As we pulled up to the castle I felt a sudden thrill of adventure. There was nobody waiting for us and I found this strange. My body kicked into overdrive and my adrenaline was high.
I could feel the shivers of someone watching me, and a sudden little cough made all the men jump around. I turned slowly and fixed my eyes on one of the most beautiful creatures I had ever seen in my life. Her black hair fell in soft locks about her shoulders and down her back and it accentuated the darkness of her skin and eyes, I watched her face closely and saw her eyes dart to the knife in my belt. Damn! I thought, she'd heard the men talking.
I handed the reins to the man nearest me and swung down off the carriage, landing in front of her. I could see from her face that I was a lot taller then she first expected.
"Help you?" she finally spoke and her voice to me was like honey. I shook the thought from my mind, reminding myself she was involved with the castle. I hated the castle.
"Maybe you can, we have a delivery of gold here and we're to collect grain for it?" I smiled my crooked smile at her and tilted my head to the side a little. She was a clever one, fighting stance, perfectly balanced, not at all obvious to the untrained eye, but that's where she didn't fool me.
"I have never seen someone with a bow in these parts before." she replied coolly and I could feel the men getting restless behind me.
"That's because we're not from these parts." I felt my smile begin to slip a little as I realised that we were running out of time.
"This isn't going to work Sir." One of the men voiced what we had all been thinking. "Let's get out of here while we have the chance."
I turned back to the girl and saw her stance shift a little. "Bandits." she hissed, and in the same breath she whipped a knife from her boot and threw it at my head.
It was at that moment that I thanked God for my reflexes. I caught the knife and jumped forwards, pinning her against the tree with my arm and burying her own knife in the bark right beside her head.
Before she could scream I had my face level with hers and I hissed at her. "Listen to me!" She closed her mouth and stared up at me, not with fear, more with a burning anger, underlined with..... respect? No, impossible.....
I released my grip on her slightly. "I have no interest in gold, or the castle, or killing the King or the Princess or whatever. In fact, I feel sorry for the Princess from what I've heard from people. She should be brought out more." I paused. "I just want grain, or foodstuffs, anything really that's edible. My people are starving because they struggle to pay the castle's taxes and have no money for food for their families. Have you ever looked into the eyes of a starving child?"
She shook her head ever so slightly. "No.." she whispered.
"It's enough to make you sick to your stomach." I let go of her completely to show her that I had no intention of hurting her. "All I want, is to exchange this gold I stole off the real delivery guys, for grain, so that I can take it back to feed several villages. Other then that, I want nothing to do with this place. So please, carry on as if you think we are the real deal, and in return, if you need anything, I will be only too glad to help."
She seemed to turn this over in her head for a few moments before nodding slowly. "You caught my knife." she murmured. "That's nothing to the Master, he plucks arrows right out of the air!" one of the men piped up and I motioned to him to be quiet.
"What is your name lady?" I held out my hand for hers and she grasped it firmly, I assume thinking that I was going for a handshake. "Savana." she still didn't smile and I bent my head to kiss her hand.
"Delighted to meet you Lady Savana." I now considered her to be part of my own Kingdom, the Kingdom of good deed doers.
"Who are you?" she pulled her hand from mine, folded her arms and stood up straight and I couldn't help but think how much she looked like a Pirate Queen at that moment.
"Please do not insult us by calling us mere bandits again." I took a deep breath. "I'm Kevin, King of the Forest Thieves." I made a sudden, sweeping bow and to my surprise her face lit up in a wide smile.
"I see. The notorious King Kevin." She grinned. "Actually, there is something you can do for me...."