He waited a few moments, watching as the two woman moved past him. He could feel S'jira look to him, but did not, could not turn his head at the moment. His gaze remained locked on Gracus until they were on their way down the path to the road before he turned and slipped in to the brush, heading north and west from the encampment.
He was out of direct view when he turned to his right towards where he had left the gold. It was just a few hours ago, but already it seemed like days. He crossed his own trail from earlier, from when he approached the camp from up-wind. The breeze had shifted slightly with the rising sun, but he could still smell the fire burning, and faint voice of Gracus barking out orders still reached him.
Half a dozen times or more he had paused in his trek to see if he was being followed. It didn't matter if they were watching him, but he was not about to be caught unaware at this point.
In short order the gold was found and he turned south again. He angled further eastward now, finally turning back to approach the camp from the opposite side from which he left. Edging around a large pine he was actually surprised to find all the men still in the camp. He had expected Gracus to send a pair to follow the women.
Moving further in to the wood and out of sight he broke in to an easy run, skirting the down-wind side of the camp and towards the main road. He was there and waiting for just a few minutes when the women came into view coming down the path. He walked up to meet them, holding out the bound sack of gold.
'Give this to him, and remind him the rest will be waiting at the Unicorn. Someone will find him.'
The girl, whose gaze remained cast down nodded as he handed her the gold and reached out for S'jira, supporting her.
'And tell him this time it was business. Next time it will be personal.'
The girl said nothing as she turned and hurried back down the path. He stood there, S'jira leaning into him as his arm about her waist supported her until she rounded the first bend in the trail before looking down to meet S'jira gaze. She started to speak... but he cut her off.
'Shh. We can talk later. For now let's just get you home.'
The arm about her waist slid up under her arms, the other hooked behind her knees as he lifted her into his arms. As he turned back towards the road S'jira wrapped her arms around his neck and pressed her head into his shoulder. Her breath was arm against his neck, but it was raspy to his ears. She was hurt... so he moved as quickly as he dare as to keep from jostling her too much. With a brief glance to the sky he figured it would be close to mid-day by the time they reached the Dragon once again.