Tessa's boots weren't made for trudging through snow, luckily there wasn't too much accumulation. She glanced at the boy, Xavier. He wore layers of shirts. Some of his attire had holes in it. His nose and ears were red. Where were his parents? Another thought occured to her; if they were to get out of this alive three of them would probably be tried for kidnapping. Awesome.

Tess was still mildly annoyed with Xavier for planting the rat in her pocket although, she did possess some humility. “Come here kid,” She said taking off her red knit scarf.

Xavier winced, although he appeared to be in his early teens, he didn't like being addresses as kid. He didn't act like much of one, but he couldn't have been much older than thirteen. Reluctantly Xavier walked over to Tess. He screamed when she put the scarf around his neck. He pushed her away, grabbing for his throat. “Are you trying to choke me?”

Bewildered, Tess shook her head. “Are you serious? Don't you have a mother? I was simply putting the scarf around your neck so you wouldn't catch anymore of a chill.”

Now Xavier stared at her like she was the crazy one. “It's yours though.”

Tess rolled her eyes. “Sure, but if by some chance I'm not hunted down and killed by a sociopath murder than I will be in jail, for kidnapping you, in which case I'd prefer your life to go on and not mine.”

Xavier gave her a strange look. “You've really thought this through Tess.”

“Yea it's about the only thing I've thought through lately,” she muttered under her breath.

  • “What?”

  • Tess smiled at the cynical boy. “Nothing. Look you have more life ahead of you anyways.”

Xavier scoffed bitterly. “Yeah, okay,” he said before walking away and refusing the scarf.

“Screw humility,” she muttered.

The four of them trudged silently in the snow. Tess was sure this plan was a bad idea. Unless you were the FEDS or some kind of police force, you didn'twillingly scope out a killer.

A shadow fell over the crisp blanket of snow ahead of them. Tess looked up at the same time Xavier did. The others  halted in their tracks,behind them. Up in the tree was a large man. Before anyone had time to react he lunged towards Tess and Xavier. They screamed in unison. Tess got away first and the man held Xavier down by his shoulders. He wasn't the man from the bus, but a new problem entirely. His head was bald and his skin had the slightest hint of blue to it. He had no weapon, but was whispering an incantation of sorts. His eyes went rabid, never leaving the boy's face.

Tess jumped towards the man with her scarf. The boy had given her an idea. Coming up behind the bald man, she placed her scarf over his head, around his neck. Xavier escaped from underneath him and the man began sputtering for air as she choked him with the scarf.

“Who sent you?!” Tess demanded. She loosened up on the scarf for a moment awaiting his answer He didn't answer.

Leila came up in front of him. She poised her makeshift spear in front of his face. “Listen”, she said addressing the man, “Your going to give us an answer or choose the fate of your death. I'm very interested in seeing how far up your nose and into your brain I can shove this thing, or you can be choked to death. In my opinion that's boring and cliche.”

Tess and Leila exchanged a sardonic look.

“My...Master,” the man squeaked.

Tess tightened the scarf. “Who is your master?”

“Bernard Kingsley,” he replied breathlessly.

“And what's his deal?” Leila demanded.

“Kill the order of.... Merlin, and kill...bus...crash...survivors,” he said, struggling for air.

The End

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