‘Where were you, just now?’
Terwyn’s eyes fluttered open. A low moan.
Terwyn rolled onto his side. ‘Coffee.’
‘Already on. Tell me about your dream.’ Dirk put his hand on Terwyn’s back.
‘The dragon’s eyes. Always watching me. I don’t wanna do this any more.’ He buried his face in the pillows.
‘What did she say?’
‘She told me to be a man and step up.’
‘What? On your birthday?’ Dirk sat up, laughing.
‘Shuddup!’ Terwyn wriggled in the bed but there was no comfort to be found.
‘Come on ya big sook. It’s ya birthday today. “Hero’s Parade”. Hear them already getting the road ready?’
‘I didn’t kill her. Wasn’t me. I don’t deserve this. I just wanna be left alone.’
‘Too bad, Town Hero. Destiny’s a bitch.’ Dirk got up. ‘Want your coffee on your head or in a cup?’
Terwyn growled and finally stirred. ‘Wouldn’t be a hero if they knew what really happened.’
‘Fact 1: You went up there. Fact 2: You threw the spear. Fact 3: The dragon is dead.’
‘But it was her! Bloody Barosia who did it!’
‘Who they gonna believe, hmm? At least you hafta act like you’re happy.’
Terwyn deflated. Eyes sunk to the floor.
‘I know you developed an attachment to that dragon–
‘Her name was Dissida.’
‘–dunno how, but you did. If that isn’t something to celebrate, I don’t bloody know what is! If you can’t do it for them, then at least do it for her, ya?’ Dirk sat next to Terwyn and put an arm around him.
‘Fancy a coffee now? You’ll need the zing for that mob out there.’
‘Make it double strength.’