“Now we can give her hearing back,” Koltira says to Anarchaia. “If you want…”
Anarchaia puts her weight on a hip and taps her chin as tough thinking the suggestion over more carefully than necessary. “I suppose.” She laughs, following the men through and quickly dashing off to catch Alisbeth. She taps her on the shoulder to turn around.
Alisbeth jumps and spins, then smiles down at Anarchaia. “HI!”
Anarchaia winces, then places her hands over Alisbeth’s ears and releases the enchantment. “If you can hear me, lift your right hand over your head.”
Alisbeth slaps her hands over her ears. “Jeez, there’s no need to shout,” she says on a near whisper.
Anarchaia nods. “Good enough.” She takes Alisbeth by the hand. “Let’s go get a room, okay?”
Alisbeth frowns as she follows the mage willingly, squeezing her hand to not lose it. “Everything is so loud now. Will it stop?”
Anarchaia nods back to her friend. “In a few minutes,” she says in a low tone, ushering her into the hollowed stump serving as an entrance to the inn.
Anarchaia sets Alisbeth down at a bench and sits beside her. “Want anything?” she asks quietly, leaning close.
Alisbeth smiles, her palms still over her ears to shut out the noise of the tavern. “A quiet room?”
“I can get you a room,” Anarchaia laughs. “But a drink?”
“I can have one?” Alisbeth asks, her eyes wide.
Anarchaia smiles and nods. “You promise you won’t run away, though? Or hurt anyone?”
“I’ll…try not to?” She gasps. “Oh! We better find Koltira and ask if it’s okay. I don’t want to get in trouble.”
“Well, I’m kind of the one in charge of you, now, but if it’d make you feel more secure asking him, then by all means.” Anarchaia orders herself a glass of water then turns her head to watch the men talk near the fire.
Alisbeth purses her lips. “He’d just say no. I want a bottle of whiskey and two cinnamon sticks.” She frowns, remembering the first night she’d tried that mixture, the night she’d met the other two. She opens her mouth to ask for something else instead, but then closes it.
“How about a glass of whiskey and cinnamon to start?” the mage says with a smile and a tilt of her head. “Pacing is nice. Heh.”
Alisbeth scowls at the floor. “Whatever.”
Anarchaia furrows her brow and lowers her head to look at her. “What is it?”
Alisbeth stares at the mage’s face for a long time. “Nothing. You’re right. Start slow.” She presses her palms tighter over her ears and furrows her brow as if concentrating on making her hearing go back to normal.
Anarchaia sighs. “Ali, you can talk to me, you know. I’m not your parent. If you have a good argument for doing something I’m generally easy to convince.”
Alisbeth’s frown deepens. “I had whiskey and cinnamon the night I met you. I’d never had it before. But it’s not the same if you just put the stick in the glass. You have to put it in the bottle and shake it up.” She scrunches her face as the sounds of the room dull behind her hands. “I’ll drink it from a glass if you want, though.”
Anarchaia nods and smiles. “All right. A bottle, then. Two sticks of cinnamon,” she says to the bartender. “See? I’m reasonable.”
Alisbeth smiles and bites her bottom lip. “I’ll share with you. It’s really good.”
Anarchaia shakes her head. “Not tonight. All for you. Enjoy. Heh.”
Alisbeth smiles eagerly and sets about making her cinnamon whiskey.
Anarchaia again glances at the men, wondering what they’re talking about. “Is Dalaran starting to feel a little more like home to you?”
Alisbeth thinks, her lips sideways on her face. “I don’t know. Haven’t had time to be there. Like, really be there. But you like it, right? So…it can’t be bad…right?”
Anarchaia nods. “I love it. I’ve been all over Azeroth, but no place feels like home quite like Dalaran. Everything you need is there.” She pulls up her mask to drink her water. “I wasn’t kidding when I said I’d get you anything you needed.”
Alisbeth thinks. “Can… Can I have a bunch of vases? To break?”
Anarchaia gives a chuckle. “As long as you don’t mind them being inexpensive.”
Alisbeth smiles and chews on her bottom lip as she pours cinnamon whiskey into the glass, picking out stray sticks to drop back into the bottle. “I want pretty ones and ugly ones and fragile ones and sturdy ones. All kinds.” She takes a drink and bounces in her seat at the flavor. “Don’t worry, I’m really good at fixing a vase. I only had the one for four years, so I had to fix it. I just want others—” she swallows down the contents of her glass, “—because they sound different when you smash them.” She pours another glass and holds it out. “Just a weensy sip? It’s really good.”
Anarchaia chews on the inside of her cheek, then shakes her head again. “No, thank you.” No telling what will happen if I do… “I can get those for you, sure.”
Alisbeth purses her lips, but accepts the no. “Thank you. You’re such a good friend.”
Anarchaia winces but turns the grimace into a smile. “Yeah. Thanks, Ali. You are, too.”
Alisbeth waves her hand dismissively. “No, I’m really not. I’m not even a good family member. Did you know I have an uncle? Bet you didn’t. He’s the one that sold my family’s stuff and opened my account for me. He and my mother were twins!”
Anarchaia blinks and tilts her head, happy to change the subject. “That’s rather neat. Where do they live? Do you have cousins, then?”
Alisbeth smiles. “I do have cousins! They live in Stormwind; they didn’t follow me to Silvermoon. My favorite cousin is only a year older than me! He’s the youngest of seven because my aunt died when she had him. It was hard on uncle Falren. What’s your family like?”
Anarchaia smiles endearingly, then flinches at the question. “U-uhm. I’d rather not talk about it if that’s okay. It’s…painful to think about.” She sips her water, smile unwavering. “Sorry to hear about your aunt.”
“All dead?” Alisbeth asks. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know my aunt, but I grew up in a full house because uncle couldn’t deal with the kids for a few years. He went on some sort of sabbatical? I thought they were my brothers and sisters! My mom never let me forget the tantrum I threw when Falren came home and they had to move back home. Apparently Taveth and I ran away…to the garden shed. We packed bread and jerky and planned to stay forever. It lasted less than a day. Sometimes I can remember these things, but most of the time…I can’t remember much before Silvermoon, even on my good days.”
Anarchaia chuckles at the end of her story as though they hadn’t just brought up her nearly extinct family. “Must have been fun. How about one day I’ll come over with bread and jerky and we’ll build a quilt fort in your room? Stay for less than a day.”
Alisbeth’s ears droop, though her smile remains. “I miss him.” She takes a drink, then swirls the bottom of the glass across the table between her palms. “You asked about my mom,” she says, as though only just remembering. “We’re friends, right? So I can tell you. My mom was a priest. She was beautiful with long, golden hair and skin like porcelain. Men described her as delicate. Sweet. If she didn’t love the Light so much I think she would’ve just stayed home with me all day. She wouldn’t have died trying to protect my father in battle…” Her smile fades. “It’s strange to imagine how your life would be if one tiny little detail were altered.”
Anarchaia smiles and sips her water, chewing on the ice. “She sounds like a lovely woman. I’m sure she’s happy now. With the Light.” She pauses. “Mine, too, hopefully.”
Alisbeth frowns as though her own parents’ deaths are nothing compared to Anarchaia’s mother. “Oh. Oh, that’s so sad. I’m so sorry. I hope I didn’t upset you. Are you okay?” She reaches across to take the mage’s hands in her own.
Anarchaia blinks and gives a sad smile. “Yeah. It was a long time ago. I’m over it…for the most part. Thank you, though.” She pats Alisbeth’s hand.
Alisbeth chews on her lower lip. “Can I go to my room, now?” Her brow furrows. “I don’t have a room. Can I go get a room and go to it?”
Anarchaia nods. “Sure. I’ll get you one. Promise you’ll stay there, though? I…honestly get pretty worried when you run off.”
“I still have…” Alisbeth scrutinizes the contents of her bottle, “half of this to go. I won’t leave until it’s all gone or I have a room. Deal?”
Anarchaia nods and stands to go tell the hostess that they’ll need a room.
Alisbeth stares over at the men, then turns her head away. He still exists when you can’t see him. “Nope.”
“All set. Two rooms for us.” Anarchaia retakes her seat moments later and glances back at the men. “Sure you don’t want to play cards?”
Alisbeth purses her lips. “Two rooms. Yes, that’s right. For the three of us.” She holds out her hand for a key. “No, you and Koltira have fun. Don’t let him let you win this time.”
Anarchaia tilts her head one last time before handing the key over. “Okay. If you need anything, please tell me.”
Alisbeth nods and takes the key and her bottle. “Yeah, ‘kay.” She squints at the number on the tag and makes her way to the rooms. She finds her room, but stops before going in. She scans the titles of a bookshelf in the hallway, snags one, and goes inside to set herself up on the bed with her book and whiskey.
~ * ~
“Y’all can go on without me if you want,” Grimory grumbles as he walks toward the lounge area, being careful not to wipe his hands on anything. “Might be less awkward. And quicker.”
Koltira follows the demon hunter, trying to seem aloof. “You could just stay with us. I mean, you know, we make a great team—all of us together. I know you and I don’t always see eye-to-eye, but does that really matter?” He glances at the others and sighs. “And I think Ana misses you.”
Grimory rolls his eyes. “Why would she miss me when she has you?” he mutters quietly to himself, then goes to place a hand on his forehead before remembering they’re messy with blood and dropping it onto his leg armor on his side instead. “Sure. I’ll stick around, then.” He gives a grin to the man. “Since you miss me so much.”
Koltira narrows his eyes and smirks. “If I’m being honest… Have you ever been in the prolonged company of two women who can’t seem to get along for no exact reason other than one might be under the influence of imaginary voices?”
Grimory laughs. “Not alone, no. But I feel sorry for you, nonetheless. I’ll stick around if only to help you out with them.” He grins. “I’ll buy you a drink, yeah?”
Koltira shakes his head. “No, I believe I owed you drinks. I know Ali wanted it called off, but…you won fair and square, Grim.” He sets himself in one of two leather chairs by the fire with a table between them.
Grimory shrugs and follows. “I more forfeited than won, but to hell if I’d pass up a free drink,” he responds, taking up a similar chair across from Koltira. “Brandy, then. Don’t care how much.”
Koltira nods and orders them each a double brandy when the barmaid comes by. “Still. Not only did you prove me wrong, but you seemed to enjoy it. You both did.”
The demon hunter gives Koltira a sideways glance. “Care to elaborate?” He thanks the waitress as she hands him his beverage. He takes a large swig.
He shrugs. “She obviously had fun. I mean, you managed to keep her from running away from you. You were friends. And now you’re not. The way she clings to things, it really makes me wonder what happened. It can’t just be for no reason.”
“I told you everything that happened. I wasn’t lying.” Grimory takes another large gulp of his drink. “Like I said: ask her.”
Koltira runs impatient fingers along his scalp. “I guess we can try.” He studies the demon hunter out of the corner of his eye. “So…dancing? You really took her dancing?”
Grimory gives a curt nod. “I did. She liked it…at first.” He takes another gulp as though the memory upsets him. “Then she asked me to take her back to her room. I did. Then she yelled at me to leave and threw a vase at my head. So I did.”
“Alisbeth loves to dance, so I guarantee that’s not what upset her. I don’t dance. At all. Ever.” He takes a contemplative drink and stares at the smooth amber liquid in his glass. “She throws this one vase around. Thassarian said she would have fits and they’d just hear it shatter. Nobody could hear what she was saying, so they didn’t know that she wasn’t angry. She did it once when I was at the door and I could hear it. She throws the vase when she’s trying not to do that screaming cry she has.” He chuckles darkly. “First time I ever heard that…was when I died.” The death knight situates himself as though shaking off the subject. “But this was a different vase. I wasn’t there, so I don’t know.”
Grimory shrugs. “Pretty sure trying to figure Ali out is like one of those puzzle boxes.” He glances into the fire, frowning slightly, and decides he no longer wants to talk about it. “But whatever. What have you guys been up to?”
Koltira takes the hint with the subject change and sighs. “We saved a village of furbolgs from some sort of totem that was controlling their minds and woke some druids stuck in the nightmare. What about you?”
Grimory inhales then gives a sort of laugh. “Actually Thas’talah was my first stop. I figured if I left well after you guys I’d have less of a chance to bump into you, if I’m telling the truth.” He takes another tentative sip. “The thicket was my next stop but they obviously won’t be needing my help.”
“Well, Ana has the map, but I know there’s one more place. Can’t tell you what it is. We’ll be heading there next.” He glances over to see Alisbeth occupied by the mage. “In the meantime, I haven’t been drunk in a while and the girls are distracting each other. So…” He motions for the barmaid and orders a whole bottle of the brandy.
Grimory barks a laugh. “I knew there were reasons to like you. Same here!” he calls after the tavern waitress. “So are you the one with the mission here or is it Ana?” He finishes his glass and sets it on the floor beside him.
“Me,” Koltira says. “Mograine gave it to me when I went to get Ali’s things…couldn’t keep his comments about her to himself, of course.” He sighs in exasperation, then smiles when the maid sets two bottles on the table. After refilling his glass, he thinks a moment. “I’m not sure what your orders say…but if they’re anything like mine, I think we both know Ana was never going to get this assignment.”
Grimory lifts his eyebrows and nods. “Yeah. I don’t think the old man has it in him to even get his apprentice to do something so…violent.” He picks up the bottle and drinks from it. “This Mograine guy seems like a real ball buster. Saw him in Dalaran once. Stone cold.”
“He actually wasn’t going to let Thassarian bring her back to life. Thass had to argue a good case, convince Darion he was an idiot if he didn’t bring such a warrior into his ranks. Told him there was a book at Light’s Hope with a whole chapter dedicated to her.” Koltira chuckles. “But he is a good leader and I’ve followed him into the jaws of death and come out…well, not alive, but intact.”
Grimory shudders at the thought of dying and being resurrected as something other than himself. “Still sounds like a hard leader. My generals can be difficult, but they know how to relax.” He takes a large drink as if to emphasize his point. “And she could fill an entire book, never mind a chapter.”
Koltira nods in agreement. “Had she not abandoned the Light, I’m sure there would be an entire tome dedicated to her feats. But once she left, I assume they stopped keeping records.” He takes a drink and shakes his head in thought. “I never understood why she left when it was her entire life. It was all she’d done since… Well, I actually don’t know. Before her parents died, that’s for sure. What about you? Why join the Illidari?”
Grimory shrugs. “Wanted to find a girl and settle down after my mother recovered, but…not many women where I’m from. Or people, for that matter. So I joined, wanting to do something with my life. Was kind of a mistake. War isn’t… War isn’t fun.” He takes a drink.
Koltira laughs. “You? Settle down? Please. I mean, I’m a serial monogamist and even I didn’t want to settle down. Plenty of women eager for me to settle down with them, but I just…didn’t want it.” He laughs again. “You settling down.”
Grimory narrows his eyes and purses his lips. “I was a different person before everything I’ve been through, you know. People change.”
Koltira shakes his head. “I meant no offense. I didn’t know you then. But it does make one wonder. I mean, do you really think there’s a woman out there who could’ve changed your mind about joining the Illidari? You seem more than happy with this path in life—minus the horrific wars part.”
Grimory leans back in his seat and sets an ankle on a knee. “There was this one girl. Stopped through Hillsbrad when her horse slipped a shoe. I asked to see her again but she seemed pretty busy with more important things.” He drinks. “But that was—what?—forty? Fifty years ago? I barely remember her face. If she’d stuck around who knows where I’d be. Probably not here with you right now.”
“Fifty years ago…and you barely remember her face. I honestly couldn’t even tell you the hair color of who I was dating that long ago.” He takes a long drink. “Wait! Red. She was a redhead. She was too much of a settle down type.” He makes a face.
Grimory shrugs. “She was super pretty.” He gives a laugh at the other man’s words. “Redheads are bad news, man. Never trust ‘em.”
Koltira laughs, the strong brandy already getting to his head. “‘Super pretty’. That’s what you’re going with? That’s what would’ve saved you from a decades’ imprisonment…‘super pretty’.” He calms and takes a swig of brandy. “Oh, gods, Grim.” He looks over his shoulder at Alisbeth, deciding not to stop her from having the drink Anarchaia probably gave her. It’s better to let them get along. “I think it’s just dumb luck I managed to get Ali to like me. It wasn’t easy. She didn’t want any of it. No settling down, no children—though she has always had a fondness for them. It was always duty and being someone her father would have been proud of.” He takes another drink. “That’s why we worked so well. Neither of us wanted to settle down.”
Grimory, again, narrows his eyes. “Yeah. She would have been. There was more to her than just her face…and body.” He drinks then scratches at his cheek. “She could work. It was impressive. Smart—I could see it in her eyes. Said she was on her way to become a lieutenant.” He smiles at the thought. “Pretty sure she gave me a fake name though.”
“Ooo, that’s rough.” He shakes his head at the other man’s misfortune. “What makes you think it was a fake name?”
Grimory shrugs. “Her delivery when I asked, mostly. That and I asked around after she’d left. No one knew of her.” He sighs. “But whatever. What’s done is done.”
The death knight cringes. “Still, that’s really rough. If I had that happen and saw her later I think I’d have a few choice words…if I remembered what she looked like.” He helps himself to another glass of brandy. “So, uh…that last thing on the orders…doesn’t really sit well with me. You?”
Grimory swallows and sobers. “No. It doesn’t. But…if that’s what needs to be done, I’m not one to refuse orders.” He drinks, the very tips of his ears warming.
“Same. I’m more concerned over those two and how they’ll react.” He jerks a thumb over his shoulder at the women. “I haven’t told them…” He swallows down everything in his glass and pours more.
Grimory nods solemnly. “I wouldn’t, to be honest. It’ll bring everything to a screeching halt. I know Ana would refuse. ‘There’s got to be a better way!’” he mocks Anarchaia’s voice.
Koltira chuckles. “We’re trying the better way. And I really do hope it works. I don’t want it to come to that.”
Grimory drinks then points at Koltira with the hand holding the bottle. “Hey man. I’m just preparing for the worst. Can’t be disappointed if your standards are already so low.” He glances over at the women, then looks away when he sees their conversation has turned to a seemingly sad one. “They won’t be prepared.”
The death knight follows Grimory’s gaze. “We’ll need to work together. Me ‘n you. If they try to stop us…” He leaves it unsaid and takes a drink. “The mission must be completed.”
Grimory nods again and smooths his hair back between his horns. “I’ve never left a mission undone. Not sure what we’ll do if they physically try to stop us, though…”
“Whatever it takes, Grim. Subdue them if we have to.”
He frowns in an uncharacteristic display of turmoil. “I don’t want to hurt them, man.”
Koltira shakes his head. “Not hurt them. Just…something.”
Grimory shakes the thoughts from his head. “Whatever. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.” He drinks, then exhales loudly after swallowing. “Cards?”
“Yes,” Koltira says eagerly. “Anything to get my mind off all this business.”
Grimory watches Anarchaia go and stands to rummage through the shelves near the fireplace. “Ayy,” he says with a grin, turning and tossing a bound deck of cards in a hand. He throws it onto a round table surrounded by chairs and takes a seat. “Dealer’s choice.”
Koltira takes a seat and cracks his knuckles. “I’ve never been much of a dealer anyway. What’s your game?”
Grimory shuffles the cards and chews on the question. “Hold ‘em is generally my favorite.” He catches Anarchaia’s eye and raises his voice. “Much more fun with more than two people, though!”
Koltira waves the two over. “Hold ‘em is everyone’s favorite.”
Grimory deals out three hands, already assuming Alisbeth isn’t coming to play. She hates you, now. May as well let her hate you.
Koltira sighs. “Do you want me to talk to her? I mean, not that I’m desperate for you two to spend all your time together again, but it is easier when everyone is getting along.”
Anarchaia sighs and takes up a seat with the men in front of her dealt hand. “I guess she doesn’t wanna play,” she says with a shrug.
Grimory shakes his head to Koltira. “It’s fine. If you feel you must I won’t stop you, but don’t do anything on my behalf.” He eyes Anarchaia. “No drink?”
The mage shakes her head. “Not tonight. Heh.”
Koltira shrugs. “Maybe I will, maybe I won’t. I mean if you really don’t care…”
“Well I do…” Grimory mumbles, glancing down at his cards. “But seriously, don’t, unless you feel it reasonable.” He throws a few gold pieces onto the table.
Anarchaia calls his bet and sets her cards down, squeezing her hands between her thighs. “We’re talking about Ali, I presume.”
“Mmm,” Koltira affirms. “You know, the whole thing of her pretending he doesn’t exist and him pretending he’s okay with it.” Koltira drops his own gold onto the table. “Personally if it was me and Thassarian, I’d want to know.”
Grimory narrows his eyes. “Me knowing why isn’t going to change anything. That’s not how Ali works.” He sets down the flop and burn cards. “Check.”
Anarchaia fidgets. “She’s probably upset about something you did or said.” She checks as well, a knuckle to the table.
“I didn’t do anything though. Can we just move on?” he sighs.
“She may not make sense, but she doesn’t do things for no reason. Something triggers her.” The death knight drops more gold onto the table and keeps his eyes on his hand.
Grimory calls and rolls his eyes. “I told you everything. So you know all I know.”
“Maybe you should confront her. She can’t pretend you aren’t there if you’re right in front of her, no?” Anarchaia folds.
“Yes she can.” Grimory flips another card on the board and raises another couple gold pieces.
Koltira folds his hand and leans back. “Well, then it’s whatever. As long as it doesn’t get in the way of us working as a team, right?”
The hours grow on and Grimory finishes off his bottle of brandy. His coin having dwindled some, he tosses his cards into the middle of the table and runs his palms over his face. “All right. ‘M done.”
Anarchaia chuckles and weaves a card between her fingers. “Sure you don’t want another entire bottle of liquor?”
The Illidari stands and sways. “Yeah, no.”
“Need help getting upstairs?”
“Yeah, no.” Grimory turns and waves a hand, heading to the stairs with heavy feet.
Alisbeth smiles and jumps up from the bed at the sound of heavy footfalls. She opens the door, expecting Koltira, but sees the stumbling Grimory instead. She hides her face behind the doorframe to watch as he fumbles with his key in the lock to his room, then she ducks back in and closes the door, frowning. With a sigh, she returns to the bed to lean against the head and read more of the book.
Grimory closes the door haphazardly behind himself and throws himself into his bed, armor and all, and is unconscious in seconds.
Koltira smirks over at Anarchaia. “Good thing it doesn’t affect me the same or I’d be a mess right now.”
Anarchaia smiles over at him. “Oh? Are you so sure you aren’t?” She holds up a finger and waves it slowly in front of his face, watching his eyes from behind her mask.
Koltira follows her finger. “Do you want me to be more drunk?”
Anarchaia gives a laugh and places her cheek in her palm. “I want you to do what you want to do.”
He smiles slyly and finishes the last of his brandy. “And do you have any ideas what I want to do right now?”
Anarchaia tilts her head, squishing her cheek further into her palm. “Take me for the rest of my money?” she chortles.
He chews on his bottom lip, his smile widening. “I’d like to take you, but not for your money.”
Anarchaia lifts her eyebrows and blushes. “For a walk…?” she responds with a coy yet hesitant grin.
“Yes…take you for a walk.” He reaches across to run the tip of his thumb along her bottom lip. He’d been staring all night through their game, studying her smile and resisting pulling her to him to kiss. “Unless, of course, you have more important things to do.”
Anarchaia runs her tongue along the same lip once. “We shouldn’t,” she whispers, but brings a hand over to his despite herself, her boot running up his calf beneath the table. Not while she’s here.
“Mmm,” he purrs in agreement. “It’s a shame you don’t know any spells to soundproof a room.” He slides his fingertips along her jaw and down her neck. “Or do you?”
Anarchaia swallows and bites her lower lip, threading her fingers through his slowly. “Perhaps I do…”
He leans toward her. “Why don’t we go test it out?”
Anarchaia thinks for a long moment, glancing around the tavern and fidgeting in her seat. Don’t do it, Ana. Finally she leans forward as well and places a small kiss on his lips when she’s certain no one is looking. “Let’s.”
He smirks. “Well, then, lead me to thy chambers, m’lady.” He gives her a sly wink, already standing and eager.
Anarchaia titters, fingers over her lips. “Then to mine chambers thou shalt be led.” She takes his hand once again to lead him upstairs.
~ * ~
Koltira smiles as he shuts the door to the room.
Alisbeth raises her eyebrow over the borrowed book. “How drunk are you?”
She giggles and scoots over, patting the bed beside her for him to sit. “Come tell me a story.”
Koltira drops onto the bed beside her. “All right, what do you want to… What are you doing?” He raises an eyebrow at Alisbeth, who is bent over sniffing his shirt.
Alisbeth sits up, chewing on her bottom lip. She sits back again and folds her arms. “Story, right?”
“Right… Okay, so,” Koltira raises his arm to wrap around her shoulders.
Alisbeth snaps forward again, cringing away from his arm. “Why do you smell like you borrowed Anaphylaxis’s perfume?”
He forces his brow to furrow, feigning confusion. “We were playing poker.”
Alisbeth stands and sneers down at him. “You liar. You fucked her. You fucked that smelly little night elf bitch, didn’t you?” She covers her face as tears spring from her eyes. “But you won’t touch me?!”
Koltira sits up, his back to her as she continues to cry and repeat the same accusation over and over until finally the alcohol still in his system causes him to snap. “Yes!” He stands and spins on Alisbeth. “Yes, I had sex with her. And this wasn’t the first time. But you have no right to say anything about it!”
“But why? Why not with me?”
“Let me think. Couldn’t be the fact that you fuck everything that looks your way. It’s disgusting!”
“I do that because—”
“Your excuses mean nothing! You make me absolutely sick and I am tired of pretending that it’s okay. I’m tired of you playing so fucking innocent.” His cheeks flare with hot anger.
“It’s not my fault! I can’t—”
“What? Control yourself?” He gets in her face and takes her by the shoulders. “You’re not even trying!”
“I wouldn’t even look at anyone else if you would—”
“Oh, save it. We both know you’d rather be a whore than spend one minute trying to reign yourself in.”
Alisbeth grabs her axe, knuckles white on the handle and vision blurry with tears. “Take it back.”
Koltira laughs. “Oh, that’s cute. You think I’m afraid you’ll actually use that on me?”
“Shut up,” she whispers.
“You can’t get rid of me. You are nothing without me, Alisbeth. That’s why you’d rather fuck around with all these other guys, but you won’t leave me. Koltira to the rescue, as fucking usual.”
“I don’t need you to rescue me from anything! I stay because I love you!”
Koltira’s anger rises and overrides any filters he may have had left. “You don’t love me, you just don’t know how to walk away because I’m the only person that even cares if you’re alive or not. And sometimes I wonder if I even care anymore, either.”
Alisbeth smacks the side of her axe against his head.
He stumbles to the floor. “What are the voices saying now, huh? Telling you lies? Bet they never tell you the truth.”
“What truth? That you don’t love me?”
“That you’re crazy. You’re a fucking psychopath, Alisbeth. Mograine should’ve—”
Alisbeth screams in anger and kicks him in the mouth. He falls to his back and a moment later looks down at his chest, his brow knitting in confusion at the axe planted in the center. Alisbeth pulls her Maw out of Koltira’s chest and grabs her things, including the Redblade, and runs from the room, crying.