Chapter 4

Sarina awoke suddenly, grabbed her sword from where it lay next to her and spun around on her knees, letting the tip of her sword come to rest against the neck of the intruder.

"Is that any way to treat the person who brings ya breakfast?" replied Rose, an amused expression on her face.

The weaponmaster rubbed her eyes clear with the back of her right hand and squinted at the smith.

"Ya might could lower yer weapon so I don't bleed to death if I move to set this down." She glanced at the plate of food in her hands.

Sarina narrowed her eyes. "Why? So you can clean my clock again when I'm not expecting it?"

The smith shrugged. "Yes well, I'm sorry about that. Ya took me by suprise is all."

The weaponmaster slowly lowered her sword and set it down on the ground next to her once again. "I took YOU by suprise???" She snorted as she grabbed a nearby stick, stoking the embers of her little campfire and tossing a couple more pieces of wood on it. She looked up at the smith to find her still standing there holding the plate of food. "I even asked you if you were going to slug me Rose." She sighed softly while rubbing her sore chin. "Sit down will ya already?"

The smith sat down crosslegged on the ground next to Sarina, holding the plate out to her. "A peace offering if ya will."

The blonde took the plate and eyed it warily, then sniffed it. "You sure you're not trying to poison me?" She glanced toward her campfire guest.

"I'm sure. And I promise I won't hit ya again."

Sarina smiled. "Well that's good to know." She took a bite of the rabbit her hostess had brought, and her eyes lit up. "Wow this is really good!" She took another bite. "I didn't know smiths could cook as well as they made swords and stuff." She smiled at Rose. "Thank you."

"Yer welcome." She looked over at the blonde. "I owe ya an explanation."

Sarina shook her head as she swallowed. "No you don't. I was way out of line and I should be the one apologizing. I did deserve it for taking ummmmm....liberties." She met those awesome blue eyes...."I just couldn't help myself and I'm sorry I didn't show a little more self control." She looked away, embarassed by her actions.

Rose smiled. "Hey..." she said. "Look at me will ya." And the blonde turned her gaze slowly to meet the smith's eyes. "Number one...I'M sorry for nailing ya after I said I wasn't going to. I can't explain that except fer I don't like being suprised and that's how my brain reacts."

"Apology accepted." said the weaponmaster, setting her plate down next to the fire.

"Number two..." she leaned over and placed a soft kiss on Sarina's cheek. "I do like ya well enough."

The blonde looked at the smith incredulously. "Then why did you hit me??"

Rose chuckled softly. "Because you didn't ask first."

Sarina's jaw hit the floor. "You have to be kidding me!" The smith shook her head from side to side. "Oh my gods!" squeaked the blonde as she rose to her feet and started pacing. "So let me get this straight....you like me, but because I didn't ask if I could kiss you, you slugged me for my insolence?"

"Best way to put it...yes." She glanced up at the fuming weaponmaster. "Please stop that, I'm getting dizzy."

Sarina stopped, turned and pointed an accusing finger at Rose. "You have issues!!" She flopped down next to the smith.

Rose sighed forlornly, casting sad eyes down to the ground before her. "Yes I know."

The weaponmaster cast a glance over to her new friend. 'Darnit!' she thought. 'Why do I always have to be attracted to the ones with problems??' She reached over and took Rose's hand in her own, causing the smith to look up at her. "Do you want to talk about it?"

"No..." replied the smith. "Not now, not yet." She smiled just a little.

"Ok, well I'll be here if you ever need to."

"Thank you." replied Rose, her smile growing somewhat. "Yer a very sweet woman and I appreciate that."

Sarina promptly blushed and turned her eyes away. "Don't let it get around, it would ruin my reputation."

Rose chuckled. "I promise I won't."

"Good because I would never live it down, and a weaponmaster's reputation is everything after all." She smiled and caught the smith's eyes once again. She was amazed at how blue they were....like the color of the sky on a bright sunny day. This time the smith did not look away either. "I'd really like to kiss you now, if that's alright I mean."

The smith smiled sweetly. "It's very alright."

"And you're sure I won't be having a matching bruise on the other side of my chin this time?"

The smile on the smith's face turned slighly mischievous. "I guess you'll have to take yer chances."

The blonde pretended to ponder that for a moment before leaning in closer. She stopped a hairsbreadth from Rose's lips and smiled. "I think I'll take that chance." She closed the distance separating them and softly pressed her lips to the smith's. She felt Rose's fingers slowly tracing a path up her arm and come to rest behind her neck, pulling her deeper into the kiss. She let out a small moan of contentment as she reached her arms around the smith's waist and pulled their bodies together.

Rose thought she was going to pass out. It felt so good to hold someone again and know that they wanted to be there. She let her other hand move up to join the first one and entangle itself amidst the weaponmaster's soft blonde curls. They kissed for a long while, Sarina only breaking the sweet contact to pull back and gaze into Rose's eyes.

"Can I do that again?" she whispered softly.

"Yes...I'd like it very much if you would." Sarina leaned in to do just that when she was stopped by two hands on her shoulders. She opened her eyes to find the dancing blue ones of Rose. "And you don't have to ask me anymore." She smiled and was rewarded by the sweetest, most curiously intriguing smile she had ever seen. Their lips met again as we fade out......

Chapter 5 Coming Soon!