the white wolf and the runaway princess

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    geralt of rivia

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    princess fiona
    January 23rd, 2020 at 05:26am
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    "Your kind isn't welcome here, freak!" An apple core soared through the air before it hit the whitehaired man in the back of the head. More people shouted out vulgarities, some called him a mutant, others just spat in his direction. The witcher kept his head down, holding the reins to his horse tightly in his gloved fist, moving through the city streets, but that wasn't to say he didn't shoot a few hostile men with his piercing orange eyes. One look from the monster slayer was enough to silence any size man up.

    Fiona had been passing by, one of her hands holding the button to her cloak firmly, the furlined hood pulled down over her head, concealing her face. It wasn't unusual, seeing as it was the middle of winter and a few flurries sprinkled down around them now. She had just came from the market, where she had bought a few little trinkets from the local craftsmen when she had turned down Gulley Alley and became privy to all of the noise. The mysterious stranger caught her glance immediately, he too had his head covered by a black cloak, but she could see strands of snow-white hair that peeked out, falling over his shoulders. Strapped two his back were two swords and she could also see the glistening silver wolf head that hung from his neck.

    A witcher. She had heard many tales of the men who slay monsters wherever they go, charging people a pretty penny for it, as well. Even her father, the king, talked lowly of the mutants, as he called them. Fiona supposed he was correct in calling them that, considering how many changes their bodies underwent in making them what they are. Stepping to the side, the princess waited for the witcher and his horse to pass, before she turned on her heel and began trailing them. The princess had always been a bit more open-minded than her father and mother, their horror stories of witchers hadn't scared her enough to cause her to turn a blind eye to the stranger now.

    Soon, it became obvious that the witcher had just passed through to buy some carrots for his horse. Fiona watched him stop at one market stall and he was lucky enough the vendor didn't refuse service. She wondered if he had been charged triple by the man, sometimes she eavesdropped in on sellers and merchants laughing about how they charged witches more just on principle. She waited for the witcher to take his carrots and move on, before she hurried up to his side, her face still completely hidden from his view.

    "So, you're a witcher?" Fiona couldn't help the smile that spread across her face, her brown wavy hair being blown around her neck by the icy wind. "Where are you heading now, if you don't mind me asking?" The princess had always been fascinated with what the world had to offer, and that meant monsters too. She hadn't even though about possibly coming across as rude or hadn't even considered that maybe the witcher didn't want to be bothered. Excitement filled her from head to toe just thinking about all the stories she may be able to pull out of him. "If you don't mind, I could buy you a drink? You could tell me about your travels?"
    January 23rd, 2020 at 05:47am
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    Geralt didn't so much as give a blink or respond when the apple core hit him in the back of the head. He was used to the treatment that had bothered him once upon a time. Now, he nearly found it comical. These people called upon him to kill the monsters that lurked in the night and yet, they treated him as an ostracised man during the day. It was a joke, one that he deemed particularly cruel for he hadn't chosen this life. It was thrust upon him with little choice for something different in the end. Geralt's life had been chosen for him, even before he had been born he thought. His mother had a plan even before he took his first breath.

    He noticed someone following him and on instinct along, Geralt's back straightened. His eyes narrowed as his grip on Roach's reigns tightened. He wasn't one to break out into a battle in the middle of a city but he would if it meant defending himself or his horse. Geralt ground his teeth together, continuing on through the streets of the city. Perhaps he was only thinking too much of it. Someone who had never met a witcher was sure to be curious, after all.

    But then that someone was stepping up behind him and was speaking. Geralt had to hold back a groan, closing his eyes for a brief moment before he reopened them. He held back a sick as he glanced back to her. "What gave it away?" Geralt asked, his voice void of any emotion. "The dirty looks, the overpriced carrots, or the necklace?" Geralt asked, only pausing in his movements when Fiona offered to buy him a drink. That wasn't expected.

    His brows rose slightly as he looked toward her. "And why would I tell you about my travels? What does a girl like you have to do with tales of slain monsters?" Geralt asked, his eyes narrowing further. Skeptical would be putting how he felt nicely.
    January 23rd, 2020 at 06:20am
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    The princess didn't deal with many men and even though her curiosity had gotten the better of her, the witcher's deep voice and disheveled attitude did make her tense slightly. However, she was determined. Fiona tilted her head to look at him, her lips parting in surprise at how his eyes glowed like fire. For a moment, she was mesmerized.

    "You can't blame a girl for just being curious can you?" She slipped her hand into a black velvet coin purse that hung from her hip, digging out a single gold piece from a pile. "Witchers only care about the coin right? Easiest gold piece you could ever earn, hmm? Maybe I have more." She hoped she was coming off as enticing as possible, she didn't care if she had to dangle her whole purse in front of him. She would.

    Geralt's horse bumped him in the back of his head with a persistent neigh and Fiona couldn't help but laugh, hiding the gold coin in her gloved hand behind her back. "I'm sure your friend here would love to stop for a carrot break, anyway, and look, there's a tavern." Fiona pointed just down the road. They nearing the iron gates to the kingdom and right on their left was a tavern.

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    January 23rd, 2020 at 06:54am
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    Geralt was half prepared the girl to say something about his eyes - they weren't natural. He knew that, but there was no way around the way he looked. Geralt had spent a fair amount of time, trying to hide who he was. That was useless, he realized. Whether he liked it or not, that didn't matter in the least bit. Geralt simply stared at Fiona, raising an eyebrow when she produced a gold coin. He eyed it, wondering if this was some sort of trick. Coin to talk? Now that wasn't something that he was used to.

    It seemed that Roach had lost his patience when Geralt debated whether to take the mysterious woman's offer. He looked up, letting out a dry chuckle as Roach nudged his head. He ignored Fiona for a long moment, tugging a carrot free from the bundle. Almost before he'd even lifted it fully, Roach pulled it away from Geralt and began munching on it. Geralt turned back toward Fiona, tilting his head. "If this is some sort of trick..." he trailed off. Wary. Always wary was the way of the witcher; it was better safe than sorry.

    Geralt huffed as he turned, following Fiona toward the tavern with Roach in tow. He didn't bother to tie Roach, knowing the beast wouldn't venture far nor would anyone be foolish enough to try and take the witcher's horse. Geralt motioned toward the tavern's door, following Fiona inside. His back stiffened as everyone seemed to turn and look but it was the only reaction that he gave. Geralt wordlessly moved over to a table in the corner, putting his back to the wall as he eyed Fiona. "Sure it's a wise idea to be seen sitting with a witcher? You'll be shunned," he said, nearly trying to joke with the young girl.
    January 23rd, 2020 at 07:10am
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    Moving through the tavern, Fiona slid a few silver pieces onto the counter as they walked past the bartender. That would buy enough ale to keep the witcher happy for a good while and enough to pay the bartender to bring it to the table without a fuss. She wasn't a stranger to this bar, either, the owner was familiar with the cloaked woman even if he didn't know her name. No one would bother them.

    Fiona sat on the opposite side facing the witcher. Torches mounted on the wall sent shadows dancing across his skin and now, Fiona was finding it easier to admire him. Beyond his intimidating gaze, he was rather handsome with a stern jaw and broad shoulders. She wondered for a moment if every witcher was so muscular.

    "How are they going to shun a girl they don't know? Especially one whose the princess." She leaned across the table to whisper that last word, finding no harm in it. The witcher would be gone with the sun and as much as she knew, that could make him more motivated to talk. She had all the coin he could want. "What brings you to Aedirn?" A smile broke out along the girls face, barely glancing up as the barkeep brought Geralt a tankard of ale.

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    January 23rd, 2020 at 07:21am
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    Geralt physically recoiled when Fiona admitted to who she was. His shoulders pulled together as his back straightened. He was right to think this was some sort of trick then. There was no way that the princess of Aedirn had wanted an audience with him. If she had a monster she needed slain, she could have sent for him without following him in the streets. His frown grew as his eyes roamed over her features. It was clear he was debating leaving without saying even another word to Fiona. This had bad news written all over it, to him.

    Looking up when the barkeep appeared with his ale, Geralt only gave a stiff nod of his head in thanks. He took a heavy sip of the ale before slamming the tankard back to the table. His eyes locked on Fiona as he debated where to begin If there was anything he even wanted to say to her. Knowing that she was the princess, what could he tell her that she hadn't heard before? She surely grew up with all of the tales she could ever want.

    Though his gaze softened slightly as he sat in front of her, nursing his ale. "Just passing through. There's a monster that needs dealing with a few towns over," he said. Geralt shrugged because he wasn't one to brag about his jobs. He was a witcher, his deeds were known by everyone around. He saw no need to make his acts more grande than they already were. "I'd have left Aedirn if you hadn't promised me gold to talk," he said as he leaned forward on the table. Geralt glanced around the room before his attention returned to Fiona. "So what am I to talk about?"
    January 23rd, 2020 at 07:27am
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    Fiona hadn't meant to shock him, or scare him, or whatever emotion she saw written all over his face when he physically jerked back, away from her. She stayed silent for a moment, giving the bartender time to disappear away from the table. When he was far enough away and the princess knew no one else was listening in on them, she turned to meet Geralt's gaze, his disapproval of the situation apparent.

    "Gold." Fiona nodded, biting down on her bottom lip as she pulled the coin purse off of her belt. She sat it on the table between them and watched it tip over. A few gold coins tumbled out onto the table, clinking together as they landed. "I can see you don't trust me, but I promise, I'm just a curious girl. I've been sneaking out of the castle since my fourtneeth name day, and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to speak to a witcher when I saw you."

    She straightened up, crossing her arms over her chest. "What kinds of monsters are real? What are you on your way to deal with?" Fiona was filled with questions and she could only hope she had enough coin to keep him from growing to annoyed. The last thing she wanted was for him to just storm out on her. "I don't mean to come off as overwhelming. It's just a breath of fresh air to find someone new."

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    January 23rd, 2020 at 07:46am
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    Geralt's brows rose as Fiona explained that she had been sneaking out of the castle for years. It was an odd thought, that someone who was supposed to remain protected at all times was able to sneak past the very people that were meant to protect her. His lips twitched upward at the thought but it was the only real reaction that he gave Fiona before his smile fell.

    "Basilisks, nasty little creatures," Geralt's face scrunched as he remembered the last time he'd battled one. He nearly hadn't made it out alive but that little detail didn't need to be spoken about. It would ruin his reputation surely and that, it wasn't what he needed nor wanted. "I suspect what I'm about to encounter is a koshchey," he paused, leaning forward so that he could be heard in a whisper. He smirked slightly, only for the added affect as he spoke.

    "Werewolves are real. Particularly difficult to hunt before of their sense of smell. They know you're near before you even realize it. With them, you have to fight - there is no other way. You can either beat them or..." Geralt trailed off, leaving the unspoken end to his little story to hang between them.

    Geralt settled back in his seat, taking another swig of his ale. "Do you not deal with a different royal every day of the week? How am I any different?" He asked with something that sounded quite like a bitter laugh.
    January 23rd, 2020 at 06:23pm
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    Fiona was hanging on his every word, imagining it in her head. She had spent a lot of her time inside of the castle curled up with a fantasy book. One of the few she could find, anyway. "Koshchey?" Her mind was now racing a mile a minute as Geralt answered. Finding herself following his lead as he leaned forward on the table, so did she. Werewolves! She looked away for a moment after he stopped, instead now asking her a question. She wanted to think about nothing more than what the witcher had to share with her, she especially didn't want to think about what was going on back home in the castle.

    A frown made its way onto her face and wrinkled her nose a little bit, sitting back straight. "Oh, yes, here lately I am actually dealing with a different royal every day." She didn't expect the witcher to actually be curious, or care about the answer. "If you can't see how you're different to every prince and noblemen that I must suffer, I don't think I could explain it to you." It was her turn to poke fun at him, trying to forget about how she was to meet with another prince later that evening. She would almost be of age in a few months and her father, naturally, would rather marry her off than let her take the throne. Perhaps that's why she was so interested in the witcher, his lifestyle, while very much dangerous, seemed so free.

    "Have you fought a werewolf?" She asked curiously, hoping Geralt wouldn't want to linger on the subject of regal life. That was exactly what she was trying to escape.

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    January 23rd, 2020 at 06:39pm
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    Geralt shrugged when Fiona mentioned just how different he was from the people that she was regularly surrounded with. It meant nothing to him. He didn't care for royals, one way or another. At most, he knew them as people who could not keep a promise if their life depended on it. They could not take care of themselves if it wasn't for the maids that surrounded them. Geralt wondered briefly if it would be worth saying that to Fiona, how would she react? Would she leave him be? Was that preferable? Geralt was left pondering that as Fiona continued to speak.

    "Once," Geralt grunted, relaxing back in his seat. He eyed the barkeep, raising his tankard when the man looked his way to signal that he needed another. "You want to see the scar?" He asked, tilting his head to the side. He thought about it, standing and pulling his shirt up to reveal the scar that ran up the length of his torso. He was only teasing Fiona of course. He had no intention of showing her the mark, particularly when they were in a crowded bar.

    "Ah, never mind. I don't want to scare the princess of the kingdom," Geralt said with a small laugh. He raised his tankard and finished off the last bit of it as the barkeep appeared. He held out his empty tankard, his fingers wrapping around the arm of the container the moment it was set down.

    "Have you found a prince that is worth marrying?" Geralt asked after a moment, figuring that this little question session could go both ways.
    January 23rd, 2020 at 06:52pm
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    Fiona refrained from actually answering the question, not wanting her answer to be construed into meaning something entirely different. She would've loved to see the scar, mostly to see what a werewolf could do to someone... But she wouldn't be able to promise her eyes wouldn't linger. "Maybe you can show me some other time." Fiona could play his game if she wanted, going back and forth like this. "And I doubt you could scare me." Those words she definitely didn't believe, but she wanted to try and appear as less princess-like as she could, not wanting to give him the idea that she was a damsel in distress.

    "No." Her lips pursed at his question, it took her no time at all to answer it. "I don't think I will, either." It would be cheesy to say that princes weren't her type, but it was true. She didn't want the life that it came with, being sent off to an unknown land to serve under a man's thumb. The princess wanted to try and forge her own way and whenever she thought about herself with a man... It was a capable man, a strong, adventurous man who didn't relish in the garments he wore, a man who didn't turn a blind eye to the starving children on the streets. She wanted to get as far away from her own life as possible.

    She looked up just in time to see the annoyed look on the barkeep's face before he left, muttering something along the lines of, 'damned mutant.'

    "How does it feel being treated like that when you do nothing but help these people?" She looked around the tavern, it hadn't been lost on her the dirty looks they were receiving. She had witnessed it first hand when she spotted the witcher walking through the streets, being pelted with ruined food.

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    January 23rd, 2020 at 07:13pm
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    Geralt didn't bat an eye at the muttered words. He simply looked up to Fiona, raising his tankard to take another sip of the fresh ale. He was intrigued by Fiona. He realized it as he looked at her, her question that struck a nerve that he didn't even know existed. Geralt found it easy not to react to emotions, he was a witcher after all. Fiona was a princess willing to escape into the danger of the streets to escape something that he didn't know at all. What was so bad that she was wanting to run from in the castle? Geralt couldn't help but wonder but he didn't ask because that sort of talk wasn't for prying ears. He may not care but he was sure it would fall heavily on Fiona's shoulders if someone figured out who she was. Then he would have to put his swords to use... what coin could he fetch for saving the princess' life?

    "It doens't matter. People are afraid because of my powers," Geralt said. He shrugged because these things had never mattered to him. Why would it? He was paid and he moved on. Geralt couldn't stay in one place. The monsters wouldn't come to him, he had to go to them. Geralt looked around the bar, smirking when the people who glared at him looked away. Mostly. Some were brave enough to maintain eye contact but Geralt didn't linger on them.

    "They only want me around when there's something scarier lurking in the dark," Geralt said. "I can't blame them. If I was them... I would feel the same," Geralt reasoned. He didn't know if he would because feelings were so foreign to him. "Were you not raised to feel the same, princess?" His voice dipped at the end so others wouldn't hear her title nor how he was teasing her.
    January 23rd, 2020 at 07:42pm
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    "I was." Fiona looked up at him, pulling the gloves from her hands. The fire roaring inside of the tavern was beginning to make her cloak a bit unbearable, but tossing the gloves on the table helped enough. "Turns out there are scarier things than monsters and witchers." She wasn't actually afraid of witchers, instead just choosing to jab at him a bit more. The stories she heard from people around the city didn't hold any weight with her, nor did the way her father spoke of the slayers. Fiona wondered if it was the books she had read growing up about dragons and fairytales and brave knights that saved the helpless that had given her an open mind when it came to things that scared others, or if it was her own horrors she had to deal with inside of the castle. Either way, she just saw the witcher sitting across from her as a man. A man with a peculiar job and even more peculiar glowing eyes.

    Fiona didn't want to dance around what she thought was more terrifying than werewolves or basilisks.

    She looked down at his hands, having heard stories about how witchers could control magic to an extent. They were by no means mages, but they had learned to employ powerful magic by the use of gestures and staying focused. "Your powers... Your signs?" She asked, remembering what she heard them be called before. "So that's true? You can actually spark flames from your fingers?" The princess didn't mean to ridicule the witcher, instead, just completely enthralled by what she was learning. "You just draw a sign and can then persuade others to speak and do things? Throw people backward without even touching them?"

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    January 23rd, 2020 at 07:53pm
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    Geralt couldn't help the entertainment he felt when Fiona started to question his powers. He smirked, leaning forward as he lifted up his free hand. He wiggled his fingers to gain her attention and moments later, he produced a small flame from his middle and forefinger. He swirled his fingers before the flame disappeared just as quickly as it appeared. "Many things you hear about witchers are true. Many are not.." he trailed off, shrugging because he didn't know what she did or did not know about his guild.

    "I can do many things that other witchers are not capable of," Geralt commented in a low voice. He saw no point in hiding his powers for many already knew about it. Most knew about why his hair was white - he was more than your average witcher. Capable of more. Geralt wondered if that had to do with why he was suddenly feelings emotions. He was aging, sure, but did that mean his emotions would come back with a vengeance?

    Geralt paid no mind to the whispers and the murmurs coming from people who had seen his little magic trick that had been meant to entertain Fiona for a brief moment. "I can throw things around but I don't think the barkeep would care for that. Though..." he trailed off, looking like he was entertaining the idea. "I suppose I could throw him," Geralt joked, his eyes locked on Fiona to see her reaction to his attempted joke.
    January 23rd, 2020 at 08:19pm
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    Fiona was mysticized by the flames that flickered to life above Geralt's fingertips. She had never even seen the court mage really perform any magic, every time she asked he yelled something about not being a show pony and then would kick her out of his study. "Wow-" Fiona didn't want to come across as so blown away by his abilities, but it was hard. He was so different than anything in her life, she was finding it hard to come to terms with the fact she would have to say goodbye soon.

    "I could throw him..." Fiona couldn't contain her laugh, bringing her hand up to her mouth to quiet herself. He had been as solid as a rock upon approaching him that she was beginning to ask herself if this was the same man she met outside in the streets. Hopefully, he was warming up to her. "That would be a sight-" the princess was instantly startled when a group of men approached the table, slamming their hands down on the wood. Her eyes widened in surprise, feeling her heart beating in her throat. No... She should have known trouble would've eventually been brought up, she shouldn't have asked about his powers...

    "Done drinking, yet, witcher?" The man spat in Geralt's direction, "maybe it's time you get on out of here."

    Fiona began to speak up, starting to rise to her feet. Men. Mortal men were scarier than monsters or the witchers that fought them. Before she could speak, trying to slip away, one of the men brought their hands down on her shoulder, laughing in her ear. "Don't worry, we'll keep the good lass safe. Now get out." He yelled right by her ear, causing her to flinch. She looked up at Geralt, her eyes trying to apologize for the trouble she had put him in.

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    January 23rd, 2020 at 08:36pm
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    Geralt didn't so much as flinch when the man slammed his fist down on the table. He blinked, turning slowly toward the man. He held up his still half-full tankard and shook his head as he swished the liquid around to show he wasn't quite done yet. "Just finishing my ale. Is that okay or do I need to beg for permission?" He quipped lowly. Geralt had been calm until a man set his hand on Fiona's shoulder. His eyes narrowed in on the action as he snarled. He slammed his tankard down, raising to his full height in a brief moment.

    "Let the girl go," Geralt ground out through gritted teeth. His eyes darkened as he gave a slight shake of his head. "I won't repeat myself," he added when the men didn't seem to care about his first demand. He hadn't come here for a fight but if they were asking for one, they were certainly about to get one.

    Geralt threw his hand forward, swiping at the men that stood back. They flew backward, some cracking into the far wall while others landed atop tables far back. Geralt sneered as the other man stepped forward, around Fiona as he raised his hands. Geralt let out a tired sigh. "Don't do something you'll regret." He knew the trouble his guild brought with it, he didn't care to create more but he wasn't going to not defend Fiona. That didn't seem to be an option now.

    Geralt wordlessly struggled with the man, raising an eyebrow when he tossed the man to the floor. He sneered, looking up to the shocked crowd. "There's nothing to see here. Is there?" He snarled, his hand balling into a fist. Geralt was quick to step over to Fiona. He set his hand on her lower back, nodding toward the door. "Let's go," he huffed as he began to lead the way out of the tavern.
    January 23rd, 2020 at 08:56pm
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    Fiona was silent as she followed the whitehaired man out of the tavern. The only thing she had thought to do was grab the coin purse from the table and pull her hood down further over her head, knowing every set of eyes were on them. She tensed up when she felt his hand rest on her lower back, not out of fear like she had when the stranger touched her, but just because she hadn't expected it. Once back outside, she pulled her gloves on and fought the urge to remain silent. "I... I'm sorry." She felt the need to take full responsibility. If she hadn't been so curious, he never would've been performing magic tricks for her in the bar. It had been stupid of her to ask about them.

    She followed him to where his horse waited and even his companion seemed rather odd compared to other horses. The witcher hadn't even cared to tie the beast to a stable post and it hadn't run off? "Here, for the trouble." Fiona walked up to his side and handed them the velvet coin purse. It was filled with silver and gold pieces and she wouldn't miss a coin of it. This had been the first time she had found herself in trouble inside of her city gates, but she now felt like she could really trust the man.

    Before he could take the purse, she moved it away quickly, "wait, I didn't get your name. Then you can have the coin."

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    January 23rd, 2020 at 09:07pm
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    Geralt hardly paid any attention as he made his way out of the bar. He didn't so much as look left or right, more focused on getting both himself and the princess out of here before things went further south. He wouldn't let any harm come to Fiona, he only wanted to get her back to the castle and to leave the city. He would likely never return again. Not if there was a trouble to be had here, beyond what was typical for a witcher. A princess who escaped from the people meant to protect her? Oh, that was certainly trouble.

    Once they reached Roach, Geralt breathed a small sigh of relief. He ran his hand down the horse's mane, smiling just barely when the horse whinnied in greeting. He turned toward Fiona as she produced the sack of coin, raising an eyebrow when she pulled it away as he started to reach toward it.

    "Geralt of Rivia," he supplied his name easily. Geralt glanced around, mildly surprised she did not know who he was. His reputation often proceeded him but he chose not to comment on it because it also didn't matter at all. "Maybe keep better company. No telling what those men would have done if I had not been around tonight," he said with a slight frown.

    "You don't want stories of the princess being beaten and raped in some back alley tavern," Geralt added with a raised brow.
    January 24th, 2020 at 05:11am
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    Fiona let the bag fall into his hand. "Usually, I don't draw attention to myself. For other obvious reasons." She placed her hands behind her back, taking one more good look at him, knowing it might be the last she'd ever see him. He was beautiful, his white hair was beginning to get a little wavy and his jaw had surely been chiseled by the god himself. She began to wonder if it was fair for a witcher to be so attractive.

    "No telling what you might've done, either." She shrugged, certainly she didn't want such things to happen to her, but if she always played it so safe, she might not have met him. "I'd like to see you again, Geralt." The princess just came right out and said it. "Don't feel like you have to, but if you're ever around Aedirn again, I'd be happy to pay you for more stories. I'm sure I'll be able to find you if ever come through again."

    She wanted nothing more than to ask to runaway with him right then, but she was sure of what his answer would be. What would a witcher do with a princess anyways? After all, she would just be a burden.

    @ castle.
    January 24th, 2020 at 05:23am