|She's a Lady
Author: fringeperson PM
oneshot. complete. do not own. Dom didn't like the idea that Kel might not be coming back when she went to face Blayce the Gallan. He knew why too. Now, if he could just tell her. DxKRated: Fiction K+ - English - Friendship/Family - Domitan & Keladry - Words: 5,678 - Reviews: 9 - Favs: 79 - Follows: 9 - Published: 06-04-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7049765
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"I'm going after Blayce. If I'm not out when you've secured this place, take our people home."
Dom felt his heart stop when he heard Kel yell those words over the roar of battle to his cousin, but he had to shout his own orders to his squad while fighting the enemy at the same time, so he couldn't pay it any mind. Not until they'd gotten the place secured anyway, and the Lady Knight had better be back by then. They weren't leaving without her. Least-ways, he wasn't.
It took a while, to get all the soldiers to stay down, to have the time to look around and take a breath, and then Dom noticed that... Kel hadn't come back out yet. The blood in his veins turned cold and he ran for the keep, determined to search the whole, evil place to find her if he had to.
He didn't have to. Dom nearly tripped over her in fact. His blue eyes fixed on the mess of blood and torn cloth that was at her shoulder, and she was so pale, Dom almost wished he hadn't found her if he was only going to find her cold and dead, but he checked for a pulse, already denying that she could be dead. She'd just... passed out after killing the mage, that was all.
Dom scooped up his Lady Knight, armour and all, and carried her out, yelling for Neal to come quickly. He was exhausted from the battle himself, and wasn't sure how he was holding up the grown and armoured woman who was almost solid muscle underneath that plate.
"Set her down before you hurt yourself," Neal instructed briskly as he strode up, his own face pale as he stared at his best friend, bloody and unconscious.
Dom wanted nothing more than to hover over his cousin as he tended to the Lady Knight, but he had his squad to check on, and then there would be the matter of rounding up all the horses they could to get the children back to their families. They'd probably end up taking all the villagers with them as well.
"What about Blayce and Stenmun?" Zerhalm asked. He'd come up beside Dom while he was still walking himself through leaving Kel with the Meathead.
"Kel wouldn't have been where I'd found her if she hadn't killed them both," Dom answered, though he hadn't checked.
Zerhalm looked doubtful.
"You can fetch them out of the keep if you like," Dom offered. "I'm sure they'll just be dead bodies."
Zerhalm nodded and Dom saw the man walking into the keep, just as he'd suggested. Dom took a deep breath and looked around. It was a mess.
"It's a bloody mess," Neal announced.
"I've finished picking the threads out of her wound," he said, "cleaned it up and stopped the bleeding. I'd heal it fully, but..." Neal looked out at the battlefield. "I'm going to have to spread my Gift a bit thin I think."
Dom nodded. "I'll wrap it, then get her boy Tobe to keep an eye on her."
Neal nodded his appreciation and rose, heading off to the next person who was yelling in pain.
Dom wrapped the wound quickly and efficiently, but Tobe was already by his side when he finished.
"I'll watch her," the boy promised, his blue eyes fixed on his mistress.
Dom smiled weakly and ruffled the boy's hair fondly. With Tobe watching over her, Dom was finally able to tear himself from Kel's side and get on with his own duties.
"She's bone dry," Neal snapped. "Any of you battle baits have a water flask?"
Dom gently pushed his waterskin into the hands of the Lady Knight. He'd been checking on one of his men not two feet away, but now watched as Kel drank deeply of the bag he'd just handed her.
"You should see the other guy," Kel finally said when she drew breath instead of water.
Dom breathed a sigh of relief. Kel was fine, or would be, as soon as she was properly fixed up, but then she was trying to stand, and Dom could see that she wasn't going to do that on her own too well just yet, and pressed her glaive into her right hand so that she could use it as a support.
His eyes followed Kel as she walked over to the pyre they'd built for the Tortallans who had fallen. Fulcher was on that pyre, as well as Sergeant Connac and three good men from his squad, two of Kel's favourite convicts and a lot of good animals. Dom was prepared to wager that Kel felt worse about the losses than she did about her own injury.
Dom watched as Kel knelt down to comfort Tobe's friend Loesia, and was at her side quickly when it became obvious that she needed help standing.
He stayed by her side as she gave orders, then helped her onto Peachblossom while Tobe held the testy mount so he wouldn't bite them for getting too close.
The fires were set to the pyre and the keep, and Kel left the enemy for the Stormwings for the first time. Probably for the last as well, if Dom were to guess.
On the five day journey back to the Vassa, Dom found himself subjected to all sorts of teasing from the other adults in the party. Never where Kel could hear, mercifully, but subjected to teasing all the same.
"She's good with the children, isn't she?"
"Rather like you, yourself Sergeant."
"She'll make a good mother some day."
"I bet you'd like to be the father to her mother."
"You get this glossy, soft look in your eyes whenever you look at her, did you know that?"
"You rode with the Lady Knight for four years, by now you probably learned how to read her past that mask of hers, eh?"
And so it went on until he went with Neal and Owen to find the smugglers on this side of the river who could help them cross, and he watched Kel as she fell asleep for the crossing, not at all caring if Neal, Own, Tobe and the horses saw. Kel didn't, and he trusted the other males enough that they wouldn't rat him out to her.
"Sergeant Domitan, tell me these children aren't the result of your squad's Scanran frolics. Though I do admit, some of them look a little old to be yours."
Dom grinned at his commander where Raoul stood on the Tortall side of the Vassa with Wyldon, Duke Baird and a few of Kel's year mates, including Merric.
"Well, sir, my men helped," he answered, keeping watch of Kel out of the corner of his eye. He almost shook his head fondly at her to see her almost smile. He did spend four years learning to see her expressions beneath her Yamani mask after all, teasing aside.
Then he was being led off by his commander to hear about how the fights here had gone and to report on what they'd been up to.
Yuki came bearing a dress from Lalasa's shop for Kel to wear to her wedding. She'd also brought clothes for Neal and Dom – groom and best man respectively – as well as her own gown.
Dom stared in wonder as Kel walked down the aisle ahead of Neal's bride. She was radiant in soft golden-brown and wine-red, the gown hugging her curves rather than her muscles, and Dom felt that she put to shame even the Yamani flower that followed behind her, radiant in her wedding dress. He vowed to himself as the ceremony was conducted, that he would ask Kel to dance later.
Neal grabbed his arm when he stood up from the table after the ceremony.
"If you think, for one instant, that you can trifle with Kel the way you do with other court ladies, then I'll start calling you Meathead, am I clear Cousin? You will have me, Merric, Owen, Seaver, Esmond and Tobe all at your throat for hurting her, to say nothing of Raoul, the Lioness, and probably a good deal of your own squad!" Neal hissed ferociously.
"And me and Princess Shinko," Yuki added absently, not looking up from her plate.
"I am going to ask her to dance," Dom said quietly, reasonably. "I may compliment her, I may tease her, but I would never, ever, trifle with Kel."
Neal released his arm with a scowl.
Dom smiled, straightened his sleeve, and went to ask the Lady Knight for a dance.
"There are enough other, prettier, women here that you don't have to ask me Dom," Kel pointed out firmly.
"No Lady Knight, there you are quite wrong. I can see none here that can compare to your radiance tonight," Dom answered with a smile.
"Player," Kel quipped. "I would say that you missed your calling if I didn't know how damn useful you are in a fight."
"May I have this dance?" Dom repeated.
Kel sighed and placed her hand in Dom's. "It's not me that looks good you know," she said, allowing herself to be led to the floor. "It's just the dress."
Dom nodded. "It may be," he said. "The dress is lovely, but if it were one of my men wearing it they wouldn't look anywhere near so good."
Kel bit her lip to keep the laughter in. "Who would wear a dress in your squad?" she asked at last, having decided that it was safe for her to speak without bursting out laughing.
"I'm sure that if we got Wolset drunk enough, and then got him to lose a bet, we could get him into a gown," Dom suggested, still smiling. "But as I said, he wouldn't look nearly as good as you in it."
Kel did laugh then, and Dom was pleased with himself for having gotten far enough past her Yamani mask that she was willing to give a soft chuckle.
"Should I tell him you said that?" Kel asked.
"I'd rather you didn't," Dom admitted easily. "He might try to get me drunk and into a dress. I'm quite dissatisfied enough being dressed up like this."
Kel looked down at what she could see of Dom's clothing. "You can't be uncomfortable," she said. "I know Lalasa's sewing better than anybody. It's perfect and perfectly comfortable. I've never known you to complain about being handsome before either."
Dom smiled softly. "If the Lady Knight says that I am handsome, then I won't object," he declared quietly. "I just don't see the point in wearing fine clothes while we're still at war."
"To pretend that we're not for a moment?" Kel suggested softly.
"Well, if we're pretending to not be at war," Dom answered, smiling broadly. "May I steal you away from the party for a walk on the ramparts?"
"No," Kel answered smoothly, affecting an aloofness that Dom knew was teasing. "You would trifle with my maiden's heart, should I let you lead me away from watching eyes."
Dom shook his head, the smile gone from his face and he leant ever-so-slightly down so that his mouth was beside her ear.
"I would never trifle with you Kel," he promised, then straightened and looked her in the eye. "So, we have established that I am handsome tonight, and that the dress you are wearing is lovely and even lovelier for having you in it, what else shall we talk about?"
"How Neal will behave himself now that Yuki is with him?" Kel suggested. "Or how Buri will settle in here?"
Dom laughed. "Oh, but they're both going to New Hope. A messenger came with them, saying that they would be taking over your refugees for a while. You, my squad and I will be going down to Corus on their majesties' summons."
Kel blinked in surprise, not gaping at the sergeant through dint of her Yamani training. "I received no such orders," she said.
"You'll be getting them in the morning then," he said. "You're getting some official recognition for that thing you didn't officially do," Dom added with a smile. "My squad is your escort, we'll also be collecting more supplies and new men to bring north."
"Keladry, it is good to see you again," greeted Queen Thayet, smiling. "I hear you've taken up more strays. Not another griffin I hope?"
Kel laughed politely. "No your majesty. The children of the refugee camp. I've been teaching them to use the spear the way the Yamanis use the glaive," she answered.
Thayet nodded her appreciation of this. "Knowing how to protect themselves and their homes will stand them in good stead. But that is not what I wished to talk with you about." Thayet gestured for Kel to sit, and did likewise herself. "Jon and I talked it over, with some input from Roald and Shinko, and of course Kally wouldn't be left out," she said, smiling fondly at the thought of her daughter. "We will be giving you your own fiefdom, Lady Knight, when the war is over."
"I'm not worthy, but thank your majesty most humbly and gratefully," Kel said, her eyes wide in shock even as she spoke.
Thayet nodded slightly again, the answer had been correctly appreciative and deferential, considering the situation that had just been sprung on the young woman.
Kel turned. "My Lord," she answered, bowing correctly to Padraigh HaMinch, the new Training Master of the pages. "How may I be of assistance to you?"
"I won't keep you Lady Knight," the conservative man answered. "I merely wondered if you would be taking a squire?"
"I would like to," she answered, "I have found that I enjoy teaching, but at this time I cannot take a squire."
"The war?" Padraigh asked.
Kel shook her head. "Not at all," she answered. "It is simply that I cannot afford to take a squire at this time, financially."
Padraigh HaMinch nodded his acceptance of this. "You are more sensible than I had heard."
Kel smiled. "I thank you my Lord," she answered.
"Lady?" Tobe called, running up to her. It was his first time in Corus, and certainly the palace, but he was adjusting well, with the sparrows helping him get where he was trying to go.
"Please excuse me my Lord," Kel said. Padraigh nodded and left, and Kel turned to her boy. "Yes Tobe?"
"Lady, Sergeant Domitan asked me tell you that everything's arranged to leave tomorrow morning."
Kel smiled to see Iden and Warric, now squires, joining the party that was travelling north, and happily spent time with them at meals, telling them about the parts of the war that they'd missed – a pass time that Dom and his squad joined in on, as they had seen more of it than Kel.
"Of course, without the killing devices, it's not so bad," Wolset said with a grin.
"We heard rumours about them," Iden said. "And our cousin Owen mentioned them in his letters."
"First one Sir Myles got his hands on was sent as a gift from us," Wolset declared proudly.
Kel bapped him lightly on the back of the head. "Yes, it came out of the trees, terrifying all of us, just shortly after Dom had been shot down, and immediately killed one of the men."
Wolset shifted uncomfortably.
"And since then Kel's been the authority on how to deal with the things," Dom put in. "Not that it matters any more," he added with a grateful sigh and looked over at the Lady Knight. "Everybody on the battlefront loves you for that by the way, even if they don't know it," he added softly, so that only she could hear it. "May I be the one to show you just how much?"
"Not funny Dom," Kel said firmly, but just as softly.
"Only half-joking Kel," he answered, passing her a roll to eat and making sure his hand touched hers when she took it from him.
The war finally ended with King Maggur's death two full years after the killing devices had been removed from the Scanran war-effort. It had been a Scanran that killed him, which didn't really surprise anybody, and then things had settled back into the norm of raiding parties, rather than proper war.
Third Company, Raoul, Buri, Kel, Merric, Neal and Yuki all headed back to Corus. Third Company needed to recruit, and everybody else was ready for a break from the war. Kel didn't even have to worry about New Hope, as it had evolved from a refugee camp into a well fortified town over the course of the war.
The second day they were back in Corus, Kel was up before the dawn and down in the practice courts with Shinko, a few noble women, her own mother, and Queen Thayet, for glaive practice. When it was over, Thayet and her mother ushered Kel into a private room and the queen gave Kel a sheaf of papers, declaring her to now be Lady Knight Keladry of Mindelan and Baroness of Farrels Lowe.
"It isn't much of a place," Thayet said. "Not yet anyway. It's one of those many untamed pockets of Tortall that I'm sure Raoul has told you about, but I'm confident that you can make something of it."
"It's not too far from Mindelan either, so we can help you make something of it," Kel's mother assured her. "You'll need to build yourself a keep though. There's quite literally nothing there."
Kel looked at the papers again and nodded. "This is something that is useful to have done as much as anything else," she said. "It's a gap that needs filling."
Thayet nodded. "It is," she agreed. "All the knights and men of the Own who went with you are getting large purses as well, but you are the one who instigated the action and who actually killed Blayce the Gallan, so you're getting the main reward."
Kel was familiar enough with building a fort that building a keep wasn't too much of a leap, it was just going to involve stone as well as wood this time, be a bit higher, and be designed to house a family, not just troops. A family was a long way off of course, but someday it might be nice.
Her parents hired builders for her, and Kel got some convict workers, since she'd done such a good job with them last time, to quarry the stone that was available in Farrels Lowe. It wasn't so much that she'd be making money by selling the stone or anything, but it was enough to build her new home.
It took the better part of a year to build the fortifications, the keep, the kitchens, the stables, the kennels... everything really. Kel put Tobe in charge of the stables, fully intending for him to breed horses. She knew that Peachblossom wouldn't live forever, and she would miss him terribly, but she would not be without a good warhorse for long if she could help it.
"Lady!" Tobe called urgently, running up the hall for her. "Lady there's an immortal in the compound! Sitting on top of the stables!"
Kel frowned, but ran. When she got outside and saw the creature Tobe was so worried about, she groaned. "Don't tell me..."
The griffin spotted her then and swooped down, landing in front of her and inspecting her.
It wasn't as big as an adult griffin, she had seen two of them after all, up close and personal, and she knew this wasn't an adult. However, it was the size of a small horse, and looked damningly familiar.
"You little monster," Kel sighed, looking it over, resigned to her fate. "You've decided to live here, is that it?"
The griffin butted its head against her torso.
Kel sighed. "No eating sparrows," she said firmly, then turned to Tobe. "I need to send a message to Daine and Numair I think."
Raoul had brought the Third Company up to Farrels Lowe to help Kel settle in, make cushions, furniture, survey the land and set up patrol routes for when she eventually got her own men to do the job.
"Tell me that's not the same griffin that you were carting around with us when you were a squire?"
"Sorry Dom, but it is. Daine came by and confirmed it. Apparently he's officially left the nest and is his own rat-bag now, and he's decided that he's going to stay here at Farrels Lowe. Some day he may even bring a mate," Kel answered, not unsympathetic. "I'm just glad he does his hunting out at the coast, rather than locally."
"I'd wanted you to lie to me Kel," Dom complained.
Kel shook her head. "Can't lie around griffins, remember? You can leave stuff out, but you can't lie."
Dom sighed and nodded. "Lots of honest people in Farrels Lowe then?"
Kel chuckled in amusement. "Lots of quiet people in Farrels Lowe," she corrected.
"So we aren't going to get any trouble from the brutes parents?" Raoul asked.
Kel shook her head. "None Sir," she answered. "According to Daine, and she said it in the presence of the brute himself."
The Third Company was gone from Farrels Lowe the next week, when news of a raid closer to the boarder reached them. Kel went with them, but soon returned to her new fiefdom. She still had her own work to do, and couldn't leave it for too long.
Kel watched as Tobe gentled the horses into accepting bridle, bit and saddle, and with help from Peachblossom taught some of them to be warhorses.
"He really is good," Loesia said with a sigh from where she was leaning on the fence beside Kel.
"Yes he is," Kel agreed.
Loey had come to Farrels Lowe from New Hope a month after the Third had left, to be with Tobe. She took care of tack and gear while Tobe tended the horses themselves, and she was quick to fetch anything he needed when the mares were birthing. They'd both come a long way since learning how to read and write from the clerks back at Haven, and since Daine had given Tobe a few lessons about healing animals with wild magic.
"Ready for you now Lady Kel," Tobe called, the horse he had been training now standing calmly at his side.
Kel hopped the fence and slowly approached the large horse. She'd paid a visit to Stefan, to find out about Peachblossom's sire and dam, and had been able to purchase a mare of the same stock, the same colouring as Peachblossom even, to breed from. Kel called her Sakura, after the Yamani for cherry blossom. Finding a stallion had been only the slightest bit harder, but it had been worth it to see Hoshi and Sakura heavy with foal during the confining northern winter. The stallion was eventually borrowed from Mindelan, rather than Kel buying one just to breed from – one of her brother's mounts.
This wasn't one of those foals. Neither of them would be up to her weight until they were three or four years old, and they were only just coming up to one as it was. This was a mount that Tobe had 'liberated' from a Scanran raiding party and had to re-train.
It was another excellent way of building up the Farrels Lowe stables. They weren't just breeding and training warhorses either, but horses that, like Hoshi, could go all day, and a few in-betweeners, the sort that pages could learn on, as well.
"Brute," Kel said fondly as the griffin shuffled its recently moulted feathers out of its nest and onto her head. "Thank you," she added, pulling the feathers out of her hair and collecting them up. "What do you want? Jerky?"
The griffin, having moved in somewhat permanently, had been dubbed Brute out of sheer ease, and didn't seem to mind the name. He'd also learned to recognise certain phrases, and nodded at the idea of being given jerky.
Kel took the feathers inside, grabbed a strip of jerky and threw it up to Brute when she exited the building again. It was almost like being back in Haven or New Hope, only with different people, less invading Scanrans, and the strange addition of Brute. There were also individual houses, rather than the communal longhouses, and a monthly market that traders came to.
It was homey, but near enough to the boarder that Kel could ride out and keep her skills sharp as she needed to.
Farrels Lowe had been established for a good five years before Kel received a summons to Corus, and since everything was running smoothly, she happily left Tobe and Loey in charge to go and see what she was wanted for at court.
Shinko had been the one to send the summons. She was pregnant.
"And you are going to be this child's godsmother," the Yamani woman insisted, prodding Kel in the chest firmly. "It will force you to come to Corus and visit at least once a year."
Kel laughed behind her hand. "Shinko, I haven't been avoiding you, I've just been busy is all."
Shinko nodded. "I know," she said. "But I still miss you. Would it hurt to come down for Midwinter?"
"I suppose not," Kel allowed. "But it wasn't so easy when I was the only one there who could run things. Tobe and Loey are old enough now to take over if I have to be away, but only just now."
"Will you join us for glaive practice?" Shinko asked. "There are more of us now, but I want to see how you have been keeping up."
"More power, less grace," Kel answered simply. "Of course I'll come."
Dom spotted Kel in the practice courts for the pages and squires, teaching them how to use a spear in the same way she had taught the children of Haven and New Hope – how to use it as she used the glaive. He had some time off – Raoul was officially giving the Third some R&R – so he decided to watch the lesson and go talk to Kel when it was over. He'd missed her, and he wanted to know how she'd been doing since the Third company had left Farrels Lowe a few throw pillows and land surveys richer than they'd found it.
When it looked like the lesson was winding down, Dom made his way over.
"Finally, I want to remind you that you have regular instructors that you can go to for help. If you feel that you are weak in some area, ask for help. The Shang Warriors have exercises for everything, and Stefan isn't going to send you away if you come to him asking how to work with your horse better," Kel informed all the pages.
"Dismissed," Padraigh announced. "Thank you, Lady Knight. That was more educational than I had expected."
Kel bowed in deference to the back-handed compliment.
"Kel!" Dom called.
Kel looked over and smiled at him, and Dom felt his heart flip at the open expression on her face. It wasn't common after all.
"If you will excuse me, my Lord?" she asked, focusing on HaMinch again.
Padraigh nodded. "I have my own duties to attend to," he said, and wandered off himself.
"How are you Dom?" Kel asked, smiling.
"All the better for seeing you," he answered happily.
"Is the Third is having some rest and relaxation for a while?" Kel asked as Dom led her into the palace. "I think I saw Raoul and Buri around somewhere."
"We're here for R-and-R," Dom agreed, "but it's retirement and recruitment just as much as rest and relaxation."
Kel frowned. "Retirement?" she asked.
Dom nodded. "We get in the thick of things, and we get killed if we're not careful. You know that. So, some of us retire after a few too many close calls and give in to those insistent matchmaking mothers. Then there are the ones like me, who are getting on a bit, and would quite like to settle down with the love of their life and raise a few kids, but can't because to marry means to quit the Own, and then what would we do for fun?"
Kel laughed softly, but Dom noticed a slight sadness in her eyes.
"You're in love?" she asked.
Dom nodded solemnly, turning to lock his eyes with hers. "With a sparrow," he answered.
Kel laughed again, more freely. "One of my flock?" she asked.
"The queen of your flock," Dom answered.
"Nari already has someone I'm afraid," Kel answered, compassionately.
Dom shook his head. "Not that queen," he said softly, leaning in slowly, giving Kel the time to see what he meant and to step away if she wanted to. He watched her dreamy hazel eyes go wide, but she didn't move, and he saw them flutter closed as his lips touched hers, and he allowed his own to slide shut as he concentrated on the feel of her lips against his.
"So I'm a sparrow, am I?" Kel asked when they parted. Her voice was breathy and soft, and her eyes were still shut, but her hands had taken hold of Dom's tunic, and weren't letting go any time soon.
"Not really," Dom allowed, "but I thought it was a good metaphor for you."
"Your sparrows get overlooked, or looked down upon, so do you sometimes. But anybody who knows them, and you, knows better than to do something so foolish," Dom explained, wrapping his hands around hers so that, even if she let go, she wasn't going anywhere too fast.
Kel smiled up at him. "Thank you Dom."
"But?" Dom asked, concerned.
Kel shook her head, still smiling. "No but," she countered. "Just thank you."
"So you don't object to me courting you whenever we're in the same area?" Dom asked.
"Not at all."
Kel and Dom sat, side by side and hands caught up, watching the examination of the fourth year pages. Neal's daughter Sera was among them this year, and the Meathead was sitting on Kel's other side, watching his second child giving her dissertation. Alana, even though she was getting on in years now, had already agreed to take the child of her first squire to be her next. Alana had found after Neal that she quite enjoyed having a squire, and had gone through another six since him. Alana would train Sera in her healing gift at the same time as well. Not that anybody had told young Sera yet of course, or Neal for that matter.
Kel was there to look at the fourth years as a knight looking for a squire. Their own daughter had only just started her page training that year, and their son would be starting in two, so neither child could yet complain about Kel picking someone else over them.
Sera stepped down at last, they clapped politely, and the next fourth year page stepped up.
It was her gods-child, Prince Kael. She'd talked about it with Roald and Shinko, and they both liked the idea of her taking their son as her squire, but it was up to the boy to agree, and she had to wait at least a couple of days before asking him. Kael didn't know that she was thinking of it. That was fine. If Kael decided to go with someone else, then she would ask another to be her squire. Kel had taken squires before and would take squires again. She liked teaching, and Farrels Lowe was a rich fief for one so young – between the rich harvests, the fine horses, the griffin-fletched feathers and the good investments Kel and Dom both made – so she could afford to take on squires regularly.
The children and Dom usually helped train her squires as well, which made it all the more worthwhile. Especially jousting practice, when her children cheered every time she unhorsed her squires.
"Soon it will be our little girl up there," Dom whispered in Kel's ear when Kael stepped down from the small stage.
Kel nodded. "That it will," she agreed. "There's to be another progress before that though," she added with a smile. "I may get to joust against Raoul or Lord Wyldon again."
"And they're getting older," Dom said with a quiet chuckle. "Maybe you'll finally unhorse one of them?"
"My Lord said it, he was born with lead in his behind, and the day I best Lord Wyldon is the day they build a statue of me in front of the palace," Kel retorted.
"You know, I think I heard Princess Shinko saying something about that?" Neal offered, cutting into the conversation.
"Hush you," Kel ordered fondly.