When the night demons come she keeps quiet, tries to sink into the dark drapes around her father’s throne and pretend they don’t see her. It’s stupid of course. She watches as their ivory eyes flicker back and forth, catching in her own gaze momentarily and sending familiar tendrils of cold seeping through her chest.
She almost fainted the first time it happened. Her! Of all people!
She was used to being summoned at strange hours, slipping through the castle corridors as moonlight painted the stones with looming shapes.
Her father warned her to stay close.
“Don’t speak,” he said.
The Forest Of Obscurite was dark. Not just dim, or a little gloomy, but dark. Swallowing her pride Tara allowed for Greth to lead the way and kept close, doing her best to stay in the puddle of light from his torch.
“Watch your footing,” he’d warned her. “Nothing like this bitch to send you down cliffs you wouldn’t even know existed till you’re fallin’. She’s a clever one.”
“She?” Tara asked, crouching next to him as he’d checked the horses were tied up properly.
“She,” he’d nodded, checks finished.
“You act like it’s a person.”
“Who said it’s not?”
Tara twisted, her attackers blade catching her across the hip as the confines of the alley forced her against a wall. She dropped, doing a better job of dodging the next blade as it swung overhead and crashed into stone.
“Stay still you little—” the rest of Eton Smites’ words dissolved into a wet gurgle, blood bubbling up between his lips and running down the front of his armour.
He stumbled, slumping sideways as Tara moved back, one dagger still aimed towards him as she plucked at the clothing over her hip. It ached and blood eased from the slice in her flesh but it wouldn’t kill her, whatever Smites’ had slipped into her drink might though.