Eyub’s eyes were drawn to her beauty as a needle to a lodestone, but he kept his face respectful and his mouth shut.
When the others twitted him, he answered them shortly.
“The lady guides us through dangerous terrain. Does that not merit respect?”
All but one of the mercenary band saw his point. The one who didn’t, died for his arrogance.
On the last night of the trip, with The City in sight, she came to his blankets. Afterwards, as she lay in his arms he felt her smile against his skin.
“Respect,” she murmured, “carries its own reward.”