The fire in the pit barely made a glow on the horizon. We had all taken turns to dig it down to prevent anyone from seeing, then we laid Faenoth's remains and belongings on the fire before setting it all ablaze. We couldn't trust that Lord Strahd's servants would leave Faenoth's body in peace, so we were forced to burn our comrade down to the very dust and scatter the ashes to the winds.
Windy clutched at Faenoth's staff and other belongings that she couldn't part with, that she could find use of, tears rolling down her cheeks as she softly sung an Elven hymn of passing. Alistair had spoken about Faenoth's loyalty and dedication. Markun had spoken of him as being a stiff-necked yet likable half-pain-in-the-ass half-elf. Rina and I had been unable to find words.
Though I was Windy's apprentice, I had felt a close connection to Faenoth, too. He had given me nearly as many lessons as Windy, though he didn't have his wife's patience with me.
Beside me, Rina took my hand, giving it a tight, comforting squeeze. I squeezed back.
We all waited until the fire burned low, making sure all of Faenoth had been consumed. Finally, Alistair put a comforting hand on Windy's shoulder and gave her a kind of sad smile. He opened his mouth to say something more, but Windy shook her head slightly.
"I've got the watch," Alistair announced. "The rest of you should get some sleep."
Windy paid no attention and sat cross-legged in front of her husband's pyre. I knew I should try and get some sleep, but also knew it wouldn't come. Not after today. Maybe I could work on my new spell. The incantation and gestures were almost right, but it still didn't quite work. Maybe if I tried. . . .
Rina, still holding my hand, led me away from the fire and out of the pit. We didn't go far, just behind a couple of bushes, but there Rina kissed me hard, and I responded.
"Rina," I was out of breath when the kiss broke, "What—"
"Shh. I'm not going to wait any longer. Life's too short. We have to take whatever good we can in life before . . . before Faenoth."
We kissed again, and before I knew it we laid on top of an old blanket, still kissing. Then it began to rain.
"Finally, a good omen," she whispered, and began to tear my clothes off as I did the same to her. The mists didn't come out when it rained, and the nightmares that came with the mists didn't like it either.Soon the cool rain pelted my back as I felt her hot flesh beneath me. The rain continued to come down soaking us, but we didn't care, at least not until my hair dripped into her eyes, making her giggle. We rolled, putting my back to the blanket where a sharp rock poked into my back, but I didn't pay it much attention as Rina laced her hands into mine. We lost ourselves in the lovemaking, not caring about—or perhaps reveling in—the rain.