It was almost dawn by the time the weary mage had made it home.

The hidden Ashenvale treehouse was quiet and still, save for the barely noticeable sounds of Janderius slipping in through the balcony door.

A torrential downpour was happening outside, and Jander was unsurprisingly soaked by said rain. Not only that, but he was also pretty much covered in mud. It was as if he’d been rolling around on the ground for so long that not even the heavy rain could wash all of the evidence off.

To avoid tracking any of his mess inside, Jander decided to just take off most of his gear at the door, leaving the individual pieces stretched out over the balcony railing so that they’d dry off as soon as the rain stopped. He then made his way into the house wearing only his soaked boxers and his filth.

The trip up the two flights of stairs was not a particularly quiet one. He was too tired and sore to put any effort into sneaking, and he was never a very stealthy person to begin with. His footseps were very slow and measured, and the gentle creaking was all that could be heard.

Once he made it up to the top floor, he leaned on the bedroom door to nudge it open.

A weak smile crossed his features as he took in the silhouette of his best girl in the shadows.

Mina was far too perceptive to sleep through the sounds of Jander’s arrival, especially after having waited for him to return home for much of the night. She was sitting up on the near side of the bed, with the silky sheets only covering the lower half of her nudity. The outline of her petite figure was only barely visible in the very dim light. There was, however, no mistaking the faint glow of her open, curious eyes in the darkness.

“Jander…” she muttered with concern as she took in the sight of him. Her nocturnal gaze had no trouble detecting the state he was in.

“Don’t worry, love…” Jander immediately answered in a soft cadence, taking a step forward. “I’m fine. Don’t even have a single scratch worth healing.” He offered his best reassuring smile, showing a little bit of his neat white teeth.

Mina’s ears drooped a little bit and her shoulders sagged. “…Promise?” she asked in a whisper.

“I promise.” Jander whispered right back. “Go back to sleep, I’ll be right back once I’m all clean again.” With that, he quietly trudged across the room and into the bathroom, closing the door behind him.

The elf nodded back to him, but her concerned pout remained. Jander heard the sound of her shifting on the bed and muttering about something before he turned the water on.

His shower was long and very much needed. The dark mud wasn’t easy to get rid, especially considering how much of it had gotten into his hair. The mage spent nearly twenty minutes letting the hot water cleanse his skin and soothe his sore muscles.

Mina stirred as soon as he opened the door and emerged again.

The tired mage allowed her pale gaze follow him across the room again as he slipped into some clean boxers and finally moved to join her on the bed. The druiddess immediately moved to help coax him into the center.

“I don’t sense any wounds…” Mina’s gentle voice interrupted the silence while she placed a single kiss to the side of his jaw. “Are you sure you’re alright?”

“I am now…” he rumbled the words back with a soft grunt as Mina’s weight carefully settled on top of him.

“So what happened?” The druiddess asked with unmasked concern. She lifted her head up just enough to let her watch Jander’s features while she stroked gentle patterns onto his chest.

“I finally found a Blue dragon…” Jander answered flatly. “It… didn’t stay to chat for very long though, I’m afraid.”

Author Jander
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