Wind thumped against the canvas of the tent as rain poured over it. The noise was so thunderous that Carissa could scarcely hear herself think. At least an hour had passed, night had swept over the land, Yare wolves howled in the distance, and Elon had yet to return.
Carissa wrapped the blanket more tightly around herself, shivering in her wet undergarments. She’d shed Elon’s borrowed clothes, but given that she didn’t have another change of undergarments, she decided it was best to keep hers on.
Beneath the roar of wind, rain, and Yare wolves, she heard a faint splattering—the rhythmic sound of footsteps on wet soil.
The tent flap rustled, and Carissa sensed another presence within. “Elon?”
“I’m here.” There was a scraping noise, then a flare of light as he lit a candle with firesteel. He stood by the entrance of the tent, his sword gleaming with rainwater. His chest was bare, and his shirt was crumpled in his free hand.
Carissa’s gaze snared on a bloodstain—likely the reason he’d removed his shirt. “Akar?”
“He’s been dealt with.” Elon set his shirt on a rickety wooden table—the only piece of furniture aside from the cot. He picked up a clean shirt from the wooden table and used it to dry the blade of his sword.
“What does that mean?”
Elon stopped wiping his sword. “I had to drag him far enough away from camp that his blood and fear would draw the Yare wolves away from here. Does that answer your question?”
So the Yare wolves had finished him, which meant he was dead. There wasn’t going to be any resurrecting him now. “Yes, it does.”
Elon nodded and returned his attention to the sword. “So how do you… feel?”
A small smile curved her lips. Though the question was awkwardly presented, she was glad Elon thought to ask about her emotions—unlike most men she knew. “I think happiness is too strong of a word. It’s almost hard to believe that I’ll never see him again, that he’s truly gone. But at the same time, it’s a relief. He won’t be able to touch me again.”
“No. He won’t.” Elon muttered so lowly it sounded more like a growl.
“And thank you for keeping your promise, that he wouldn’t ever touch me again.”
Elon nodded. “Anything for you, Carissa.” He set his dried sword on the table and began to pull off his trousers. As wet as they were, they clung to him.
“Here, let me help.” Carissa rose to assist him, only for her ankle to collapse. She fell forward, the blanket falling from her shoulders.
Elon stepped closer and caught her, his strong arms clasping her firmly against him. “It seems you’ve forgotten to put on clothes, love.”