They woke up early, when the sun had just barely reached its arms over the horizon.

As they began to lazily prepare to go downstairs, Jishi cast a worried glance at Riverdance. She seemed in good spirits, though, so he dismissed it.

Riverdance turned and smiled at him, before chirping, "Are you ready to go down and eat?"

Jishi tipped his head forward a bit, and raised his eyebrows.

"And what will we do for money? I thought we spent it on this room?" He waved his hand around.

"I still have some tucked away on me from… former times," Her eyes darkened slightly, and she glanced away, but she soon returned to her cheery state. "And I'm treating. So, are you coming, or would you rather sit here and starve?"

Jishi's mind clouded slightly with confusion, but he followed her down the stairs anyway.

The pair entered the dining room, and scanned it for an empty table. Finally, they spotted one, and pushed through the crowd to get to it.

They plunked themselves down, and took a few spare moments to examine their surroundings. The room was filled with worn out furniture, and a fire crackled somewhat merrily at the far end. Serving women bustled here and there with tankards of ale and platters of food.

Jishi leaned back, and had closed his eyes but for a moment when a richly accented voice spoke.

"Excuse me, but would you two be wanting for anything?"

He opened his eyes, only to have them widen. Before him stood a Dark Elf, her skin a murky black, rippling with surges of red underneath. Her shining, gold-coloured outfit clung alluringly to every luscious curve of her body. The top of the outfit began just above her breasts and ended snugly under them; the flowing skirt was slung at a low and jaunty angle on her hips. Her slim wrists were adorned with a few bracelets, as were her ankles. And her face- oh! It was simply captivating. Narrow, obsidian colored eyes… full, luscious lips… Jishi felt himself slipping into a daydream, wondering what it would be like to taste those lips, to touch-

"Jishi?" Riverdance interrupted his fantasy. "What will you have?"

He shook himself, and muttered, "Oh, an ale and…" He paused, unsure what to order.

"May I suggest the roast chicken, for you two to share?" The lady asked, tossing soft crimson hair over her shoulder, causing Jishi to emit a low moan.

Riverdance heard him, and sent an odd look at him, before nodding to the serving girl.

"That will be fine," she amended, and the woman walked away, her hips swaying back and forth dramatically.

Jishi stared after her, unable to remove his gaze, until Riverdance poked him in the ribs.

"Wake up, idiot. You okay?" she said teasingly.

"Wha-? Oh, yeah, I'm fine." Jishi answered.

Riverdance grinned, and then whispered, "What did you think of her? I don't like her… I mean, red hair on a Drow? Really!"

Jishi shook his head, "Maybe she dyed it with a berry juice of some sort. Maybe she paid a shaman to do it. Anyway," he changed the subject abruptly, "Why so cheerful this morning? You seemed ready to shred me into pieces last night!"

Riverdance flushed, then murmured, "I guess a night's rest did me good."

She was obviously hiding something, but Jishi let it go.

They sat in awkward silence for a time, and then the waitress returned with their food and drinks.

"Here you go!" she said merrily, setting it down.

Riverdance handed her the gold to pay for the meal, and the tavern maid departed.

The two companions tucked into the food, talking and laughing comfortably together.


The woman watched the two from a corner for awhile, and then walked to the barkeep, and murmured instructions to him, which he accepted with a shaky nod.

Jishi and Riverdance were just finishing up their meal when a loud crash was heard. Both their heads bobbed up, and they exchanged a glance.

Then, the sound of flesh on flesh was heard, quickly accompanied by a cry of pain.

"Stop, please!" the woman choked out, as the pudgy barkeep bent over her, slapping her face repeatedly.

Jishi leapt up, recognizing the voice as the Dark Elf lady who had served them. He began walking over to the scene, Riverdance following him slowly.

"Leave her alone!" Jishi commanded forcefully, looking daggers at the barkeep, who in answer stood up to face Jishi.

"And why shoul' I? She's mine to do wit' as I please!" the squat man retorted taking a threatening step forward.

"Because he said so, and I back him." Riverdance stepped close to the man, both curved blades out.

The ugly man gulped, then stepped away. "Be sure to git your belongin's and be out-soon." He then paid them no more attention, obviously hoping they would disappear by some sort of magic.

"Riverdance, would you please go up to our room and gather everything? I'll see to her," with this, he nodded at the woman, "and see if she is fit to travel. She can come with us, right?"

Riverdance's mind flared up vehemently at the thought of bringing the woman, but she looked so pitiful, so harmless on the ground that she felt bit back her angry retort and nodded. She then disappeared upstairs to gather their items for departure.

Once she was out of sight, Jishi offered his hand to the woman. "Milady, may I give you hand?"

The woman nodded, and sniffled, taking Jishi's outstretched hand, and standing up, her legs still shaking in fear.

"And now may I have the pleasure of knowing your name?" Jishi inquired.

The woman leaned against him, and murmured breathily in his ear, "Shrylessa. It means innocence."

He gulped at her nearness, and returned with his name.

"My name is Jishi, and my companion's name is Riverdance."

Shrylessa seemed to ignore him, and said, " You-you're cute, Jishi. I-I really like you."

With that, she practically threw herself on top of him, locking his mouth to hers in a firm kiss.

At that moment Riverdance came down the stairs. She saw the two, and flushed angrily.

"You harlot!" Riverdance growled, almost throwing their packs down the stairs in her fury.

Jishi struggled to shove Shrylessa away, but she gripped him even tighter, forcing her tongue into his mouth and groaning with what seemed to be desire.

Riverdance tossed Jishi's pack towards the two, and stormed out of the inn, stomping her feet heavily, as people dived to get out of her way.

She ran to a tree, and thumped herself down. Shoving her head into her hands, she let the hot tears slither down her face. After a time, she stopped, and began to wonder why she had reacted so strongly. She and Jishi were not lovers, so why should he not kiss other women?


"No!" Riverdance spoke firmly, giving herself a mental shake. "There is no way that can be it."