The captain scrubbed his arms clean before attacking his face with the hot cloth and rinsed his hair before sinking back to relax for a couple of minutes before it would be time to go. The water was the perfect temperature and twice he blinked awake after closing his eyes and almost falling asleep. Their patrol had been more like a punishment than a usual day at work, starting with arguments and ending with helping unload heavy barrels of grog from a tall ship that might have otherwise become stuck in the harbour if they hadn't managed to empty it out before the tide turned. Fortunately for the merchant of the boat, the captain had been in a good mood despite the day's bad beginning and all six of them had worked until the skin on their hands was rough and their limbs grew tired and sore.
Out of the bath, Malcolm dried quietly and stared at himself in the mirror as he tidied up his facial hair, shaving it right back so that his jawline was smooth, leaving only a light smattering of stubble upon his chin. He slicked his hair back and smiled, giddy with the thought of seeing Elyna. They had arranged to meet at Ye Olde Inn, and after pulling a long-sleeved, black tunic over his head and doing up his pants to put on his boots, Malcolm was ready to go. At the door he pulled on his cloak which had been washed after their long trip to and from Krom, and plucked a yellow rose from a shrub in the front garden.
Inside the Inn, Malcolm looked around for Elyna and not finding her there, scanned the tables for any other familiar faces. Let them talk, he thought then, not recognising anyone, but sure they wouldn't always have such good luck. He sat down at a table near the open fire and ordered two mugs of ale, sure that Elyna couldn't be far away. He put the rose down in the middle of the table and pointed his gaze towards the fire, watching and waiting.