The Callindra Chronicles Book 3: A Fall of Stars – Chapter 34

Callindra awoke to the scent of roasting meat and the sound of pitched voices the next morning.  One was Reed’s and she didn’t recognize the other.  Reed was clearly not happy about something.  There had damn well better be tea if she was going to be awakened to this racket.  Perhaps even with a tot of brandy in it.

“I thought you bloody well said you could cook!  How inna nine hells didja burn TEA?  No, don’t bother putting more water in there, you’re gonna need sand to scour out the pot or it’ll always taste like burned socks.”

“I never cooked over a campfire before.”  The other voice responded haughtily, “I only used the stove in the kitchen.  This pot isn’t a teapot either, and I didn’t have any way to lift the pot off the flames without burning my hand.”

“So ya just let it BURN?”  Reed hissed, “By all the gods n demons I oughta – well never mind.  Go get sand and clean the charred tea leaves off the bottom.”

Callindra staggered out of her tent only wearing her smallclothes of cotton shorts and breast band with Shadowsliver in her left hand.  His chain was jingling merrily, but the rest of her face could have curdled milk.  She looked at Reed who was speaking to a young woman with hair in a complicated braid that fell halfway down her back.

Reed winced at her expression and the girl spun around, her rosebud mouth in a perfect ‘O’ of surprise.  She dropped into a curtsey, her braid nearly touching the ground as she did so.  Callindra let her gaze pass over the pair, only feeling a momentary pang at the girl’s hair in contrast with her own ragged locks that barely brushed her shoulders.  Without comment, she stalked past them to a small area of shoreline and began her morning meditation.

As usual, the Korumn drove the last vestiges of sleep from her mind and left her feeling sharp and prepared for the day.  Who was that girl and what the devil was she doing in their camp?  They had some serious distance to cover today if they were going to reach Daggerford in anything like a reasonable amount of time.

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