Thanks to moonlight2007 for beta-reading!

And now, on to chapter 6:

Chapter 6 - Cleon-

"Cleon!" She hugged him tightly, she hadn't seen him in over a year, and she
had missed him. The big redheaded knight sent her his biggest smile. "Look at
you" he said, looking her up and down, "You're even taller than I remembered".
She had grown quite a bit. She wasn't a little girl anymore – not that she
had ever been little anyway. She smiled warmly at Cleon, "It's good to see
you". When they had ended their romance, it had been awkward at first. But it
seemed that the time apart had cleared the air of all awkwardness.
Someone cleared their throat behind them, Kel turned around. It was Dom.
"Hello Kennan" he gave Cleon a nod of acknowledgement. "Sergeant Domitian"
Cleon's hello was just as stiff as Dom's. They had never been the greatest of
friends, but the reason had passed far over Kel's head. "Kel, you need to rest
now" Dom took her by the shoulders, and gently pushed her towards the inn. Kel
sighed, he was probably right; she had just been training after all. She waved
back at Cleon, "I'll most likely see you around dinner time". Cleon waved
"You really have to take better care of yourself!" Dom said as he led her
inside, "You can't just wander around without me knowing!" Kel furrowed her
brows, he seemed mad. Just a minute ago he had been his cheerful self, and now
he was practically sneering at her. "Relax. I'll go to bed now, mother". Kel
wriggled herself loose from his grip, and continued upstairs to her room.
Dom sighed and brought a hand up to run through his hair. He hadn't been able
to help himself. He just hated that Kennan guy, and most of all he hated when
he was around Kel. He shook his head to get the thought of Cleon hugging Kel

The unpleasant feeling in his stomach reappeared later that day when he went
downstairs to get some dinner. He saw Kel right away. She was with Cleon. They
were sitting in a corner of the room eating dinner. They were talking
cheerfully, sitting a little too close for Dom's liking. Suddenly Kel laughed.
Dom loved that sound. But he hated the fact that it wasn't him who made her
He had known that he was in love with her for quite some time now. At first he
had brushed the feeling aside, thinking that it was bound to happen, when she
was the only woman around. But that hadn't been the case. Even when they had
returned to Corus, he kept noticing all these weird things about her. How she
tilted her head to one side, when she was thinking hard. How her laughter was
one of the most beautiful things he had ever heard. And how her eyes were sort
of clouded when she was concentrating on her pattern dance, and thought no one
was looking. He also noticed how her rare smiles filled him with warm, and how
he wanted to be near her all the time. Yes he was indeed in love with the lady
He made his way towards Kel and Cleon's table. He found a chair and placed it
between them. He sat down, "So what's for dinner? I'm starving!". He smiled
his biggest smile. Cleon sent him an annoyed look. Kel just looked surprised;
she hadn't seen him coming towards them. A pretty young inn girl brought Dom
bowl of beef stew. She smiled flirtingly, but both Dom and Cleon were occupied
elsewhere. "So what brings you here", Dom asked Cleon. "We're on our way to
the Scanran border" Cleon said stiffly. He was anything but happy that Dom had
interrupted his conversation with Kel.
"Ah business then... Well the lady knight and I are heading for fort
steadfast" Dom said wrapping an arm around Kel shoulders. Kel laughed and
removed Dom's arm.
"It's not all business" Cleon said trying to take the control of the
conversation, "I mean; it's a real pleasure seeing Kel again". He smiled
charmingly at Kel. She smiled back – not noticing anything odd about his
behaviour. Dom couldn't help but smile. Good old Kel, - she hadn't
noticed what was going on around her. She had two young, well relatively
young, men fighting for her attention, and she had no idea that they wanted to
be more than friends. Dom looked at Cleon, his competition.
Well, at least he wouldn't have to worry about his rival, once he was on the
road with Kel.
He looked forward to having her to himself.

- Warrior by Heart