Title Pending

Original Fiction, started July 2015.

In the early morning mists, among the chirping above and the leaf rustling below, the Ranger sits. Almost undetectable, she looks through the foliage, her quarry completely unaware. The fire that roared only hours ago has calmed to bright embers. The sounds of deep, ale assisted sleep ring out from the campsite. The hidden stranger shakes her head, wishing they'd at least made it a small challenge for her. She creeps forward, virtually silent in her movements. Her hand moves deftly to her hip pouch as she slinks forward.

"Do you really wish to kill me so badly?" The familiar voice rings out full volume behind her. Not even that could rouse the camp. The Ranger audibly sighs in frustration. While she takes pride in her work, stealth is exhausting.

She straightens, trying to exaggerate her petite stature. "Well, one of us has to go first, and you did forget my birthday last year."

Releasing a disdainful chuckle, "It was not forgotten. I delivered a gift."

Glaring through narrowed eyes, "A dagger thrown at me is not a gift, Ornthal."

"It was a fine dagger. My hope is that you kept it. However the gift was the reminder that I taught you to dodge it. Now, sparing the acid tongue, what purpose do you have here? Why do you stalk me through the brambles?"

Still wary, she relaxes her stance. "I'll spare you the acid if you spare the flowers. You've always had to make yourself sound so superior." In a single fluid motion she unsheathes her dagger as she sits on the ground. The smirk on Ornthal's face is not missed when he sees it is the same dagger mentioned moments before. She looks at the ground and fidgets uncomfortably with her dagger. "It's not just through the brambles. I've sought you through cities, followed your whispered name into alleys and across barren deserts,into the brambles and now here I sit.

"Foolish as ever."

"Hey, a deal is a..."

"The deal was no flowers, not no pretension. Childish foolishness. And what purpose has your quest served?"

She glares icily at Ornthal. He responds with an eye roll and an exasperated huff.

"Fine! And why are you following me around?

...like a puppy...a lost one."