Akiros seems momentarily confused at the mention of the infamous female bandit. "Kressle? You mean the… oh. Right. You were there when she was killed at the Thorn River ford. I'd forgotten that you'd met her."
"'Met' is a bit of an exaggeration. As I recall, the most familiar she got with any of us was with Arion's hooves." She winces internally. She's as bad as Keston.
The scarred warrior tosses his prodding stick onto the flames and leans back against a tree; casting his face into shadow. "She probably deserved it. I heard that she was quite… uncouth. That's the problem with banditry; the colleagues leave something to be desired. No finesse."
She regards him a moment, chin resting in the palm of her hand. "D'you prefer the company you've kept since?"
He leans forward again, the firelight illuminating his smile. "Oh certainly. The new regime certainly has its benefits; not the least which is the delightful fragrance of my new colleagues. The Stag Lord is dead; long live the Stag Lord!"
She chuckles, with him, and then pauses. "Wait…are you saying I smell?"
She looks away bashfully, color rising on her cheeks.
The warrior stands, crosses over to Kaylee's side of the fire and leans in close to smell the nape of her neck. "Just so. I'm a fair judge of such things, I assure you."
Her eyes flick up toward his, "Oh? You've smelled a lot of women, have you?…Sorry..that came out more argumentative then I meant it to…"
Akiros seats himself next to Kaylee and waves a hand dismissively. "Not in quite some time, unfortunately."
"Me neither. Ah, to be smelled, I mean." She winces, and shakes her head. "I'm no good at this. It's been a long time since I've tried to flirt with anyone. I don't think I'm much good at it."
Akiros grins, his teeth gleaming in the dim light. "Nonsense. You're doing fine. I'm properly charmed…altogether enraptured in fact."
"Enraptured? Oh come on, now. You're pulling my leg, right? I mean…err..really?"
The scarred warrior cocks an eyebrow dubiously. "Are you being coy with me Kaylee? Do you mean to tell me that you don't realize that you're the most striking woman in the entire barony? Hells, perhaps all of Rostland. Though, admitedly, I haven't conducted a recent survey of the north country to be certain of the latter. The only reason I can imagine that you aren't yet married is that lesser men are afraid you'd thrash them were their advances unwanted."
"The most…maybe he DID damage that eye, and did something to the other one, too. But I'll take it, thanks" she chuckles, with a shy little smile. "As for me not being married…I just wasn't ready to think on it"
She presses her lips together for a moment before looking back at him. "I was married, a few years ago. Some years ago. He died really suddenly. It's been hard moving past that day. I don't talk about him much…for a long time I didn't think I'd ever want to move on at all. But..time moves on and you meet people…and being lonely gets old fast."
Akiros grows sober and looks away as if to study the fire. "I understand. I was engaged once. It ended… very badly. I lost everything. I've been traveling around since then, looking for something to fill the void. It's been hard imaging how to start again. And certainly lonely when all you've got is a bunch of other derelicts camping in a ruined fort."
She watches him as he speaks, listening. "How about we work on starting over from here? No sense in us both being lonely, what with you so enraptured and all."
He turns back to smile at Kaylee. "I am at that, and in full agreement." He raises a hand and slides it up the nape of Kaylee's neck to cradle the back of her head. Now quite serious, Akiros pauses as if to study the contours of the woman's face with his grey eyes.
She raises a hand, hesitating a moment before resting it gently on his shoulder. Another breath, a count of heartbeats, before she lets herself relax enough to lean in just a little more toward him.
With that, Akiros leans in brush Kaylee's lips with his own; pausing to look into her eyes again.
Her breath catches just a little bit as her soulful brown eyes meet his.
[cut to the campfire, perhaps some moody music]