Even though he knows it will take hours for Anders to wake up, Meck doesn’t give up his vigil. He dragged a folding chair closer to Anders and watched him sleep. Eventually he could feel his eyes drifting shut and after some time he lost his battle with sleep.
A warm hand stroking his face wakes Meck. Blinking rapidly he tries to clear the gunk from his eyes until eventually he gives up and uses his fingers. A yawn cracks his jaw open before he finally focuses.
“Are you feeling better?” He asks, barely alert enough to speak.
“What no good morning?” Anders teases. His smile eases the knot in Meck’s stomach.
“Is it?” Meck tilts his head and listens for any signs of battle but everything is quiet. Too quiet. He sits up and glances around. Good thing no one decided to kill him in his sleep. One more reason he’d never make a good soldier. “No more fighting?”
“No. The battle ended a few hours ago. You’re wizard friend came in and told me we’d won the fight. The ones we haven’t killed ran off.”
Meck rubbed his stomach as nausea swirled around. His nurturing personality hated the thought of all those deaths.
“Do you think they’ll come back?”
“Maybe.” Anders’ unconcern didn’t reassure Meck at all.
“Are you worried?” He tried to see it from a soldier’s perspective but never being in battle took away his ability to understand.
“We are ready for them if they come. Worrying about it only makes them an enemy to fear. I won’t give them that kind of power over me. Right now we are the stronger force. We have to take battle while we have the advantage.”
“Where are we going?” It just occurred to Meck that he had no idea of the point of their trek across country.
“To fight them in their own homeland. If we sit around passively for them to come after us we give them the advantage. We have to try and dig them out at the root like all noxious weeds.”
“Won’t they have the advantage on their homeland?” He might not be a battle strategist but even Meck could see the flaws in this plan.
Anders shrugged. “They will have some advantage but I think we can overcome it.”
“And then what happens? Are we going to occupy their city? Will we be staying there?” Thoughts of quitting his assignment flashed through his head, only the gut wrenching he experienced when thoughts of leaving Anders went through him held him back.
“No. We will leave behind occupying forces and a few lieutenants but you and I are going back to my homeland for time off after this latest skirmish.”
“So take over a city, get a vacation. Got it.” Meck nodded. “That can’t be too hard.”
Anders burst out laughing. He smacked Meck in the arm. “I like your attitude.”
That was going to bruise. If that was the worst bruise he got, Meck would be a happy guy. Somehow he didn’t think it would end there. Any non-combatant wizard who hung around with soldiers was going to end on the injury list.
“Glad I can be good for something,” Meck said, a wry smile curving his lips.
Anders stopped laughing. “You have many uses and are a valuable member of my staff not to mention my personal wizard. There is nothing insignificant about you and if anyone says anything you let them know that you pulled my broken body off a battlefield and saved my life.”
While Meck was still thinking over his words Anders kissed him. Meck wallowed in the affection pouring from Anders to him. “Thank you.”
He might die a fiery death but at least he was appreciated.