The mountain ranges reared up behind me, a shining band of silver moonlight and solemn darkness. My journey down had taken half of the day. Night brings its own dangers.
I had left him. The thought burned bright in my head. I wanted to remember it, hold it in my hands and never let it go. I had left him. My life on the mountain. The sword drills and lessons. His hands on my skin, his mouth nuzzling down my neck.
My hand rested on the pommel of my sword. The noises of the night sharpened my senses. I felt unsafe, my hackles raised. I ought to find shelter fast. My queen demanded the return of her champion. Her land needed...
... a strong warrior, a sentinel against any attackers, a protector.
I was neither all of them.
A rustle in one of the thorn bushes, straggly even in the glow of the moon. I slid my sword from the scabbard. A rushing dark shape came at me.
The assailant was clumsy. I cut him down from the waist down. He fell without a cry. The smell of blood – rich and metallic – filled my nostrils. Cautiously I knelt down and checked the dead body. Dead, it was just a cooling corpse. The dagger was useless in his hands. My lady had enemies. I had enemies.
My fingers picked up a silver emblem. Snarling wolf head.
I swore softly.
My journey home would be difficult.