Her sleep was shallow and to short.
A ruff shake of her shoulders woke her up.
Her body was stiff and hurt when she stood up.
The sun wasn´t even beginning to rise.
The witcher handed her a piece of old bread and started to get the horse ready.
"Get ready woman we will leave any moment." He said in a tired and gruff voice
Not a morning person as well it seems.
Milli got behind one of the bushes to do what she needed to do and walked back to the camping side.
Where she was greeted by a annoyed looking man.
"What? I cant just stand in front of a tree with the back to every one else to piss. I need to get somewhere else with cover."
She got on the horse and was immediately joined by her male companion (or should she say owner?).
Their journey that day lasted from dusk till dawn and they not once changed words.
It made her feel uncomfortable.
"Build the fireplace while I get some meat."
Without another glance the Man was gone in the woods.
To build a fire isn´t to complicated, to get it going was something different.
Back home , the young woman loved to watch survival series and knew how to light a fire ( in theory), but it just didn´t want to start.
Milli had tried the method with the two sticks and the rubbing, but it didn´t work and she wasn´t owning any flint.
I need a lighter or some matches. Or this magical sign he used the other day.
He was gone for at least one an hour and when he returned she was glad to not only see him but to see a freshly gutted and skinned rabbit.
"Looks like we´ve been both successful."She greeted him.
"Partly. In the left saddlebag is a pot and some vegetables and there is a river just down that way. So we make stew."
She did as told and came back with the wanted provisions.
In the few seconds she was gone, the witcher got the fire burning.
When Milli walked back, she tripped over the hem of the dress Sapra had given her and started to curse.
"What. You men aren´t the only one allowed to curse. You don´t have a spare pair of trousers you could lent me?" She answered at his slightly stunned look.
"None in your size."
" You mind me knotting the skirt up to my knees then?"
The only answer she got, was a cocky smile making her frown.
"Yes or No?"
"No I don´t mind. Though don´t do that when we are with others. People don´t like us witchers much and I don´t need to get more hatred because they think I am traveling with a whore."
"A whore, really-" She sighted." At least I can walk around camp without stumbling and falling then."
Taking the hem, Milli rolled it up to her knees and did a simple knot on the left side.
They were silent again and she looked at him the whole time until he snapped at her.
"I don´t like to be stared at woman. Yes my eyes look like those of a cat. Get over it!"
She was stunned .
"Chill. I was just thinking about what you name could be. I don´t think it´s ´witcher´. Mine ´s Milli."s
She held out her right hand to introduce herself in a proper way.
He looked at the ground for a second, before shaking her hand.
"Nice to meet you Lambert. So where will we go next?"
"There is a village down that path. Helped them some months ago."
"So we can stay there for one night and get some provisions?"
"I don´t think so. Villagers usually send us away, unless they need us."
"Well- good I am not one of you guys then."
His eyebrows knitted together in confusion.
"I could get into the village and ask for a place to sleep. When they give me one, I call you and they can´t sent you away."
"We could try. I have some coin left from an earlier contract to pay for the beds and something else to wear for you. We will be on the road for at least three months. You can´t wear that dress the whole time. "
"I can´t pay you back." Milli whispered.
"You are bound to me and I have to take care of you. It´s how it is. We like it or not."
SO he doesn´t like it at well...
Milli sat down next to the fire and started to cut the vegetables while Lambert get the water for the stew.
He wasn´t long gone, when the horse became unsettled.
It began to stomp his feet and pull on the reigns.
Panic started to rise in Millis stomach. Her heart began to beat faster.
When the horse starts to panic, there must something bad nearby.
She grabbed the knife she used to cut the vegetables with prior and backed up against a tree.
Suddenly a rustle sounded from above her head.
Her heart began to beat even louder and faster.
A drop landed on her head. She raised her hand to swipe it away stopping mid motion.
It wasn´t raining.
Slowly - not really wanting to know what was waiting above her head- the young woman looks up and straight into the face of a giant bat.
She turned her body away, never letting her eyes leave their unwanted guest.
One foot after the other she backs up towards the way Lambert had disappeared.
Lambert! Now is a good time to get back.
The bat started to climb down the trunk, hunger glittering in its eyes.
"Nice bat. Beautiful fangs you got there." She whispers with a shattering voice.
Maybe that thing is smart and like to be complimented?
In a blink of an eye, sharp claws grabbed her body.
Of saliva glittering teeth were the last thing she saw before a scream of panic escaped her throat.
It was one of the loudest she ever was able to muster. And those who knew her would say she was famous for the volume of her voice.
Suddenly the beast let her go, shaking its head violently -like one would do to get water out of their ears- screaming of pain.
Its screams of pain stopped when its head was separated from its shoulders by one of the witchers swords.
Blood splattered everywhere including all over Milis face and body.
Shock prevented her from moving.
"Are you alright?"
Milli heard the witcher ask in the distance.
It took a few seconds for her to be able to answer. And then it was only an nod.
Her eyes zoomed out.
The young woman jerked together when Lambert face suddenly appeared in front of her.
"I asked if you are able to walk. You are covered in Katakanblood and it can attract other things to our camp. You need to get rid of this shit." He told her with anger in his voice.
The young woman didn´t answered but made a step into the direction he had walked earlier. But her legs didn´t want to support her weight any more and she tumbled towards the forest floor.
Strong arms stopped her fall.
"Come." Was all he said before he slung her over his shoulder and walked through the under-bushes, his sword still in his hand.
What the fuck...
"Get out of that dress and and wash your face. I don´t need to fight against another blood sucker tonight."
She tried to grab the strings that keep her dress together on her back, but a pain stopped her movement and she flinched.
That didn´t go unnoticed by the man, who put his arm around her waist and pulled on said strings, opening her dress. He helped her get her arms out of the sleeves resulting in the dress falling to the floor.
Cold evening air reached her skin.
Mili registered after some seconds that she stood in the middle of a forest (only in her underwear) caught in the arms of an highly armed and trained man.
She didn´t know if she should be glad or terrified.
Her body began to shiver and the man sighted deeply.
"Bloodsucker scratched your skin. Bruised you where it grabbed you. It´s not to deep, need stitches though. You should not move to much until I took care of it."
He told her looking at the damage.
"Sit down on that rock. I will help you wash up and then patch you back together at camp. We won´t be able to get the blood out of the dress. Need to burn it later."
Milli did as told and waited for the next thing to happen.
She was lucky for the wounds being beneath her bra. So she did not need to strip all naked.
Lambert grabbed a cloth out of nowhere, put it into the river and began to wash away the blood, a bit to rough for her liking but who was she to complain in this situation.
"Put your head back, as far as you can, I need to wash the damn blood out of your hair."
Again she did as told but flinched again when the scratches got pulled.
Lambert began to clean her hair, again one arm around her waist.
He´s warm. Outch. Watch it.
Her body began to tremble more and more from shock and cold.
"Finished. Will stitch you up back at camp."
Her arms had sneaked around her upper body to keep warmer and cover up a bit.
She saw his eyes roam over her body one more time without any expression and sheathed his sword. Before he carried her back bridal style.
Lambert set her down carefully near the fire.
"You need to lay down for me to stitch these up."
There was no time to complain about the unhygienic floor, because Lambert had grabbed his bedroll and put it in front of her.
He motioned for her to lay down.
"This will probably hurt like a bitch. But you can´t scream. Here put this in your mouth and bite." The witcher handed her a belt. And chuckled?
She glanced at him with uncertain eyes.
"I need to crouch over you to see with this light. "
She nodded in understanding but didn´t know why he was amused about that.
Until she felt his crotch on her ass.
Her eyes widened and her body tensed for a second.
He laughed again.
At least one has fun.
She felt him lean forward, his shirt brushed against her sore back, tickling a bit.
" I will start now. Probably need to make five stitches per scrap. After that I will put ointment on them and the bruises. Try to relax." Lambert whispered in your ear.
"Yeah." Milli answered silent.
He shifted back.
She readied herself for the pain.
Lambert was right. Ouch. This. Ouch. Hurts .Fuck. Like. A bitch.
Milli was sure she would faint of the pain, when he was finished.
"These ointments will help your wounds heal and prevent infections. They were made for me, so I need to weaken them-A Lot. Else they will probably kill you."
Nice to know.
She sat up while Lambert prepared the ointments, soon he began to put them on.
A hiss escaped her lips.
"Should have told you this stings as well. I watered it down as much as I could. I probably need to refresh the bandages at least two times per day. This shit will slow us down."
He spoke while bandaging Millis torso.
His bare hands touching her slightly.
The warmth of the bedroll was gone and she began to shiver again.
"I will throw the dress in the fire, you can wear one of my shirts for now."
He handed her a white fabric.
"Can you help me?" She asked quiet. "It hurts when I try to lift my arms."
There was no answer only the shirt that was suddenly over her head.
Lamberts shirt reached to her knees, but the thin fabric did not really warmed her.
"I will redo the bandages in the morning. Then we will make way to the village."
Milli nodded and curled up into a little ball, trying not to put to much pressure on her wounds.
"Good night Lambert." She whispered before closing her eyes. The fire spending her warmth.