When Kevin and I returned there was a hush in the camp. A stranger had arrived, and was stood in the centre of everything, drawing the attention of the village. Kevin put on his authority stature and strode out to meet him. I rushed over to the Princess.
"Who is he?" I asked. She shook her head in silent terror, seemingly unable to remove her eyes from him.
"Who are you, and what do you do here?" Kevin asked the stranger, who appeared to be having rather a fight over his mouth. I watched fascinated, as the corners of his lips twitched every so slightly. It was as though he couldn't decide whether to smile or smirk. The smirk won.
"A traveller, looking for a place to rest and feed. I hope I have not disturbed your peace." Something in his voice made me place my hand on my weapon, convieniently placed under my skirt. There was a harshness there that I recognised. It was a harshness that I myself possessed, and I knew it meant that this person could do evil things. As this thought passed through my head he glanced at me, and his eyes made me grip the handle of the knife. They reminded me of the eyes of a mother wolf that had once crossed my path. The caring look mixed with pure anger and strength that filled them as she had stood protectively over her cubs had been magnificent. I saw this now. A smile actually appeared on the strangers face as he fixed his gaze on my hand, gripping the handle. Then his eyes slipped behind me on to the princess. I stepped in front of her protectively.
"Your name?" Kevin asked. He too was wary, but I doubted he recognised the look in the man's eyes. He would be wary for his home and people. And me.
"J... Destrian." There was only the faintest of hesitations and the suggestion of a letter before he spoke his name, and that was enough to put me fully on my guard. A man who hid his identity was not to be trusted. "May I stay for some food, and sleep in the comfort of a fire and people?" He asked. There was a hint of pride in every syllable. Kevin thought for a moment, then seemed to reason that his men outnumbered this man, and that we would be safe.
"You may rest and feed here if you will."
I cursed inwardly, then turned to Irene. She was still transfixed with the stranger.
"Irene, where is Kyla?"
"She ran off to play with Mia." Her eyes did not move from Destrian.
"I shall find her." I went through the tents until I found the little girls playing. Picking my charge up I carried her back to the fire, where people had begun the entertainment of dancing, singing and playing instruments. I was about to join Irene again when I realised she was not alone. Destrian was with her. Anger boiled inside of me.
I strode over.