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Memoirs of the Lost

[Savannah] The Huntsman

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April Horinek

[Savannah] The Huntsman

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Castle - by jiatra
 She ran, and The Huntsman followed.

She couldn't hear him behind her, but she knew he was there. He moved silently through the forest, even as her own labored breathing echoed through the eerily silent trees. She could sense him behind her, toying with her, letting her run herself into exhaustion before taking her.

She stumbled over a root, letting out a miserable cry as she fell hard on her knees. Her heart was beating loudly in her ears, a deafening cacophany of her own terror.

In the span of moments, he was upon her. She felt her heart sink through her bare feet as the realization of her imminent return dawned on her. One strong arm wrapped around her waist and she felt the cool, sharp edge of his blade against his throat.

His voice hissed in her ear, "You should know better then to run. They always send me, and I always catch my prey."

She suppressed a shudder, squeezing her eyes shut against the tears that threatened. She could feel her terror bubbling inside her, and she knew that any moment she could break down. She wouldn't let this creature see her break. She lifted her chin, holding herself still, feeling a moment of pride at the lack of waver in her voice.

"I know who you are, Huntsman. Don't toy with me."

He laughed, a throaty sound that filled her senses. To his credit, his grasp didn't even waver. He was the best and had been for many years. She could hear the disdain in his words as he tightened his grip on her waist, "And I you, Song Bird. I've seen you, sitting up in that gilded cage. He gives you everything you want, everything you desire...and still you run?"

With a snarl he spun her, pushing her against a tree and pinning her there, his black eyes searching her blue ones. She inhaled sharply at the sight of him and bit her lip as he stared at her.

"Oh yes. Yes, he gives me almost everything I want. Jewels and dresses and dolls and china. Beautiful courtiers to amuse me. Plays and puppets and ponies and birds and cats and dogs. He gives me everything that he thinks he want, yet he denies me the only thing I need."

She shook her hand in his face, the clipped golden chain smacking his chest, "He gives me everything but my freedom, Huntman. And that is the only thing I want."

He scowled down at her, narrowing his eyes and hissing, "None of us have freedom, Song Bird. We are all pawns. None of us are allowed to run free. Be glad you have what you have. Be glad your keeper does not use your body. Although after running, he may change his mind."

Her eyes widened at the implications and she cowered back from the Huntsman, shaking her head quickly and whispering, "No. He won't do that. I'm his..."

"His what, Song Bird? His Pet. You are his PET, his TOY, his AMUSEMENT. And he will punish you for it." He laughed again and smiled at her, his eyes showing no amusement as he stood back, one large hand clamping down firmly on her upper arm, "Time to go home, Bird. He'll be missing your company."

She stumbled along with him, feeling the despaire overcome her. For a moment, she'd had her freedom. For mere minutes, she had felt the sun on her face and the wind in her hair as a freewoman; rather then a slave. In that moment, she knew that she would stop at nothing to make her escape.
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