Ok, enough with the introductions, let’s get moving on to the story, shall we?
Quinn stared down at the desert city, her dazzlingly blue eyes trained on the ant-like humans below. The brilliant pools of blue darted from one place to another, like the hawk that circled her overhead. She glanced up at the large bird of prey above and smirked. Hunter wasn’t any ordinary trained bird. He’d been a present for Quinn on the day she was born, and growing up with a Valan hawk had instilled a bond unlike any other, and they had been inseparable from the first day they met.
Hunter gave a loud squawk, familiar with his master’s tendencies of daydreaming, and Quinn immediately snapped back to reality, cursing herself for letting her mind wander. Suddenly the sound of shoes on loose rocks, behind her, drew her attention away from the bustling city below.
She didn’t move, all her concentration was spent in listening to the miniscule movements around her. Slowly she unbuttoned the cover that protected her precious dagger and eased it carefully from its sheath. Once she had a firm grasp on the supple leather hilt, she waited, glancing up as Hunter drew closer to her. She knew he was stalling too, waiting for her stalker to slip up. Then, it happened; the sparse bushes behind her rustled and she only needed that one sound before she pounced. Like a leopard leaping for its prey, she jumped back, flipping in the air like an acrobat, and landed behind the lean skulking figure. Within moments she clung to his neck, her dagger dangerously close to the Adam’s apple protruding from his throat.
“Scream and you will regret it,” she growled menacingly in his ear.
“I must say, your reflexes have improved,” an equally quiet voice replied. Its feminine and soothing tone was not, in the least, scared; in fact, it seemed confident, as if already planning its escape. Quinn frowned. She knew that voice; she’d heard it all her life as she trained to be the hard-worn soldier she was now, and she drew back to take a better look at her captive.
“Adima?” she asked, taking a good look at the motherly face she knew all too well.
A well-groomed brow lifted in arrogant challenge before the coppered bronze face softened into an easy smile. Deep ruby lips parted as Adima spoke, “My dear, were you expecting someone else?”
In a flash Quinn found herself pinned to a nearby boulder, her arms held tightly behind her as her dagger, her most prized possession was wrestled from her. Grunting in surprise from the blunt blow, Quinn ground out, “You better give that back to me, if you know what’s good for you, Adima.”
An amused chuckle was her answer, “Well, then you’d better show me those fighting moves I’ve been hearing so much about, or was that all hot air?”
Feeling scolded, Quinn growled, glancing back up to Hunter as she gave a high-pitched whistle. The moment the sound escaped her lips the large bird dove towards the pair, aiming straight at Quinn’s attacker. He didn’t need to hesitate as his claws were spread, ready to grab at his target, but before even touching Adima, he quickly drew back, soaring once more, in time to simply graze the woman’s cheek.
Adima had stepped back from Quinn, in an attempt to avoid the bird’s flight path, but realised to late what it meant. Once she had let go, like her bird, Quinn was quick to act. She turned and kicked out with her strong side, wrapping her leg around one of Adima’s forcing the older woman to the ground. Like lightning, she snatched back her dagger and wrapped her free arm around Adima’s shoulder.
“You were saying?” Quinn asked, proudly, smiling proudly as Hunter resumed his watched in the skies above.
Adima tilted her head as best she could, whilst being held at such an awkward angle. She hated to admit it, but she was impressed, “I owe your father his money. I didn’t think he’d trained you both this well.”
Laughing with easy mirth, Quinn released her old mentor, and even helped her to her feet. Hunter had now joined them, taking a much-deserved break from his watch, “Well, the Guild would overlook his methods and call them obsolete, but you and I know better.”
Sparkling violet eyes gazed at the young woman, as a proud smile graced Adima’s face, “Indeed we do.” Both women looked out at the rocky mountains beyond, and stared out at the city that was nestled between the jagged cliffs of the Navidian Desert. For long moments, neither women spoke, content to let their eyes rove potential targets, “Your father believes you’re ready to join a hunt,” Adima began cautiously, giving Quinn a careful sidelong glance.
The younger woman scoffed, “It’s about time. He’s been gloating for a month now.”
Adima’s brow twitched, “I thought you’d be more excited about this. Not two years ago I remember you bouncing off the walls and eager to go.”
Quinn’s smile faltered. A faint memory suddenly flashed in multicolour, in her mind and a hard expression graced her usually mischievous face, “Let’s just say a lot has happened here and I don’t think I can just leave it as it is.”
Adima’s heart went out to the young woman. She too had lost family members, and not all as peacefully as she had liked, but a hunt was still a hunt and thanks to their dwindling numbers, the Guild needed someone like Quinn to oversee such delicate operations. Steeling herself, for the rant she knew would come, Adima turned to fully face the simmering woman, “Quinn, you can’t keep blaming yourself. Ariadne’s death was not your fault.” Quinn didn’t reply, her jaw tensed as agonising memories, of a fiery night, flooded her. Knowing the young woman wasn’t yet lost too her, Adima pushed on, “Perhaps a fresh hunt would help.”
“Their deaths would help,” Quinn ground out, her eyes still fixed to the horizon.
Seeing such fury in Quinn’s usually bright eyes was new to Adima and she was admittedly frightened of it, “You cannot change the past Quinn, and their deaths would only lead to more heartache. Let it go and join the hunt, we need you.”
This time it was Quinn’s turn to look at her companion. Her eyes were deep flames of blue wrath and were fixe on Adima with such ferocity, the older woman almost balked at the sight, “These people are monsters Adima. When all of their bodies are rotting on the ground and no one is there to mourn them, only then will I let it go. You can be sure of that.”
Both awed and terrified at Quinn’s conviction, Adima simply watched the younger woman boil. Perhaps it would be better to let the storm pass and broach the subject later. After all, her decision would affect the future of their world, and if Quinn chose wrongly, it would mean the end of their way of life, and Adima would be damned before she saw her people turn to dust.
So, what do you think? Does it need improvement, do you want a follow up…not sure about that one, but I’ll try, if requested. Let me know if you have a good story to come up with this, or perhaps use it for your own stories! Link them in the comments below, so I can read them! You all know how much I love to read! I’ll see you guys next week, and hopefully I can get another crochet post out by then!
For now, check out the other sections of the blog, I’m sure you’ll find something new!
This is Feather, signing out!