“Don’t panic, we do not want to have to shoot all of you. We are looking for the girl, Wynta Harling, we were told that you Insignificants were holding her hostage.” The woman’s gravelly voice rumbled out from the darkness. The startled and distraught throng whipped around as a tall, muscular woman stepped out from the confines of the shadows. Her platinum white was wrenched back in a tight bun pulling the skin taut over sharp cheekbones and puckering around terse lips. Tight, black leather pants clung to her brawny thighs and narrow hips, adorned with a belt to which a myriad of expensive equipment was attached.
She stalked closer, her gun casually slung over her shoulder.
“People, people, you can trust me. We just want the girl, her real friends are missing her and her family is overcome with grief and worry.
“Her family is dead, you manipulative, lying bitch.”
There was a bang followed by another thud as the person who yelled out crumpled to the floor.
A hand covered Wynta’s mouth before she could scream and pulled her down. Gryffon crouched beside her and gestured for her to be quiet.
“But they’re going to kill everyone Gryff.”
“Shhh, you are more important and everyone knows that. We need you if we are to have any hope of an uprising,” he pleaded.
“But…” she was cut off as the woman’s voice once again filled the clearing.
“Wynta, darling, we have someone here to see you. He has been so worried about you; he even started a campaign to find you. Please return to us, even if it is just to reunite with your fiancée.”
“What?” she exclaimed, breaking from his grasp and straining to see over the crowd.
“Wyn?” he questioned warily. She watched as a tall, heavily muscled man stepped to the woman’s side. His dark, brown hair was cut close to his deeply tanned skin and his light brown eyes glinted in the firelight.
“Oh come on Wyn, trust us. Please come back to me, you don’t know how much I missed you.” He smiled and took another step away from the protection of the trees.
Wynta gasped before spinning around and latching on to Gryffon’s arms, her eyes wide open in shock.
“I recognise him. I know I’ve seen his face before.”
“Well of course you have, he’s your bloody fiancé,” he spat, prying her fingers off him. “Go to him. Leave me. I thought there was no one back home waiting for you, I obviously was mistaken.”
He looked away, his long eyelashes clumped together by brimming moisture.
“Just because I recognise him doesn’t mean I care for him,” she said.
“Don’t be childish; you didn’t even know your name until a couple of minutes ago. How can you say you don’t have feelings for a man you obviously once loved enough to promise the rest of your life to?”
Wynta’s teeth ground together and hot, angry tears threatened to spill.
“Don’t you dare be condescending, I know what I feel.”
She glanced up at Gryffon and saw the same tenacity and stubbornness in his forest green eyes that she knew would be in hers.
“You have to go back. We can’t have some silly girl realising her feelings towards the enemy and possibly jeopardising everything we have and will fight for.”
“How could you possibly say that? I don’t care that I may have loved or held some affection for that stupid Dense. How can you ask me to return to someone who no longer is the one I want to be with?”
“What are you implying Ms Harling?” he breathed as he tilted his face towards hers, his nose millimetres from her own, his warm breath tickling her lips.
“I’m implying that there is someone else now; someone who has the looks and the brains.”
She placed her hand on his chest and grinned as she felt his heart beat sporadically. His calloused fingers brushed gently over her lips; teasing; tantalising.
“What’s his name?” he murmured as he lifted her head to meet his.
“Gryffon,” she sighed into his lips, her fingers tracing a line from the corner of his eye, along the high contour of his cheek and down to rest on his powerful jawline; her thumb brushing against the place where their lips met.
She jerked back, “What are we doing? What about your friends who were just shot down!”
Gryffon cursed out loud and grudgingly stepped away.
“I would be swearing too if I had done something this inappropriate,” a sneering voiced hissed into Wynta’s ear sparking a cold tongue of flame in her gut. The Dense woman’s finger dug into Wynta’s hair and wrenched her backwards, away from the safe comfort of Gryff.