Author's Note: Hiii guys~ Sorry I've taken so long. Life can get busy, huh? (x

But I hope you enjoy this (: Remember to Review~

Time

Time is a funny thing. For some people, it doesn't seem to pass by fast enough, while for others like me, it won't go slow enough. I do not enjoy mornings, because it signals yet another day in which I grow older...though Matthew told me once that I had always preferred the night. Because of what, I do not think I will ever know; I still won't let him tell me about Naomi, the girl I once was. He thinks I am ridiculous, but by now, he should expect it.

Today marks three full moons since the day I woke up.

That day, after meeting Matthew, I had attempted to mount one of his mares, intending to ride off, until I realized that I had no connections, nor any clue as to where I would go. Matthew insisted that I travel under his care and protection until we reached the nearest town, and I eventually agreed only after he explained that his kindness would be extended for my sake, and not Naomi's. Yet, once we reached the town of Calea, he refused to leave my side; by that time, I had grown too fond of the quick-tempered mercenary to force his absence.

Now, I look on as he sleeps across the room. His hair is tousled in the most amusing way, bringing a smirk to my lips as I stand from my chair. I cross the inn's dirt floor with silent steps before leaning over Matthew's still frame. My fingers brush the blade strapped to his belt, and I am just pulling it from its sheath when his eyes snap open, causing me to step back.

"You always awaken before I can lop your head off." I pout while he sits up with a confused glare, speaking as he rubs his eyes for a moment. "That's because you move with the stealth of a fish out of the sea."

I frown, bringing my eyebrows together as I consider that statement. "You could find a better insult, I am sure." He sighs, and I let the matter drop. Maybe next time I'll be less...fish-like when I try to surprise Matthew. Until then, I have more important things to discuss.

Turning around, I return to my single bag, pulling out a fresh tunic. "I think we should move on tomorrow." He looks up, I know, but I refuse to turn around, even when he responds. "I thought you liked it here?" I shrug, selecting a pair of tights from my bag before stepping behind the changing screen.

"It is so...plain." I say while removing my sleeping clothes. Pulling on the tights, I add, "This town is too small. Already, everyone knows my face." I gain no response, so I pull on my new tunic in the quiet.

"A bigger city just means bigger trouble," he remarks, causing me to sigh softly. I can take a guess at what he actually means: I'll get lost.

"Please!" I sneer, stepping out from behind the screen. I search for my soled slippers as I tell him sternly, "I am no child. I am probably older than you!"

"Oh shush, Able. I know that you are not a helpless maiden. What I mean is that this town likes us. They accept us. No guarantee exists in those larger cities, where there's more crime—"

"There is crime here. Theo dropped his cat in the well, with purpose." I interrupt, but Matthew waves off the comment. It really was a pathetic example.

"—and more pressure. You'll be expected to fulfill other roles. More...feminine roles." He insists, causing me to pause my search. Turning to face him, I forget about my bare feet and study his expression. He is truly worried by that fact. Was I so manly in my actions?

"What is wrong with my 'role' now?" I inquire, crossing both arms. I was only seen as a traveler who paid for expenses by performing songs and dance. Currently, our room was lent to us because I sang during nights at the inn's common room. Matthew is seen as my guard. However, now that I consider it, I am the only female bard of the inn; all other girls are servers.

"Never mind." I tell him, cutting off his answer before he can speak it. "I do not care. I will be who I am. If those of the city are smart, they will not change me." My words are strong, and even Matthew knows that arguing will do nothing now. Still, as I resume my search for slippers, I can here him mutter, "Stubborn." I smile.

That afternoon, we leave the gates of the inn. We walk our horses to the town's edge and a little beyond, finding no reason to tire them quickly. I have no clue as to where exactly we are traveling to, but Matthew showed me a dot on his sketched map that appears close enough. Once we step back onto the grassy fields, I strike up a conversation, preferring idle chatter over silence. I did not realize that I was the only one who wanted to talk.

"Tell me how you became a mercenary." I request, curious as to how my partner wound up in such a low spot.

"My parents." He says, still looking forward. I frown faintly after I realize that he isn't going to continue.

"Alright...are they still alive?" I press, trying to find some form of conversation.

"Yes."

"Have you seen them lately?"

"No."

"Is there any reason you will not elaborate on anything I ask?"

"No, I...what?" He looks over to me, a brow raised in question. I guess I should have expected this, since we didn't speak beyond necessity on the way to Calea. The realization, mixed with his obvious wonder, makes me laugh a little. Irritation is replaced on his expression as he repeats, "What?"

"Nothing." I state, turning to face forward again as I choose to make another attempt at conversation. "Just answer one of my questions, please."

After another second, he nods. "My parents live in the borderlands." He shrugs, but now it is my turn to look confused. I do not remember where or what that is, if I ever did know. Matthew catches my confusion, and elaborates, "It is a few moons of travel, and in a place that I never want to see again." I nod, deciding from his sudden harsh tone that perhaps silence would be better for now.

It seems that Matthew agrees. We continue with only the sound of our horse's hooves to listen to.