This is part of the A to Z Challenge. A story told in 26 parts. Check Sunday’s post (4/7) for a recap of parts A-F.
Valerius crept quietly into the darkened bed chamber. It was assigned to Valerius, but Xavier needed the pallet more than he did. Valerius would never admit it aloud but he idolized his brother, felt Xavier’s pains as if they were his own, especially after coming so close to losing him.
“You’d never make a good thief thrashing around like that,” Xavier said from the darkness. “Can’t you do anything quietly?” Xavier sat up and lit a tallow candle.
“I have it on good authority that we should head north,” Valerius said to his brother as he made himself comfortable on the ground next to Xavier’s pallet.
“The women here are very… accommodating,” Xavier gave him a smug smile before turning his back to him, facing the hearth.
Raging jealousy consumed Xavier at the thought of Valerius and Cardelia together. Without conscious thought, he tackled Valerius.
“What the-- !” Valerius had no idea what had set Xavier off but he was well-versed in defending himself against surprise attacks, growing up with three older brothers. He soon gained the upper hand, throwing Xavier off him. Xavier winced as he landed on his side.
“What in the name of Jupiter are you doing?! Did the injuries affect your head?” Valerius shouted.
“Degenerate! Could you not keep your whoring in check for one night? Do you realize what Quirinus will do if he finds out you and Cardelia--”
“Whoa! Whoa there, brother!” It became clear to Valerius what the issue was. “It was not Cardelia. I swear it.”
Xavier picked himself off the floor and lay back down on his pallet. “You’re still a degenerate!” He blew out the candle.
“Beside,” Valerius said, smiling to himself. “I believe she prefers my ugly one-eyed companion.”