Ferris and I walked towards Garfas’ house. I wasn’t sure what to think about him, obviously I knew he was from Fumus’ warband, but I didn’t exactly know what standing he had with him. I would occasionally glance at him only to find out that he had been looking at me. He would avert his gaze and I arched my brow.
“Um…” I began, eliciting a jump from the soldier. “So how does Fumus treat his warband? I heard good things…” I trailed off as our eyes met again, an awkward air manifested between us.
“W-Well, he’s not really like other warband leaders,” said Ferris. “He rarely ever yells, and he’s very…”
“Eccentric?” I offered.
“Yes, that,” Nodded Ferris. “N-Not in a bad way though. He’s very nice, he encourages us. He treats us very strangely, but it works for us. Much better than the last legionnaire we had.”
“How did the other legionnaire treat you?” I asked.
“I guess like a regular drill sergeant, He was especially rough on me though. Always said I was too small, had me running errands all the time and kept telling me to bulk up. He was rough on all the other bandmates though. Sorta pushed the wrong buttons on all of us, you know?”
“All too well,” I said as I thought about Itan. “So how did Fumus become the legionnaire? He hasn’t been here for that long, so I imagine it was recent?” Ferris nodded before answering.
“He showed up one day and said he used to belong to the warband before becoming a double agent. Our former legionnaire froze when he saw him, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him scared of anyone like that before. He almost backed off immediately when Fumus said that he was going to take over. No one really objected since we saw how the old legionnaire reacted. Turned out he was good for us. We all started acting a bit closer under his leadership. We were talking, sharing what we liked to do. It started when Fumus ordered us to start taking our meals together. Helped me get the confidence to speak to others and then I met Tai.”
Tai… that was the other charr assigned to us. I wondered what they would be like, hopefully Garfas would not object to any of this. That was my main concern when walking to his house. I saw the house closing in. Two equally large masses were waiting for us. One was a large female charr in dark armor, daggers were strapped all over her armor. She stood with a relaxed posture as she leaned against the door frame of Garfas’ house. Meanwhile Garfas was drinking a cup of coffee while shirtless, as per usual. As we neared we caught a hold of the last of their conversation.
“And the sounds he makes while sleeping are so cute its unbelievable,” Said Garfas nonchalantly.
“Same for mine, and when I tell others he gets all bashful and I almost can resist,” said who I assumed to be Tai. She looked at Ferris and motioned her head towards him. “Just like now, c’mere cub, I wanna show you off to Garfas.” Ferries complied, trying to hide his embarrassment and walked up to Tai. She patted him on the head before drawing him in close and draping her arm on his shoulder. She was very much taller than Ferris, that much was obvious. And given the tender embrace they gave each other, what sort of relationship they had became obvious as well.
“What were you two talking about?” I asked glancing at Garfas.
“You two,” said Garfas with a wink. I rolled my eyes as I felt my face flush.
“Well I suppose that you are Tai, then?” I asked. Tai gave a salute before answering.
“Got orders from the hairball here and decided to go on ahead. Wanted to see who Garfas was, heard about you in that skirmish not too long ago. Too bad I was assigned somewhere else that day.”
“Good things I hope?” Asked Garfas.
“Well everyone says you’re a vicious maniac, so yes.” Said Tai. There was a certain reaction I caught from Garfas, one that no one else would have picked up on but me. Mainly because I was starting to get a better idea on what exactly made him uncomfortable. He retreated slightly, averted his gaze for a split second and did his best to restrain a sigh.
“Well,” I chimed in. “In case Tai did not say, Fumus sent them to keep an eye on spies for us.” Garfas nodded at me and took another sip from his mug of coffee. “He thinks it might be the flame legion.” I added and it caused Garfas to pause mid-sip. He nodded again in silence and continued drinking.
“Did he mention a plan of attack?” Asked Garfas.
“Not exactly,” I said. “We figured that he would be working on getting more information before we settle on anything.”
“Alright,” Said Garfas as he moved away from the door frame and gestured to welcome in our new guest. “Everyone else might as well come in. A couple of ash agents on my doorstep looks downright suspicious.” We all walked in one by one, Garfas invited Ferris and Tai to sit while he got them something to drink. I remained by his side, not truly wanting to strike up any conversation. In reality I wanted to talk to Garfas about all of this. I waited until Tai and Ferris began to get comfortable, noticing that Tai was placing her hands over her smaller partner and he sank into her larger form.
“Garfas,” I said as I placed my hand on white Charr’s shoulder. “Do you mind if we talk in private for a minute?”
“Of course, cub,” said Garfas as he set aside hi mug. “Lead the way.” I took his hand and led him upstairs and into the bedroom. He closed the door behind us as I went ahead and sat down on the bed. I felt his form sit next to me and he wrapped his hand around my waist. “So what did you want to talk about?” I heard him say softly into my ear.
“It seems to me you want to do more than just talk,” I said as I nuzzled into his neck.
“Maybe,” Garfas began to nip at my neck and I had to distance myself slightly.
“Not while we have company,” I said with a chuckle. I kept him barely at arms reach by pushing him away with my feet. He pulled me in and we were face to face, gazing into each other. “Are you alright?” I asked as our foreheads met. The response wasn’t immediate, I think he was considering brushing it off, leaving me in the dark. He knew me however, despite being able to read me perfectly, I was starting to read him too.
“I… I just want the fighting to end,” he said. Was he like this because of me? Or was he always like this, and he was just too good at hiding it. I smiled at him and he smiled back.
“Not a very charr thing to say, Garfas,” I said as I kissed him.
“I guess I never was a very good charr to begin with,” said Garfas. We both allowed our forms to collapse onto the bed, simply watching each other. I tried to see what was within his amber eyes, the way they shined in their own way. How many masks did he have? I could see something within them, the gleamed with a genuine happiness, but… it was something so different than when he was with the warband. His stern nature was another mask. There was the warband Garfas, there was the Garfas that was in battle, then there was the one I looked at right now. The ball of emotions and affection that wanted me by his side all day.
“I think I understand what you meant,” I said as I closed my eyes. “I think I’m starting to understand much more now.” Everything began to sink in. We were in danger. Garfas did not answer to my musings, he simply held me close, enveloping me in his warmth. I thought occured to me. Something absolutely ludicrous, but it was insane enough to work. I sat up as I looked into Garfas’ eyes. There was a mutual understanding between us. “I need to see Mara,” I said. He nodded his head, eyes filling with determination. “I have an idea, but I need to see if it will work.”
“Do what you need to do, cub,” said Garfas. I pulled him in for a kiss.
“I love you,” I said before backing away.
“I love you too,” said Garfas as his breathing became a bit quicker. As did mine. I could see his hands shake. Adrenalin. We were feeling the same emotions, we were connected. Were we having the same idea as well? I rushed out of the room, went downstairs and told Ferris to follow. I instructed Tai to stay with Garfas and be on the lookout for anything suspicious. I was not about to take any risks.
“Where are we going?” Asked Ferris, advancing in a jog to keep up with me.
“G-gladium?! What for?”
“I need to consult with someone,” I said. “I have a plan.”