Saturday, March 22, 2014

Chance Encounter

He held the sword halfway out of its sheath a moment longer.  When the young woman stepped out from behind the trees, he let out a breath and secured his weapon back into it's resting spot.

"Don't you know it's dangerous to travel outside the manor's wall  this time of night?" Vox told the young woman with a half grin.

The lady turned away from him, hiding a smile of her own, "isn't it your job to protect careless girls as myself?" She responded with a question, making eye contact at the last word.

Vox smile deepened and he looked past her as if searching for possible danger in the dark woods.

"Isn't there someone at the grand ball that will miss a pretty young woman as yourself?" He asked returning her gaze.

"I'm sure no one noticed my absence, my father is regaling his tale of the  great hunt for the lornok beast, each year on Severance Day I swear the beast gets bigger and bigger.  I'm sure he's telling them, right now, that the creature is bigger than a house, with fangs the size of a man's arms.  I heard it enough times, but it sure captures the attention of the room" she told him, as she slowly circled around Vox.

"well, my fair maiden, the woods are no place for a princess as yourself, as much as I am tasked to keep the riff raff out, I'm to also see that the guests are safely returned back to the manor."  Vox said as he moved forward gently placing a hand on the woman's back, guiding her into the direction of the festivities.

"riff raff?" She asked dodging Vox's touch, "I do believe I have encountered such." She finished with a nod in his direction, implying he was the subject she spoke of.

"Well my lady," Vox countered, returning his hand to her lower back, "be that as it may, this ruffian  is getting coin to make sure wandering sheep as yourself do not stray too far."

The lady batted his hand away this time, taking a quick step back, "sheep?" She squeaked with an expression of shock, "I am a lady and will be referred to as such, not to be compared with a common beast!"

"I apologize my lady, you are but a graceful swan who needs to be with like company, so her beauty can be admired by those who are worthy, and not caught with a swine such as myself"

With this, the lady smiled, allowing Vox to lead her back to the manor.  Vox took great care with his ability to diffuse a situation with his words, in this case winning the respect of an incredible beauty.

They took the path in silence, as they approached the main gate, two of Lord Ginich's personal guard stood on duty.  They quickly recognized Vox and the woman so took no action toward thier approach.

About thirty feet away Vox stood, allowing the lady to move a few feet ahead before she realized he was no longer with her and spun around.

"You don't seem to be from around here, and you don't wear the colors of house Ginich." She said in the form of as statement, meaning for Vox to answer her unspoken question.

"No princess," Vox responded, continuing to use that moniker without knowing the lady's status, "Lord Ginich hires on extra guards during his parties, to discourage the thieves and pickpockets that are attracted to such large affairs."

"Your a sell sword!?" She retorted, almost as if it was meant to be an insult.

"In a way my lady," he replied ignoring her possible disdain for the sort, "I'm more of a 'jack of all trades' in this instance I am tasked as a protector, but I have many other skills."

Once again Vox's choice of words brought a smile to the lady's face, she looked him over as if seeing him for the first time, then turned; making her way back to the manor.

Vox looked after her as she approached the front gate, then silently curse himself for what he was about to do.

"My lady," he called out to the young woman, now four feet from the gate.

She paused and slowly turned around for effect.

"I didn't catch your name?" There he asked, immediately regretting the break in the unspoken protocol of fraternizing with a class well above his own.

The young lady simply smiled and looked down.  Then without a word turned a stepped through the gate.

"Darkot" Vix whispered a curse to himself, then turned away heading back to his post.

"Fauna" a voice called out from his left just before he disappeared back into the woods.

Vox gripped the hilt if his sword and spun around, just to see the lady's head peeking over the manor's east wall.  It had to be at least twenty feet high, that crazy girl somehow climbed to the top, and was barely hanging on.

Releasing the hilt he took a step toward the struggling girl, "Fauna" she repeated.

"Fauna?" Vox asked,  now looking up at this ridiculous sight.

"My name" she paused taking deep breaths, now visibly trying to keep herself up "'s Fauna". She said just before disappearing from sight, followed by a muffled thump.

Concerned Vox stepped up to the wall "I'm okay" she called out before he can asked the question.

He let out a sigh of relief, then realized he never gave his name "I'm Vox!" He called out in a loud whisper.

No response.  Vox stood at the base of the wall, his sword hand resting on its surface.  Why did it bother him so that the lady did not get his name before he was able to give it.  He stood there another few seconds, expectingly.

Shaking his head, he turned away from the wall; why does it matter, I'm not going to see this woman again, he thought to himself.

"Good night, Vox!" The lady called out, followed by the sound of muffled footsteps quickly moving away from the wall.

"Good night Fauna," Vox whispered to himself with a smile, then disappeared back into the darkness of the woods.

  ©2013 Kinse, My Sweet Hero

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