Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Abdael: At Last, A Kiss

Tatherine Florilis stepped in, catching the big sword with her two shorter ones and shoving it aside. She lashed out with her blades, one-two, but Abdael danced back out of the way, twisting to bring his blade back up between them. Tatherine advanced again, sweep-and-stab, but Abdael stepped aside with the sweep and wasn't there when she stabbed. With his hands still up beside his head and his point downward, he countered with a stab at her foot, forcing her to sweep her leg back and break her advance.

A two-handed weapon will have the advantage of reach and leverage. It was the memory of trainer Caron's voice that filled her ears, from just after Tatherine had settled on paired short swords as a fighting style. To get past it with paired weapons, you'll need to move in, and you'll need to find a rhythm for using your blades separately and together.

Abdael had his tip up immediately, handle beside his shoulder, blade pointing slightly downwards towards her. He wasn't the most aggressive fighter, which was also a problem: he seemed perfectly content to keep her at a distance and attack her there. If he'd charge, or over-commit on a lunge...

Abdael drew back and leaned forward again, threatening with his blade but not actually attacking. Tatherine shifted her grip to try moving in on him again, and that was when he lunged, tip pointed right at her chest. She stepped aside and swept with her blade, then thrust with her other hand -- aiming not for his body, but for his extended arms.

She wasn't sure which of them was more surprised when the blow landed.

Abdael smiled and stepped back. "Nicely done." The blunted blade had connected solidly with his arm, but the thick leather of his training jacket had soaked up some of the impact. It had probably hurt, but he didn't seem bothered by that. "You have the basics down solid. Have you decided what path you want to follow?"

Tatherine stepped back and lowered her blades. "I was thinking about training as a Ranger," she said.

Abdael nodded. "That's a good choice for you, I think: versatile, independent. I've known a couple of rangers, and even the relatively inexperienced ones had a nice mix of stealth, combat, and magic."

He turned, and she stepped up beside him as he started for the racks of training weapons. "It's not as... court-appropriate as my mother would prefer," said Tath, "but I have older siblings for that. Daina will be the next Countess, unless something happens. I'd like to be the sort of noble who just... goes out and deals with problems."

Abdael nodded and placed the blunted greatsword back on the rack, then unfastened his practice helm and started pulling it off. Tath moved a little ways down the rack and slung the blunted shortswords back into place.

"I think your county will be lucky to have you," he said, as she was removing her own practice helm.

That, she decided, was what she liked about Abdael: he took her seriously. Her mother and oldest sister often seemed vaguely disappointed in her choices; the guards and servants treated her with courtesy; and the other courtiers in her mother's circles were alternately amused and condescending. Abdael treated her like... well, sometimes like her trainers did, but more often like a friend.

"So, Abdael..." He was in the middle of opening the clasps on his leather training jacket when she stepped up beside him, and went completely still when she wrapped a hand around his neck and pulled his head gently down. But when she kissed him, he kissed her back like he'd been wanting this as much as she had.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to leave comments; it lets me know that people are actually reading my blog. Interesting tangents and topic drift just add flavor. Linking to your own stuff is fine, as long as it's at least loosely relevant. Be civil, and have fun!