“Ah, Lian, there you are! Come, we have a guest, and she needs some help with special guild’s library archives.” Valaste motioned him to approach her and a small dark-haired Bosmer who was standing with her back to him. “Rin, this is Lylianthar, one of our most prominent young mages. Lian, this is –”
The emerald green met golden honey.
“An insane and drunk tavern wench, apparently,” the Bosmer finished for her.
“Um…” Lian blinked.
“Gwilwering.” Her tone was light, but he felt the tension behind this lightness.
“Oh, I guess you’ve already met, then? As I’ve mentioned, Lian, Gwilwering needs to look through some books and I want you to lend her a hand.” Keeping a straight face, Valaste turned to walk away.
“Since she is too short to reach for the top shelves, I guess?” sneered the Altmer.
The Bosmer’s brows shot up.
“Oh, don’t worry, I’m not awfully heavy, so holding me on your shoulders when I decide to look there won’t break your back,” she purred.
They glared at each other for several tense seconds before finally heading to the library.
* * *
“Why would you need a book on the bloodsuckers, anyway?” asked Lian, watching the girl who was rummaging through the piles of old books, occasionally making notes in her journal.
Rin sat on the floor surrounded by books and looked absolutely comfortable, as if belonging there.
“To know how to hunt them, obviously,” answered the Bosmer without raising her head from the book. And kill them. Well, and how it can be cured too–not that I’m planning to let any of these… things… near my neck, but just in case, you know.”
“You are going to hunt vampires?” Lian arched his brow incredulously. “You?”
“Have you ever hunted anything more dangerous than–let me think–a deer?”
That got Bosmer’s attention; she finally raised her eyes to glare at him.
“And what do you know about hunting, Mister I-am-a-broody-and-powerful-mage? For the record, I hunted down my first bear when I was barely one hundred years old!” She hissed like an angry cat.
“Oh, and did it die of laughter when a slip of a girl like you jumped out of the bushes?”
“You… you…” she slowly exhaled and closed her eyes counting to ten. “You know what? I guess you have a lot of important magic things to do, don’t you? I’ll manage here myself.”
“You wish. Chief librarian will have my head if I leave someone who is not a Guild member alone with the books.”
“Ok, truce, then?”
Lian sighed, not even sure what made him to pick on the Bosmer girl in the first place.
“Good, and so that you know, an injured stag or a doe, protecting her fawn, can be almost as dangerous as a bear.”
Invaluable piece of lore. He bit his tongue before the jab escaped his mouth and just nodded.
“These” –Rin motioned at the books around her– “won’t do. I need to get to the top shelves. Lower down, so I can get on your shoulders,” she added with a mischievous smirk.
“You’re impossible!” the mage rolled his eyes. “Which one do you need?” he asked, moving a step ladder.
“Those two on the left look promising.”
“Right.” He reached for the books, unaware of a lingering look Rin gave his back. When he hopped from the ladder, she was already staring in her notes, whispering something inaudible. “Here.”
“Yay! That’s what I need!” Rin practically clapped her hands.
* * *
“And – done!” proclaimed the little elf half an hour later. She stood up and stretched languidly. “Do you need help putting everything back in order?”
“No, you’ve already lingered here more than enough,” Lian said dryly.
“Oh,” she sighed, visibly disappointed. “Bye, then.”
Rin paused at the door turning to look at him.
“I… apologize, for what I said earlier today. And the other day at the tavern. That was unjust.”
Smile slowly crept at her lips. “Apology accepted.”
And with that she was gone.