Warrior’s Bride (Pt 15)

Chapter Fifteen
The exploration of the cave did not take long, Cadell nodding in approval as his eyes scanned the area. The interior was about 30 feet long and about the same in width, he ensuring that there were no hidden crevices or holes where animals might be lurking. Finding a second entrance leading out to the wall of water, his features broke into a smile, “Excellent”, his only comment, though even Tialla knew the benefit of having another exit in case they were surprised from the first.
Turning to her, he grinned, seeming to have made up his mind. “OK Princess, time to unpack”, his eyebrows wiggling as he bent down and began to empty the contents of his backpack. Tialla chuckled seeing the numerous weapons he pulled free, along with a change of clothing, before he looked pointedly at her bag. “I may have been unfair asking you to bring all the cooking stuff”, his tone softening. “You will be glad to know that I have a trusty knife and can make just about anything… Within reason. Also we have plenty of firewood at our disposal.”
Giving a small snort, she knelt down to join him. “I think you underestimate me Cadell”, her tone a little waspish, though the smile on her mouth belied any real animosity. Pulling items from the bag, she soon had cutlery, plates and cups. As she pulled out coffee and tea granules, he laughed, declaring her an angel, she rewarding him with a smile of her own. “Well, I must admit that those are more for my benefit. Your Tol Dor might seem very long if you had to put up with me with no caffeine in my system.”
Nodding, his lips twitched, finding himself enjoying her company, his forehead furrowing as she gripped the sides of the bag before ripping it apart, it seeming to break into three sections. One contained two towels, his eyebrows rising at the clever design.
The other two looked familiar and with interest he reached over to lift them, his head shaking as it finally dawned on him what he was looking at. “Water purification kit?”, his eyes finding hers seeing as she nodded.
“I am sure that boiling is fine, but I like to be cautious”, her head cocking to the side. “Animals use the water down there as a bathroom you know.” Grinning, he made to stand, she rising with him. “Not finished yet”, her words making him pause seeing as she pulled the heavy cloak from herself, her eyes sparkling impishly. “I know you probably think that I was crazy wearing all of this, but in about one minute, you are going to be amazed”, her lovely mouth curving in anticipation.
Enthralled, Cadell leant against the rock wall watching her, his gaze full of curiosity. “OK, amaze me.”
Laughing again at his challenge, she lay the cloak on the ground, he seeing the inside was lined with thick fur. Sympathy filled him. It must have been very uncomfortable for her trekking in the jungle wearing such a thing. With a yank, she pulled the hood from the main piece, the shape of the item changing instantly, he seeing as it now became a perfect rectangle. Pushing back from the wall, his eyes widened seeing as the cloak began to expand, as though filling with air.
Giving her a stunned look, his head shook with genuine appreciation. “Is that a bed?”
Tialla nodded back, her features shining, “Yep. My scientists created this from two compounds. While each on its own is less than the width of a finger, when the membrane between them was removed, which the hood held, and they mixed…then they expand to nearly a foot!” She chuckled. I have no idea how it works, but it does, and now we don’t have to rough it on the floor.”
Nodding his head, he fixed her with amused eyes. “OK, I am amazed.” Laughing, she held up a hand to indicate that there was more before reaching to the decorative clasp on the long skirt she wore. Pulling it, the skirt dropped to the ground, Cadell seeing that she wore more suitable trousers under it.
Lifting up the voluminous material, she neatly draped it over the makeshift bed, he seeing that they now had a blanket. Lifting her head, she pointed to it. “Again, my scientists have developed a material that keeps in heat, so we should be nice and cosy”, her lips twitching with pride. “They really are a very creative group.”
Cadell’s brow rose as he nodded. He had camped often, he used to rough living, but even he had to admit that the thought of a little comfort for a change was very enticing. Moving to sit on the bed, he was aware of just how comfortable it was, the reason for the fur on the inside now clear, the softness adding to the pile.
His eyes were questioning as she joined him. “How long will it remain like this?”, he asked softly.
Tialla shrugged “Apparently, we should not worry. They tell me that so long as we are not spending a month in the jungle then it should remain as it is.”
Cadell released a deep laugh, his finger lifting wagging it as he tutted softly, “And you accused me of cheating! Thought you could only have the items you could carry in the hold all?”
Giving him a superior look, she huffed out a small sound of indignation. “I checked the rules VERY carefully, and it doesn’t say that you can’t wear things!”, a hint of laughter now in her eyes as she smiled at him. “So, I figured if it didn’t say that you couldn’t… Then it meant you could.”
Shaking his head once more he regarded her thoughtfully. Beautiful, compassionate, caring and now resourceful. It seemed that he really had done well in his choice of bride. Very well.

next installment {May 21st}

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