Rafe ducked a playful fist that Dirk threw at him.
"Now we get to see who the best man is. We've got a bet going on who is going to get their sixth chevron first."
"You still fighting the girls", Becca kidded, "or have you gotten to the big boys yet?"
Dirk got a little red but Rafe took it in stride. "I don't have to worry about it. Everyone is still challenging me. I haven't gotten to challenge anyone yet."
He grinned at Becca, "I would challenge you if you hurry up and train some more newbies."
She grinned back. "Perhaps we can always arrange something unofficial."
This was a side to Becca that Tobal hadn't really seen before and it interested him and disturbed him at the same time. They filled their mugs and rejoined the crowd. There was a drum circle forming and the sound was deafening in the small building.
Tobal and Becca slept together that night. They cuddled for a long time and shared stories about things they had done and things they wanted to do. The energy between them was different and when Tobal asked about having sex Becca murmured "not tonight. All I really want to do is just hold you and sleep with you."
With that cryptic answer circling in his brain they kissed, embraced and fell asleep entwined in each other.
The next morning was bright and cold and there were sun dogs circling the sun promising even colder weather. They joined their friends for breakfast and soon Becca was on her way to base camp to continue training with Loki, her third newbie and Tobal set out on the trail toward sanctuary.
As he snow shoed toward Sanctuary and pulled his sled he wondered at the strangeness of how things had been with him and Becca last night. He had certainly not been prepared for it and didn't really understand it. It seemed things had been all right but then again it seemed there had been something wrong. He hoped she hadn't changed her mind. Perhaps she was sleeping with Loki, the newbie, she was training. He instantly crushed that thought. He knew it was not true, but he just didn't understand and because he didn't understand he felt a little hurt. He had been expecting something like last month and it had not happened.
As he neared Sanctuary his thoughts turned to the subject at hand. He now had four chevrons with only two more before he was eligible for the Journeyman degree. As he headed toward santuary he felt kind of strange because Sarah had really been the last person he had trained and that had been in September and October. He didn't really count Crow since Crow had taught him much more than he had taught Crow. That meant he hadn't been doing much training in four months and he was determined to get going on it again. He wanted to get this training over with and be partnered with Becca more permanently if she was still interested.
He thought of the ways he had changed in the past years and the things he had done. He had gained a reputation as a very good trainer.