FOREVER KNIGHTS: #14 Broken Birds

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I Catch Her

“A bit careless don’t you think?” He righted her onto her feet.

“Not in the least!” She tossed her lush purple curls. “I knew you’d catch me.”

“You think you know an awful lot…”

“I do!”

“Lord, Woman. Just show me whatever you intend to.”

She caught his hand again. And ran through the woods.

Making him chase after her. Barefoot wearing only his flowing white shirt and dark breeches. White hair swinging as he kept up with her. What in the devil is this about?

She stopped in some shrubbery alongside the road to Greenway. “Here stay here and observe. You’re good at that.”

“Ouch.”

She grinned over her shoulder. “I’ve been trying to figure out how to combat this.” She stood in the road and gestured down her length. “Note that I am fully clothed. Walking normally.” She sauntered a few steps over the dirt road.

“Not so much.” He said dryly.

“Well, not weakly.”

That’s true.

“But they’ll come anyway.” She tossed her hands. “Look. I’ll even pull my blade now.” She threw her skirt aside to pull the dagger from the thigh sheath.

Offering him a tantalizing view of shapely golden-brown leg. Curved as she lifted it onto her toes to reach the sheath. Drawing the small curved hunting blade.

What is she talking about? He was beginning to get a sinking feeling.

“What are we waiting on, Ser?”

“You know what we’re waiting on.” She gave him a sharp look. “There will be a few though. Do you think we should call the dogs? Maybe we should call the dogs.” She whistled twice.

Tev soon heard foliage smashing and heard the low huffing of the Targue joining them.

Driver and Groomsman stood aside him. Hunkering down as they readied.

Tev caught the first whiff of Cimmerii. The acrid odor of rot filling his nostrils and soon overwhelming the dogs who began to shift in anticipation.

A Targue.

And Nonis.

They smelled slightly different and he could hear the differences in movement as they drew nearer. One clearly much bigger than the rest.

But a good number of them to make the smell that potent.

“Serdephe, they’re coming.”

“I know!” She said cheerfully.

“There’s too many!”

“No. We’re ready.”

Teverius opened his mouth to object further but they poured from the trees then.

Groomsman, Driver, Bleak and Slate wasted no time. Lunging to rip apart Nonis. Jerking their heads and making them crumple as they tossed them aside like violent dogs.

The Targue broke through the brush and Serdephe ran a few steps to meet it. Leapt off the side of the tree and landed on the things back. Hugging it with her arms around the throat while it charged forward and back. Struggling viciously as she deprived it of air. It slammed into trees but she merely swung her leg from the path of injury. Setting it along the beast’s back until it drug past the tree. Soon its step slowed. Paws barely lifting. Eventually its front legs crumpled. Once it was unconscious she used the blade to quickly slit it’s throat.

While it struggled to stand, making strange choking sounds. She peeled its bark coating aside to where the skin was baby pink and smooth and forced the blade through the first two ribs and into the Targue’s heart.

Stopping it dead in its tracks.

“How’d you know they’d all come?” He asked astonished as she rounded to face him.

“The closest I can figure is I’m generating a pheromone when I relax that draws them in masses. It works on Firoque too!” She rushed. “I tried it last week in the marketplace and two followed me to the waterwheel to attack me!” She sounded overly excited.

“And you’re happy about that?” He eyed her askance.

“Yes.” She frowned as her gaze fell thoughtfully. “I’ve been getting more joy from it lately. When I know I’ve killed something evil I suddenly feel…Invigorated.”

“You’re evolving?”

“I dunno!” She shrugged. Tossing her arms like a child. And slapping the blackened dagger against her skirts in the motion. “Whatever you want to call it.”

Dangerous. That’s what I call it.

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