There was a clang of metal on metal, and a grunt.
She didn’t dare open her eyes. She heard a scuffle, and then opened her right eye. Peter had blocked the attack and pushed his governor to the side. “Stop it, please.”
“This vile elf wants us to die in here!” Aristides cried out, pointing at her with his sword. Spittle flew in arcs from his mouth. “She seduced us, now she’s turning you against me. What’s next, Peter? Will you kill me while defending her?”
Peter pointed his own sword to the side. It was still in a good spot to block a sudden attack, but it felt less confrontational. He raised his other palm at Aristides. “Governor, think, dammit! Yes, I’m not letting you slay a defenseless woman for starters, but even if you managed to do it, what would that mean for the peace talks? I beg of you, put your blade down and think.” He knelt down and placed his sword on the ground in an act of trust.
Aristides’ eyes darted from Peter to Michalina. “I-Uh. I don’t know!” he grunted and threw his sword to the side. He gripped his head and pulled his long hair. “I can’t breathe in here!” he carried on his earlier mantra, pushing his forehead on the stone wall.
Michalina hopped on her feet and ran up to Peter, huddling up underneath his arm. He was panting, and so was she. The confrontation might have been over in an instant, but she knew that adrenaline made your body ready to face danger.
Peter pushed her away. She looked up at him, pressing her lower lip. He tsked and pulled her back into an embrace. “Oh, you’re trembling. Come here.” He ruffled her hair and squeezed her tight.
“I’m sorry,” she whimpered.
“You shouldn’t have lied.” His tone of voice was firm but caring.
She looked up, her lip quivering. She wiped the tears off her eyes. “Peter?”
“Yeah?”
“I… uh, I do these things. I mess up. I don’t mean to, but I always do.”
Peter shushed her and pulled her close. She felt nice, being held like that. She wouldn’t mind having that feeling more often, especially when she was feeling like this.
From the corner of her eye, she saw a light moving, refracting through the shield. She turned and froze. “Uh-oh…” she said with a tiny voice.
Her lieutenant spoke, his voice coming in muffled. “Michalina? What are you doing? And why in tree’s leaves are you naked?”

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