Monday, March 05, 2012
The snow whirled in spirals inside the cover of the forest. Out on the plain, it whipped along in blurs.
Cyerne sat high on her white horse among the trees waiting for battle. Dark hair tousled on armored shoulders. The cold metal embraced her, like rare and mysterious platinum pounded dull on a cloudy day.
Eyes blue on blue stared out. Beautiful and deadly. The horse worried at the bit and snorted steam into the air.
Hooves eased up from the vanguard behind her. "Scouts have sighted them on the hill, My Lady," the captain said.
Her lips parted for the simple command. "Ready them."
The captain raised his glove, and the force tensed. Her horse tossed its head with wild thoughts.
A faraway sound thudded in the wind. She felt it throb in her bones. Her heart quickened.
"Ambush?" the captain said, eager.
Her intuition stayed her hand. Or maybe something else.
"No," she said, changing the plan. "I won't meet them in the open."
The sound filled the forest. Close. She knew what they were doing. He lead them along the trees to mask their approach. He hoped for his own deadly, surprise strike.
She loosed her ivory bow from its leather by her leg.
The captain was confused. "My Lady?"
A red-feathered arrow touched the string and caressed wood as she pulled.
Blue eyes leveled with mortal red.
In the edge of her vision, black shapes kicked up storms of snow. The flags flapped by. Spears and bright soldiers.
A shout raised in the enemy, and the force wheeled around. One purple-clad figure clattered to the ground and soon stilled. A royal guard. Not her mark, but within an arm's length away.
Just beyond the edge, they lined the woods in ranks. A strong force.
She knew his black horse. His lithe figure. And despite the tangle of branches between them, she felt his eyes lock hers.
Her fingers entwined the hilt of her sword.
The thrill burned hot in her face.
She didn't know which was greater. The wish strike him down in blood, or to throw her arms around him.