Meet The Relatives by Lynda Williams, is the touching story of very Demish Dela's adventures in Red Reach. Illustrations are by Richard Bartrop.
Dela is frantic with fear for Vras
Vras reared up, the right side of his face shining crimson, and caught Dela’s nearest arm as she shied back.
"Dela," he said, wincing, "not so loud."
"Vras! Oh Vras! Did she get you anywhere else, too?"
Her hands flew over his precious body afraid to find a big wet hole. He took it all wrong.
Grinning, teeth reddened, he bore her down in a bloody embrace that pinned her to the floor. Her heels banged, once, resisting in fear he was doing himself harm. Then she realized she could feel his heart against her own chest, sound and whole, and she kissed him back despite the taste of fresh blood.
As he let her up, he murmured fondly, "My insatiable."
Me? Dela thought, baffled.
Vras sat up, legs crossed.
Dela kept her teeth clenched again nausea as she stopped him fingering his head wound, saying, "Let me look."
A flap of skin hung loose, including some eyebrow. She suspected Fital's sword tip had chipped bone. Just a little lower and — Dela fought to quell the fluttering in her stomach at the very thought of a sword passing through her lover's eye. This was bad enough. Quite bad enough!
A flap of skin hung loose, including some eyebrow.
The wound was ragged at the edges: less sliced than torn. But the weapon had cut. "I th-thought you said s-swords weren't sharp," she stuttered.
"Well, for the two-thirds near the hilt." Vras, corrected.
Dela gingerly fingered the loose skin flap. "W-we'll have to … to stick it back on," she said.
Vras batted her away and swiped with his arm at the sheet of blood flowing down the right side of his face.
Dela felt dreadfully helpless. There was blood on her hands and blood growing sticky on her breasts where Vras had pressed against her. She wanted to cry and she wanted to hit him. But she wanted him saved most of all. It seemed impossible there could be so much blood without danger. That was how Demish heroes died after duels: bleeding in their lady's arms. It didn't seem at all romantic to her anymore.
Without warning, Vras stood up. It wasn't such a good move. He lurched sideways into Dela as she sprang to catch him. But there were others there to help her, now: four of Vras' nobleborns and one highborn Dela had never met, who'd watched the duel.
"There are still questions unanswered," said the highborn. "Questions Red Hearth has won the right to pursue."
Vras nodded. "Get me Frog."
Dela thought, Vras, you're bleeding! But she bit her lip. He had to know that!
But this was too stupid! You were supposed to hold the hearings before the duel!