After a siege, Darius, a mercenary, and his master, the King of Braulyn, are inspecting the remnants...
A movement caught the edge of Darius' vision, but he did not acknowledge it.
Darius swept his gaze across the room. Speaking so only his master could hear, he added, “We have an observer.” The man crouched behind one of the tapestries along the walls. Both exits were two or three hiding places from the hidden man’s position.
“Where is he?” The king did not move except to look up and catch Darius's eye as if they were in conversation.
Just then, the figure darted between shelters. Darius felt his mouth drop; he quickly disguised it by saying, “A girl.”
“Did you just say it was a girl?” Jenran's weary eyes sharpened and focused more carefully on Darius.
“Yes.” Darius carefully turned so he could watch both his master and the girl. “Small build, dark hair, she is definitely not Gwendolyn or one of her frequent companions.” The girl darted to the next hiding place. She was one sprint away from freedom. Darius knew how she felt. The tempo of the heart pounding in his chest and the taste of liberty on his tongue were both familiar sensations. “She is mine,” he said. He glimpsed the king’s smile.