A splash of bright blood splatters across the floor. The dark droplets almost glitter in the flickering light as Chesed pulled his sword from the slain giant in front of him. His head snapped to the side as he heard movement from the shadows. He turned his blade to the side as he readied for another attack. His heartbeat filled his ears. He could feel the fire rushing through his veins.
The pounding footsteps of giants announce the presence of reinforcements. Chesed felt the fire burn in his chest. He needed to keep it contained… if only until no one in his party was in the way. A multitude of giants leered from the shadows. A club swung at Shalelu and narrowly clipped her in the shoulder as the bedraggled giants trudged into the lit area. They didn’t look like warriors, but Chesed didn’t care in that moment.
Don’t touch her.
His hand raised as he focused on one of the giants in the middle of the group. Swords and spears were in hand as his party dodged away from the new assault. He felt the surge of fire from within, and Chesed flicked a hand. A streak of glowing red shot from the tip of his finger. An explosion of fire enveloped the giant group a moment later.
Chesed pressed forward in the clearing smoke of the blast. A few of the giants were on the ground, lifeless… with flames still clinging to their now dead carcasses. One giant barked out orders to the remaining group.
The rager threw himself at the leader of this pack. the sooner he was gone, the better.
Chesed sidestepped to the side as an orge hook came reaching from the dim light. He pushed himself forward and ducked under a swinging club. His blade met hide and flesh once more as he skirted around the enormous brute. Chesed raised his sword to block the huge hook rising above his head, ready to strike down in all its vengeance at the hit he had inflicted. A flash of magic popped across the side of the giant’s face. Chesed blinked as another small blast hit the fiend. It staggered and then with a guttural groan fell backward.
The rager glanced over his shoulder as the last of the giant group fell to his party’s blades. His eyes darted over to the other entrance to the room.
Chesed was about to check the other room -the fire burning hotter within. The excitement, the thrill of battle was still dancing through his head. They needed to find more… They… He wanted more fighting…
The rager hesitated at his name. What? Confusion dotted his thoughts. He needed to find another fight…
A smack to the face. He would have retaliated but a strong hand seized his chin the next second. His head was wrenched to the side and Chesed was forced to look at the person who had struck him.
Shalelu glared back, but with worry in her eyes, “Chesed, enough.”
Her hand dropped away as her eyes widened in surprise. Chesed felt the fire die within. What was that expression?
“Chesed? …Are you all right?” Shalelu’s voice was a whisper now.
Well… except for the hits he had taken… “I’m fine…” he breathed. He shook his head to clear up the fuzz in his thoughts. Chesed glanced around before his attention came back to the elf in front of him. She still looked concerned, and a little peeved.
“What’s wrong?” he asked.
“Don’t do that!” her hand connected with his cheek again, but this time without the force of the first hit. Her fingers trailed along the scales across his cheekbone, “Please… don’t go in like that. It… scared me.”
The pieces came together as the last of his rage slipped away. “Oh…” a sliver of guilt stung him, but it didn’t linger long. “Sorry…” he mumbled as his hand closed over hers. He pressed a kiss to her palm. They both knew it wouldn’t be the last time he would run headlong into a fight. It felt good to know she was concerned for him, but she didn’t need to worry. If things were too dangerous, he would find a way out. He trusted his life in the hands of his friends, as they trusted theirs in his.
A smile graced Shalelu’s lips, but it didn’t dissipate the concern in her eyes. “What is it?” Chesed asked quietly. Was there more to it?
“Your eyes…” she spoke quietly, “When I hit you… they were… dragon eyes…”
“What?” the word was barely audible on his tongue.
“It surprised me is all,” Shalelu hushed any concern he might have had, “I didn’t expect it. I’m sorry.”
“You’re fine,” Chesed replied. A moment passed and suddenly the rager let out a chuckle. Shalelu rolled her eyes as he gave her a quick kiss on the cheek.
“Are you two done?” Erin spoke up from the side. He flicked a thumb over his shoulder in the direction of the other entrance, “Cuz y’know, there’s a giant room full of giant weapons and everything is giant and stupid and being made here.”
“They’re giants Erin,” Shalelu commented, “What do you expect?”
“I don’t know. Clubs and hooks and junk like that. Not full weapons and battle armor,” Erin responded.
“Oh?” Chesed was curious now. They would move on and investigate. It was all they could do right now.