Maestoff sat in the windmill for a moment, remembering his days migrating from farm to farm. He turned the recently found feather over in his hands. He remembered her crying on the steps, as her father hurried out to take his hand.
"You've done a good thing today boy. Truly, my daughter is all I have in this world besides this land. What are you doing just picking crops?"
Maestoff caught his breath, wiping the blood from his hands onto his tattered shirt. "Just.. looking to earn some coin and eat some food sir." He looked for the young woman that the wolf confronted. She was sitting on the steps to the door of the farmer's home, her white hair falling over her tear streaked face.
"Well here, come inside a while. I've got food on the table and it looks like you could use a day in the shade!" The portly farmer laughed, which felt strange to Maestoff as adrenaline still pumped through his veins. He got up and dusted himself off, following the farmer's lead.
The man's daughter had composed herself somewhat, fixing her hair and finally looking at the farmhand that had saved her life. She sat there, still unable to speak, but gave an appreciative nod as he walked by. She was very pretty, something he hadn't seen much of between his time working the land and his meager existence in the slums of Waterdeep. When their eyes met, he saw something else he hadn't seen before. The young lady's skin was porcelain white, as were her eyebrows and eyelashes. The bit that caught him off-guard was her eyes, they were a striking red.
"Boy?" Maestoff turned and saw the farmer looking back at him from the doorway with a sly grin. "I'd thought food and coin was all you were after. C'mon in, let's have a talk."
He blushed slightly and hurried inside. As far as meals go, this was the closest to a feast that Maestoff had ever had. There was pork, duck, cabbage, potatoes, all products of the land the man lived on. They both sat and ate for a while. The farmer could see how hungry Maestoff really was; a few times he almost left the utensils to the side, fighting the urge to dive face first into his plate.
"My name's Recolte," the farmer spoke up after a time, "what's yours?"
"Maestoff" was all he managed through a full mouth, "-sir." He added quickly.
"Well Maestoff, you handled things very well out there. My daughter Sera, she's a sweet girl. Too sweet for this world maybe." He took a bottle from the table and uncorked it. "Wine? My brother's a vintner, always gives me a bottle or two when he visits." Maestoff put his hand up before Recolte could fill his cup. "Water's fine, sir."
Recolte shrugged and took a swig from the bottle. "Well, down to business. You're a strong lad. You obviously could eat a bit more than you have been. How would you like it if I were to take you on permanently? See, I was never great at training a watch dog." he motioned to two hounds laying by the porch, seemingly uninterested in anyone's comings and goings. "So what if, instead of picking fruits and vegetables, you pick off any stray wolves or thieves in the night? The pay would be steady, and you certainly have the build for it. I'll properly equip you free of charge."
Maestoff sat up and wiped the mess of food from his face. "I think I'd like that sir. I don't have much of a home to return to though." Recolte's face grew into a big grin. "We can sort that out just fine. And enough of that 'sir' crap. You may be my new watchdog but I'm no master. Maybe that's why I could never train em well." He stood up and grabbed for his coin purse, while motioning for Maestoff to follow.
The two men stood on the front porch of the home. Recolte handed him the money and pointed him towards the nearest blacksmith. "Tell him I sent you, get yourself whatever equipment you feel comfortable with, and get back to me when you're ready. We'll iron out the details tonight." They shook hands and Maestoff went on his way.
As he reached the property line, he heard a shout in his direction. Maestoff turned to see Sera dashing up to him. "Thank you." Was all she said, as she kissed him on the cheek. They caught eyes, her red meeting his blue, and that moment passed for an eternity. Before he could respond, she dashed away, back towards the big farmhouse.
Maestoff put the feather back under his breastplate. He'd come a long way since then, and the road felt rockier than ever. He took a large swig from his wineskin and gathered his things, everybody else seemed to be outside inspecting some large stones. Back to it then.