Casavir, The Moonstone Mask and Ophala all belong to Obsidian et. al. I'm just visiting.

Mira and her companions finally had a few days to rest, and were making the most of it. It was a fine evening, and she and Casavir were relaxing on the balcony of the Flagon. Casavir sat calmly polishing his armor, but Mira was uncharacteristically fidgety.

"Casavir?" she began hesitantly.

"Yes, my lady?" He had wondered when she would speak about whatever was bothering her.

"I have a confession to make." She stood and began pacing back and forth in front if him, her hands clasped behind her back. She would not meet his eyes.

He raised an eyebrow, but nodded for her to continue, watching her curiously.

"Do you know Comissioner Tal'Gref?"

He thought for a moment.

"You know, the Trade Commissioner," she prompted "the one whose grandfather was an orc? He always smells like garlic and rotten eggs. Belches constantly?"

The paladin nodded with distaste. "Yes, I know the man you mean. Is he not the man who was accused of…improperly approaching...several young ladies at court?"

She nodded, adding "…and a few young men, too, if I recall correctly."

"It is not charitable to say such things, but he is a particularly revolting individual."

"Yes, that's the one." she confirmed.

"What about him?" Casavir was clearly puzzled.

"Well, I arranged a pre-paid, three-full-day contract for him."

He looked at her blankly, not understanding.

"A three-day, private contract… the Moonstone Mask."

Casavir was baffled. "Why would you do that?"

"Well…" she looked nervous. "It was a very specific contract, you see. Cost me a bloody fortune, too," she added half to herself, "but worth every copper."

He was still looking at her, not understanding.

"The contract was with Ophala."

His jaw dropped, and his eyes grew huge.

"What? You…Tal'Gref….three days….with Ophala!"

It struck her suddenly that perhaps this had been a very, very, bad idea. Loud, wheezing gasps were coming from Casavir, and his shoulders shook.

"Casavir?" She was worried.

"TalGref!" Wheeze. "I don't believe it." Gasp. "With Ophala…"

The wheezing changed to a sound she had never heard before. He was laughing. It was a beautiful sound, and made Mira happier than just about anything she could remember. He laughed so hard tears ran down his cheeks. Mira started to laugh, too.

He caught his breath finally, and looked at her, wiping the tears from his eyes.

"Whatever possessed you to do such a thing?" he asked, still chuckling.

"Well, she treated you so horribly…and…she's just…stuck up and awful, and I thought she needed to be taken down a peg…" In retrospect, it seemed less clever than when she had first devised the plan. "…or six" she added under her breath.

"You did this…for me?" His eyebrows nearly met his hairline. Never in his life had any woman—anyone at all really—stuck up for him, or been protective of him. As formidable as she was in combat, he had a new appreciation for the fierce protectiveness of his feisty young leader.

"Well….yes. I'm afraid I don't always deal well with anyone who hurts people I….care about."

"Mira, you are a very rare woman." He put a hand on her shoulder. "A rare woman indeed. And I am very glad that you are my ally, for you make a most fearsome enemy indeed."