The operation went well into the night. By the time Mel had finished, the particularly enthusiastic bakers and farmers were already starting to wake up. Eaups had helped take care of the man's accoutrements before heading back to the Cloister's dorms, folding the deep black shirt and putting it on the small bedside table. It was so dull and black that it seemed to swallow all light that touched it, making it difficult to actually see the folds in the fabric. On top of it sat a leather harness with a variety of unusual pouches, pockets, and sheaths, all holding a variety of weapons and tools that Eaups had never seen before.
Mel left to a series of complaints from Jesz.
"Does he have to stay in MY bed?" she whined. Jesz had dreamed of having a strong, handsome man in her bed. This was NOT the situation she had imagined.
"Yes, you need to leave him there," Mel explained. "Do not move him!"
"But... but... but... it's MY bed! And he's getting blood all over it! A-and germs! Man germs!"
Mel, who had been wiping her hands off, turned to Jesz and said, "Do not even THINK about moving him. He has lost a lot of blood and any movement might reopen his wound. If he wakes up, make him stay in bed."
"But Me-e-e-el!" Jesz said, bouncing in place and holding onto Mel's arm. Mel just stared at her intently, the stern look telling Jesz more than words ever could. With a loud sigh, Jesz let go of her and nodded. "Alright..."
Mel sighed as well, leaning over and giving Jesz a hug. "It will be alright. It is just for a few nights. But when he does wake up, you be careful. I do not trust him." She gave the sleeping man a glance from over Jesz's shoulder, then stood back up and picked up her bow and quiver. "Get some sleep," she said over her shoulder as she walked out of the door, leaving Jesz alone with a strange man in her hut.
The rest of that night was not kind to Jesz. She had set up a few blankets on the floor as a make-shift bed for herself. Sleeping on the floor was no problem for Jesz; she had slept on floors most of her life. In fact, she had only purchased that bed a few months before with hard-earned money, most of it earned by other people. This night, however, her back was hurting and her mind was racing, still upset over the botched mission.
First she started to hum, but soon the song was stuck in her head.
Then she tried counting sheep, but the sheep became small coins and kept her up with their imaginary jingle.
She had heard that doing math problems would help her fall asleep, but the only math she knew involved the small coins that were still jingling.
Eventually the jingling passed and she started to doze, until a shaft of light from the window hit her perfectly on the eye. The moon had been reflecting off a blade on the bedside table. Now her mind was racing again, this time with thoughts of who the man was and what would happen when he woke.