"Erk? Do you have a moment?"

"Lady-er, I mean, Priscilla, I always have time for you." Erk marked his place in the thick tome and turned to her with a smile. "What is it?"

"It's about your former employer," Priscilla said. "I...had a talk with her just now." Erk blanched; even though it was public knowledge by now that he didn't truly hate Serra as much as he claimed to, the thought of her talking to the girl he fancied made him quite ill at ease.

"I...I see. I suppose she had need of your expertise in magic and healing, then? Though she's improved, she still has quite a ways to go," he said. Priscilla grinned.

"Actually, it was about you," she said, and his stomach turned to ice. Serra loved to tell stories, and she no doubt had plenty of embarrassing ones to tell. That coupled with her strong personality could lead to things Erk would rather not contemplate.

"Look, whatever she's told you, I assure you it's an exaggeration. Serra...tends to do that. A lot," he said. "Just try to take most of what she says with a grain of salt."

"I don't think she'd want me to take this with a grain of salt," Priscilla said, moving closer and draping an arm across his shoulders. "Because what she told me I'd consider pretty important."

"Oh?" Erk smiled a little, comforted by her touch. "And what would that be?"

"One, to take only the best care of you," she said. "Make sure you remember to eat well, to be careful in battles, to get enough sleep. She's not the only one who's noticed you tend to be a little reckless with that."

"Er, yes..." he blushed slightly. "It's no surprise she would speak of that. I admit, I don't always take very good care of myself."

"And I know old habits are hard to break," she said, smoothing back a lock of his hair. "But I hope you'll at least try for my sake."

"Very well." He smiled. "Though I must admit, the thought of you watching me like a hawk isn't half bad." He leaned back into her embrace. "Now, what else did she tell you that's so important?"

"That once I made that promise, I would ask the same thing of you." Priscilla moved to lean her forehead against his. "Of course, I told her she had nothing to worry about on that end."

"Oh?" He placed a hand on her cheek. "Why is that?"

"Because you've been doing that since the beginning."

As their lips met, Erk decided that perhaps his old employer and his new love being friends wouldn't be such a bad thing.