be there to look after you with out me around?” She said grinning up at him, knowing full well she had saved his ass a time or two.

Wraith shouldered his pack and stepped to the door. “Oh, I think I know someone.” He winked and strode out the door, pulling it quietly to.

Ely looked at the door with a sadistic smirk on her face as the realization hit her. “Heaven help the rose.” She said chuckling.

***************************************

Justice falls was about as far from civilization as one man could get. The old man was almost as good at hiding out as Wraith was at locating those who didnt wish to be found. He knocked loudly on the door of the manse.

“What do you want!!” he heard the old man bellow through the door.

“I heard there was some little sissy knight here who liked to dress in womens undergarments, I’ve come to challenge the lowlife to a duel. Come on out girly!!” Wraith bellowed in his most un-Wraith like voice.

“You better be off more porch by the time my foot crosses the thresh hold or I’ll beat you all the way back to the Yew whore house tha’ spawned ya.” Xavier said as he threw open the door, Broad sword clenched tightly in his right hand, jug of blackened ale in his left. His face seemed older, but then he had always seemed older. The beard and the bright rose color of his face showed of a few nights… or months of drinking and little else. His eyes glared as he caught sight of Wraith. His look was a cross between surprise and utter disgust. “Shit Wraith, how’d you find me?” He stepped aside letting Wraith inside.

“The stench of ale, and… I paid your Dwarf to keep me posted on you.” Wraith said grinning.

Xavier opened up the hatch to the Dwarfs hole and yelled down into it. “You miserable bastard, I outa use your cave as a latrine” The snickers eminating out of the hole sounded almost jovial, for a dwarf.

Xavier slammed the trap door shut and walked over to the table, pouring a mug of ale for Wraith. “So what do you want?”

“Thats the Sterling I know, courtly and gracious as ever.” Wraith said smiling wryly as he picked up the mug of ale and drank some. Wraith was one of the few men alive who could push the old mans buttons, and walk away under his own power.

Xavier looked up at Wraith as he slid into the chair at the table. “I ain’t in no mood Wraith, whatcha here for, I aint going back to Trinsic.”

Wraith settled into the seat, looking over at Xavier sincerely. “We’ll, I figured two old buggers like us had a few more fighten days left in us, figured we best make use of em.”

“Who we got left to fight, and for whom?” Xavier said with the slightest bit of interest.

Wraith reached down into his satchel and pulled the green skinned head of an orc scout from his pack and set it upon the table. Xavier looked at the orcs head for a moment, then back to Wraith. Xavier had a gift for transforming right before ones eyes. In that instant he went from Xavier the drunken sot, to Lord General Sterling. How many times had Wraith seen that change.

“How many, and where?” the old knight queried.

“As to the numbers, no one knows for sure, they just keep coming…” Wraith continued relaying what little information he had for Sterling, Sterling listening quietly, his mug untouched since first sight of the orcs head.

“If what you say is true, its going to take a hell of a lot more than just you and I to stem the flow.” Xavier said quietly contemplating, twisting his sword pommel as the blade tip carved a circle in the floor.

“I think we both know a regiment worthy of two such as us” Wraith said eyeing the old man quietly.

Xavier looked at Wraith cautiously, weighing his option as he tapped the pommel of his sword with a finger. “Would be good to smite some orcs again, I swear Wraith I was never so alive as I was in the orc wars. Ya reckon the old man could use us?”

Wraith laughed at that.

“Your right.” The old man said with a sardonic smile.

“Then you will come?” Wraith smiled a bit.

Xavier looked across to him. “Aye, Ill come” Xavier stood up from the table and extended his hand. “Once more into the Breach?”

Wraith stood and clasped Xaviers hand tightly. “Aye, Once more.”

Xavier nodded, and began walking up stairs to collect his things. He hollered down for Wraith, “Oh, Wraith. Throw that damn orc head outside somewhere, lest Sabrina come home and find it on the dining table. That would put an end to our little crusade real quick.” He paused a moment. “Or better yet, pitch it down in the hole with that short stack of shit who’s been your informant.” The old man’s hearty laughter heard through the floors.

Wraith did as he was bade. He chuckled a bit himself when the dwarf yelled loudly in anger as the orc head rolled into his hole. Together again he thought. All that was left now, was re-introductions with the Rose.

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