Tass -Part 3

Fiction By Tahlia Grant // 7/22/2010

Rynere wasn't quite sure what to make of this.

One one hand, she didn't want to leave Tari behind. She and Tari were kindred spirits. That wasn't something she was willing to give up easily.

And then there was the rest of the village -including Aunt Myrda. Rynere wouldn't miss them. Tari was the only one who had any jolt of actual sympathy for someone who didn't have any family to depend on.

But continuing on this route would take her away from everything familiar -to be married to someone she didn't know while being escorted by someone she wasn't sure she could trust.

Tass.

He had tied her hands in front of her, let her hold the reins of her steed as she rode, and didn't care how loud she screamed for help. While she was causing a ruckus, he'd talk to himself. When her voice was hoarse, he'd started talking to her.

Rynere wasn't quite sure what she could believe of what he was saying. Tass said that he couldn't ride a horse. He said he couldn't swim. He said he never actually slept -only dozed. And he said he could tell when someone was lying.

Rynere wasn't sure if he was lying. The one thing she was sure of was that he was annoying.

Tass said that he was over a thousand years old. He said that he had seen this kind of thing happen many times -the prince on his way to find a bride, finds a peasant girl, et cetera -and then he told Rynere not to worry, it always had a happy ending.

Rynere rolled her eyes when she heard the last part.

"Except for the fact that you survive?"

He grinned.

"Actually, you might be surprised. You'll start to want me around to help out."

"I want to go back to where I came from."

Tass smiled to himself and didn't answer.

Rynere sighed, exasperated, and glanced around.

"Wait -where are the other two?"

"Oh, Danny and Karoy? They headed a different direction."

"Why?"

"Most countries don't like us swooping in and taking people for our own uses. So it's best if the prince not be seen with you."

"Why do you do it, then?"

"Oh, we've had a long-standing agreement with your kings that we can do this sort of thing. It's just the populace that doesn't like us."

"So they think you can protect me against the whole population?" Rynere made a derisive noise.

"I can. But it's difficult and I'd rather not get into a fight right now. If you'll notice, we're not exactly taking the main road."

"I can tell," Rynere said levelly, from between her teeth. "And I highly doubt you could fight off several thousand people."

"I can't. Then again, it's impossible to have several thousand people jumpin' on me all at once."

Rynere shook her head in exasperation.

"So where are the prince and his guard going?"

"They're taking a main road. They look like your ordinary travelers. And they're in no danger as long as they get back home in time."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 Rynere wasn't able to tell how far they'd come by the time the sun went down. They were still in the forest, on some sort of hunter's trail. The trees looked no different.

When they reached a small clearing, Tass took the reins from her hands and tied them to a low branch on a nearby greenwood. Then he lifted Rynere from the saddle -which she was less than happy about; she made that clear -and set her on the ground, pointing her towards a pad of moss near the edge of the clearing.

"I'm going to get wood for a fire. I highly suggest you stay here, especially as you do not know the area and I saw wolf tracks earlier."

"If you saw wolf tracks, why are you leaving me alone? I thought you were supposed to be my guard!"

"So all of a sudden you want me around?" A grin spread across his face. "I'm touched. But really, I'll be back in time to stop anything that might hurt you."

"How do you know that?"

 "Happens every time. Getting back every time -I have it down to a science."

"What do you mean, every time?"

"It happens with every prince that comes to get a bride. Usually he tries to run away and runs into a girl by accident, but he has to take her back or he dies."

"How does he die?"

Tass raised an eyebrow, but didn't answer.

"Stay where you are. I'm going to get firewood."

"Wait -"

He was gone.

Comments

This story is awesome. I love

This story is awesome. I love it.

Leandra | Tue, 07/27/2010

Interesting..and very

  Interesting... and very mysterious!

  Keep up the good work!

Jackie West | Tue, 08/10/2010

Irresistably addictive story.

Irresistably addictive story.

E | Fri, 08/13/2010

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

I sort of pity the prince. He

I sort of pity the prince. He doesn't seem to want this any more than Rynere does.

I'll be looking out for the rest.

Anna | Sun, 08/22/2010

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

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