↓ Transcript
Everything hurt. Hans slowly realized he was in some sort of bed. More like nest of furs than a bed actually.
"Where am I?" he thought.
He'd been bandaged, and cleaned, head to toe. He peeked under the fur covering him. "And where are my clothes?"
Hans looked about, he was in a cave of some sort. A circular pan toward the center of the chamber held a fire, providing heat and light. A metal screen surrounded the pan and finished stone lay under and around it. Sparks wouldn’t be a problem. The smoke was contained by an inverted funnel and flue disappearing into the ceiling. A small pot and a kettle hung over the fire on curved rods that went into vertical pipes set in the stone. A third hanging rod was unused.
≪He's awake!≫
A pair of jade green eyes gleamed from the shadows.
"Who's there?" asked Hans.
With a curt meow a large cat, with short tawny fur, strode out of the dark corner and sat at the foot of the bedding.
A door slid opposite the firepit. A woman entered, rotated a standing mirror so that more firelight shown on him, repositioned the pot, a brothy odor wafted over, and gracefully kneeled next to him.
With the increased light Hans noted that firepit was at the center of a raised platform of polished wood. A bag-like cushion off to one side was quickly claimed by the cat. A thick book lay off to one side, a ribbon hanging out at the halfway mark. The remainder of the floor looked like smoothed marble slabs, but the shine was wrong.
As she knelt, Hans turned his attention to the woman. The beautiful woman. The beautiful woman with long, white hair and mahogany skin. The beautiful woman with long, white hair, mahogany skin, and, . . . pointed ears?
Concluding that she had tended him, bathed him, and took his clothes, Hans decided to say something gracious and intelligent, "Yee."
≪You can make an entrance, can't you, girlfriend?≫
“Mau!” said the cat.
"Not now, Bast," she said to the cat.
Turning to him the woman said, "Good. I was worried you wouldn’t come around so soon. You took quite a beating and healing isn’t my strong point."
She knelt next to the bed and gently pushed him back down into it.
"Don't move. You've got several broken ribs, you nearly bled out from your thigh wound, and your shoulder is still a mess. I’m about out of magic and my bed is ruined."