This page is obviuosly fictional and none of this never happened. I don't know them etc. nlah blah blah. Yu know this. It is more of a space-taker. Oh well. Thank you for reading it!
Later that night, Zac made a final check that his sword was safely
secured to his side and his dagger was concealed within easy reach inside
He kissed his mother on the cheek and walked outside the tent where he immediately stood by the large fire beside his father.
"Son, you are brave for what you are doing and you have my utmost respect for that. I think you should know that. Remember that you are a Hanson and you are my son. There is none greater and you cower to no one. Please do not fail me. It is our honor on the line." His father stared at the fire without breaking his gaze.
"You have my word sir. I will not fail you or my family." Zac as well stared at the flames.
"Very well then. Be off with you. You have a job to do." His father turned to him and clapped him on the back before pointing towards the path through the marshes that would bring him to the small camp on the edge of the River.
Zac turned and started towards the beaten trail in a quest to hold his honor and win the approval of his father.
Young Tasha sat by the river staring at her reflection in the moon
silvered water. Her dark tresses swirled around her shoulders and
complemented her deep brown eyes.
The crunching of underbrush behind her sent her into alarm and she whirled around to find her father gazing at her lovingly.
"Hello father." she acknowledged.
He smiled and said "Hello, my child. What do you find so appealing about the water that you must stare longingly at it?"
"I see the reflection of the moon and gaze at its untouched beauty while thinking of how truly blessed I am." She returned.
Her father smiled and hugged her. "I am going to sleep. I would feel better knowing that you would come as well. It is not safe out here with enemies so near at hand." he admonished.
"Yes sir. I will go to my bed then. Good night" she kissed him on the cheek before walking to her families tent and stepping through the opening. Her mother and two siblings lay sleeping on their mats already.
She smiled and pulled the blanket around her sister Megan's shoulders. She kissed Bryan's forehead and patted her mother softly on the head before walking over to her own mat and laying down.
Sleep did not come so she lay there waiting for her to be able to close her eyes and not open them for several hours. This did not happen though so she waited patiently and listened as her father came in and laid down on his own mat. Soon, his snoring echoed lightly through the tent. She smiled to herself and finally began to doze.
She was about to sleep in to complete slumber when she heard a small twig snap. Tasha immediately glanced over to look at her family. They were all sleeping soundly and the snoring had failed to cease.
She shook it off and decided it was just an animal.
Suddenly a hand clamped over her mouth and another arm pulled her into a sitting position. She tensed up to admit a scream when she suddenly became acutely aware of a small dagger pressing against her back. She swallowed the scream sat very still. The person behind her pulled her to her feet and quietly walked her out the door and through the camp.
They were far into the woods when he finally released his hand from over her mouth.
"Thank you, you bastard." Tasha immediately snapped. She squinted in the dark in an attempt to see the stranger.
"You needn't try to see me." came a gruff voice. " I am Zachary Hanson of the clan Hanson. One peep from you, and you will find yourself floating in a river in a canvas sack."
Tasha swallowed and nodded. She turned away from him and tried to hold back the tears welling up in her eyes.
If this was her captor than she would surely never see her family again. She thought back to her family sleeping peacefully in the tent and her fathers loving words from previous and could no longer hold back the tears. She silently began to cry.
The moon pulled out from behind the shadow of a cloud and exposed her face as she softly cried to herself.
Zac's resolve was crumbling inside. He thought of his father and immediately set his jaw.
"There will be none of that." He ordered. " We will be camping here tonight. Dry the tears. You will earn no sympathy from me."
Tasha quietly nodded and pulled herself into a small ball to try and defy the biting cold. Her shivering slowly pulled her into a sleep.
Zac watched her from the stump and sympathy and anger over ran him. Anger towards his father for drawing an innocent young girl into this and sympathy to her for having to go through this. He knew as well as she did that she would never see her family again.
Tasha awoke the next morning with a terrible crick in her neck and pains
in her lower back. She sat up to stretch and discovered Lance's cloak
around her. She smiled before looking over to a fire burning briskly near
the center of the small clearing.
Zac stood frying fish. His back was turned to her.
She walked up behind him and peered over his shoulder.
" I cannot eat that." she whispered.
He jumped at the closeness and surprise and then turned towards her. "And why is that?" He asked coolly. Who was she to be picky. SHe was lucky to be eating at all.
"I am sorry." she said. SHe handed him his cloak and went back to the stump to sit and stare around her at the woods.
She glimpsed a bright flower just inside the trees and began walking towards it. She had never been allowed outside the camp and was always under the protection of one of her fathers men. Up close nature like this was new to her. She glanced over at the young Scotsmen and upon seeing his back turned, she made her way towards the gorgeous bloom.
Zac heard the rustle fo her moving and turned to see her walking towards the poisonous Edna Bloom.
(AN: I am not aware of a flower of that name. I just made it up. Sorry if there is one)
"NO!" He screamed.
Tasha turned and gave him a puzzled look.
He jogged over her and pulled her away from the deadly flower.
"That is a beautiful flower but it will kill you." he said as he led her back to the stump.
"Oh. Thank you for saving me." she whispered. Her face came closer to his until it was a kiss away.
Zac quickly stepped back and looked away.
"I was just insuring that you didn't die for ransom purposes for my clan" he said, intentionally making his voice gruffer than necessary.
Tasha blushed and sat down on the stump.
"The fish is done." Zac stated. "We will need to eat this to keep energy for the long trek."
"But your camp is not far." Tasha objected.
"We are not going that way. We are taking a longer route to prevent immediate battle when your clan discovers you are missing and immediately accuses the Hansons. We cannot be there." Zac explained before handing her fish on a large leaf.
"I cannot eat this" she reminded him.
"And why is that. Is it not good enough for you?" he sneered.
"No. I am allergic to red fish." she said.
"Oh. THen you will have to go hungry. I don't have time to cater to your picky diet." he ate in silence as Tasha stared at the coals.
He looked at her and realized she could not possibly go hungry.
He stood up and with a "Stay here" directed towards Tasha, headed off into the woods.
He returned 5 minutes later with a rabbit dead in his hands. He prepared it to be cooked and soon had it done and handed to Tasha.
"Thank you" She whispered before eating some of it. She was soon full and packaged the rest for future hunger purposes.
Zac sat on the stump watching her and mentally kicked himself for being so harsh previously.
"I can not soften up. "He told himself. "I have to stay firm and can not let her escape. My family depends on me."
With that resolved he soon found himself thinking of how beautiful she was. "Stop it!" he scolded himself. He tried to keep his head straight but soon was back to the previous thoughts.
As he sat there staring, Tasha felt a pair of eyes on her and turned to see Zac staring.
"Um... excuse me. What are you looking at?" She questioned.
Zac came to and stated "nothing" before standing up and saying "we must be going now if we are going to reach an place to rest by night fall."
"OKay." Tasha stood up and followed Zac through a hardly noticeable path winding its way among the trees through the woods.
"Can we stop and rest?" Tasha asked later after having walked several miles.
"No." came the abrupt answer.
"okay. I will try to keep going then." she responded, understanding nothing but deciding it would be wise not to mess with him.
Nightfall soon came and a very sore Tasha stumbled into a small clearing.
"Can we please stop her. I am dreadfully tired and hungry. I am not used to this, you know." she reminded him.
"Aye. This place is good enough." Zac confirmed. He cleared the stones out of the soft ground and spread a small blanket on the ground,
He immediatly sat down.
Tasha stood there as if waiting for something.
"What?" Zac questioned.
"Where am I to sleep?" came the response.
"Right here. I do not trust you to not leave. You will have to be close enough for me to awaken when you stir." he responded.
"No. You are not of kin to me and there is no way I am even SITTING in that small blanket with you, much less sleeping!" Tasha's tolerance wore through at that moment. It was not like her to be so tolerant.
Previously, she had been worried for her life, but once she realised that she was in no mortal danger, she became angered and uncooperative.
"You will. I do not do this because I want to. I have a strong detest for your clan and that includes you. I will tie you down if you do not cooperate. Ther is no other way and I would much rather kill you than drag such a whining sniffiling brat along with me who knows nothing of her own country!" Zac burst out. He was immediatly sorry when she began to cry.
"Look" he began in a softer tone, "I'm sorry. This trip is hard for me too. To be honest with you, I would be much more comfortable if you had a seperate sleeping mat. You can't because 1) You could easily leave or 2) an animal could come along. It is safer if we are closer. I am sorry for what I said. You seem nice despite your last name." He apologized.
Tasha looked up and stared into his deep brown eyes that were similar to her own. She could see fear and regret in his eyes. Perhaps he had not wanted to have to do this.
She nodded and sat down on the small blanket, trying to keep to the opposite end of him. This wasn't possible though.
SHe gave up on trying to keep away asnd layed down on her side, staring into the trees.
Zac soon layed down next to her and drifted off into sleep almost immediatly. Tasha continued staring at the trees when a pair of glowing yellow eyes appeared. Tasha breathed in sharply but remained still, hoping it would go away. Her hopes proved futile because the beast soon stepped out fo the wooded area right into the clearing. It appeared like a large cat, with silken ebony black fur and razor sharp teeth. It growled from deep within its throat and made its way slowly toward the small blanket where Tasha was wide awake and Zac was softly sleeping.
She reached her arm behind her and started shaking Zac in an attempt to get him awake while keeping her eyes on the large panther.
Zac awoke with a start and was about to say something when he heard the low growl of the wild animal.
Tasha was shaking with fear and trying to stay completely still.
"Don't move a muscle" Zac whispered in her ear while pulling the sword out of his cloak as secretively as he could, praying that the panther did not notice the movements.