A cold breeze swept through camp, but Estelle did not notice, so focused was she on the figure in front of her. The wind ruffled his silky hair, sending it in waves across his back before it settled gently down. He made no indication of having noticed, his gaze fixed on the distant landscape.

She knew she needed sleep, but she could not tear her eyes away. Even in the simple act of keeping watch, he looked so elegant, so proud. He stretched, his muscles rippling under his skin, a display of the strength won from many hard-fought battles.

She wanted to reach out, to touch him, to feel the soft hair and powerful muscles. But she dared not; she could imagine his disapproving glare, his movement away from her. Despite all the time they had spent together, she knew she had not yet won his affection.

Frustration mounting, Estelle let out an involuntary sigh. This he noted, turning his head to stare at her questioningly.

Caught by surprise, Estelle flushed. She had no good excuse to still be standing there, long after the others had retired for the night. There were several moments of awkward silence before she was able to find her voice.

"I was just... thinking about our journey," she offered lamely, "and I suppose I lost track of time. I'd best be getting some rest now. Goodnight!"

Without waiting for a response she slunk to the opposite end of their camp, laying down on her bedroll and immediately pretending to be asleep. She hoped he would not think too strangely of her after this night.

He watched her go, blinking his one good eye in confusion.

"Woof?"