Invictus

protruding

Ginger sighed, nudging the protruding stomach of her horse. As it trotted, Ginger bobbed up and down, the axe which rested on her back knocking into her spine each time she rose and fell. 

'Woah,' she hushed the horse, and it came to gradual halt. Ginger swung her leg around, hopping off the overweight animal. She tied it's reigns to a nearby tree - well, she had plenty to choose from in the forest! 

'I'll be back soon.' The tiny girl whispered, kissing it's nose. Ginger sported a light accent which resembled that of a Welshman crossed with a Yorkshireman. Her short blonde hair shimmered in the sparse morning sunlight and her deep, golden eyes, overflowing with cold wit and sarcasm flitted around the area; searching for any sign of followers.

With her parting words, she set off in the opposite direction of the pathway. That was the mistake the boys would always make; sticking to the path. But Ginger knew better. She knew the forest better than any other person in the place. Which was why she was the best hunter, no matter how much people denied it because of her gender.

Ginger stopped dead, her ears pricking at the sound of a possible prey. She yanked the axe over her shoulder and held it in front of her as she walked slowly towards the noise, carefully avoiding any twigs which would emit a loud snapping noise. 

She gave a start, her concentration slipping as a tall figure with it's back turned to her came into view. By the broadness of their shoulders she could easily tell it was a man. 

'Excuse me?' She called out cautiously, tucking a short lock of hair behind her ear as she stepped forward. 

He didn't move even when she started walking carelessly to face him, her heavy boots slamming down on the dried forest floor. Once she had managed to get to him, she could see he was fact asleep. 

'You'll get backache if you sleep like that in the cold...' Ginger peered into his face, her golden eyes brimming with curiosity. 

In a swift, single movement the tall man had stood up and was holding a dagger the the petite girl's neck; and the petite girl had her axe to the tall man's stomach. 

'Check mate.' She grinned. He frowned at her familiar speech, and met her steady gaze. Ginger tilted her head, raising her eyebrows as she noticed he had the same eyes as her. The eyes that had deemed her a witch since she was a little girl. 

'What is your business with me?' He asked sharply. 

'My business is that you're in the middle of my hunting grounds, as far away from the path as possible.' Ginger replied cooly, 'you have to be up to no good if you're sleeping so deep in the forest.' 

'Up to no good?' He chuckled, finding a deeper meaning in Ginger's words, 'yes, I suppose so.'

'You're lucky I found you, Stranger.' She said whimsically, 'if it'd been one of the boy's you'd be dead in a second.' 

'Really?' The man chuckled again, stretching his arms up. Ginger's eyes flicked to the skin of his chest which was revealed as his arms went skyward, they narrowed and she glanced back to his eyes. 

It couldn't be coincidence, could it?

'Anyhow, do you know of a place I can spend the night? Preferably not a bed of leaves again.'

Could he be trusted? Ginger pondered for a good twenty second, before coming to her conclusion. He was like her, that thing on his upper torso proved this to her. 

'I might know of a place...'

The End

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