Jason walked along side the horse and its owner with a brisk pace that was used only to keep up with the two of them, rather than attempt to coerce the two of them into a pace faster than was necessary. While Sam spoke of his familial feelings for the princess, of which Jason was absolutely sure ran much deeper than even the soldier himself dared to realize it, Jason was busy looking around and enjoying the beauty of nature.
“That sounds like a wonderful fairy tale there kiddo, now how’s ab—”
That was the time that he noticed something was wrong with Sam, and Jason’s deep seeded humanitarianism let him express only concern for the other man’s well being. He said nothing as the man handed down a dagger, Jason taking up the bladed instrument and cradling it gently in the grasp of his left hand, before the arm and dagger came to rest at his side.
“I don’t know why you’re givig this to me Sam, it’s not like you won’t be right there beside me when we meet whoever it is that we have to meet.”
Right hand came to rest on the horse’s muscular side and, without words, the beast knew to stop; he may not have had a horse in all his travels, but something about Jason’s demeanor was something to be admired, even in the animal kingdom. Just the way he held himself spoke of power and esteem. If the horse stopped, Sam was sure to follow.
“You alright Sam? You want to stop and take a bit of a rest?”
He had failed to notice, but the duo were already beleaguered on all sides by trees.
“A rest.” Sam whispers half aware, dropping the reins of his horse stumbling toward the nearest tree. Unlatching his sword letting it drop to the ground. “Yes, I must rest.” Sitting with a spine jarring plop forcing a whimper from his. His features twisted in pain, he couldn’t stop it now. His duties rest on the lad’s shoulders now, he felt safe with that. Wiping his moist brow with the back of his hand, his eyes find the horse that is contently munching on a patch of grass. “Be a good lad and…” his green eyes dart about for a bit lost in his mind. “Water, she needs water.” Swallowing hard he shakes his head. "No, you must go on without me. The Princess needs protection, go. Leave me."
Sam’s body falls to the side, this great solider now lay in the dirt, the pain vanishes from his face. The only signs of life is shallow breathing forced through his slightly opened mouth.
His body started to shrink, his tanned face grew pale. The heroic features of the solider faded into a delicate face of a woman, leaving only freckles across her small nose and high cheek bones. She licks her dry lips shifting trying to wake from the spell induced sleep. Her green eyes flutter open for a moment unable to focus on anything, she falls back into a deep sleep.
Last edited by C'Lee; 05-27-2008 at 03:23 PM.
At Sam’s request for Jason to continue on with the mission at the expense of his own life, Jason could do little more than scoff, chuckle derisively, and shake his head in disbelief.
“Listen soldier, if you think I’m about to leave you behind to die to gave save your princess, you’re sorely mistaken. The town’s not too far away. The least I can do is take you there and let a doctor look you over; if you can’t travel, then I’ll go without you. But I won’t let you die here.”
If Jason’s nerves weren’t so steeled by years upon years of fight after fight, he might have rushed to Sam’s side and let stress reign over him. But those years had taught Jason that crying over a dying body did very little to actually help the person when all was said and done; so with a calmness tempered through experience, he stalked towards Sam confidently, and as he knelt to scoop the man up into his arms, that man became a woman.
That’s right, you read correctly. Sam became a woman. I know, I know…Jason was a bit shocked too. He was a bit dumbfounded for a bit, his eyes absorbing the details of the world-turning event that had just transpired before him, before practical thoughts shot away his stunned surprise.
Sam said she needed water. Without thought, one of Jason’s hands groped at his own side while his free hand gently, and effortlessly, lifted Sam upwards so that his back pressed against a tree. The tip of his waterskin was brought up and Jason gently let water pass through Sam’s dried lips.
“Hell of a secret you were hiding there, kid.”
The water snaps life back into her, she grasped for it trying to drink more. Even though she choked on what was given. Her fingers wrap around the wrist of who offered her water.
Confusion took over as she stares at those deep blue eyes. Who was he? She felt safe in his presence so she clearly knew him. He looked somewhat rattled, even though he was trying to hid it.
Digging deep in her rattled mind a name formed. “Jason.” she whispers, licking the moister from her lips. The name brought the rest of the story in a overwhelming rush, her free hand pressed against her forehead. Her grip on Jason’s wrist tightened slightly enough to feel his pulse under her fingertips, concentrating on the other’s heartbeat gave her a foundation. Painstakingly she settled her raging thoughts into something coherent.
“You stayed? How long have I been out? Did you find Hanna?” She tried to get up with little success, she falls against the tree. She might as well start with the basics, she needed him to trust her if she is to complete her mission and save the princess. “My name is Samantha, everyone calls me Sam.” she forces a weak smile. “Please, forgive my deception, most would not come to the aid to a woman that I am. I really thought the spell would last longer, at least long enough to get you well on your way.”
Unable to judge his mood, she just didn't know if he planned to walk away.
Jason searched her face the moment that she had uttered his name; he caught wind of that split-second in time where the cage at the back of her mind was unlocked and the memories came flooding in. Just by that simple alteration in her countenance, Jason could guess at the mechanics of what had happened in the shadows. She had gone under the effects of a spell that not only allowed the woman to switch genders, but provided her with an entirely different psyche.
“Don’t worry about it Sam, you’re good to go.” Jason stood up, smiling all the while, and moved the almost empty waterskin back to his side then brought his hands up to the back of his head. “Not saying that I condone lying or any of that, but sometimes you gotta do whatever it is you gotta do to get things done. If you thought that lying was the only way to find someone to help your princess out, well…maybe you’re right. Either way, we’re on the right track now.”
His left hand came down and it was offered to her, clearly meant to help her back on her foot, and Jason’s face was as soft as a normal man’s empathy allowed it to be.
“You haven’t been out too long, maybe two minutes or something, and we aren’t anywhere near your kingdom. Well, I don’t actually know that, but you didn’t make it sound like it was around the corner or anything, and we haven’t covered much distance. Looks like that spell took you for a spin, and the sun is just about set. I suggest we set up camp. Feeling up for it kid?”
“Who said I was lying in words? All I told you is true. Only my appearance was altered.” she states forcing her body off the ground. The oversized pants drops to her ankles, leaving her shirt to dangle at her thighs. “I am in a need of a change.” Slipping from the boots she moves toward her horse. Pulling off the cloak and leather armor as she did, digging in the saddle bags for a change of clothes. “The camp idea is good, I don’t think I should travel right now.”
Wrapping the skirt made of strip of material attached to a belt around her hips, glancing at the setting sun pulling free of the thick warrior's shirt. “We won’t be able to get far anyway in the dark unless you have a habit of glowing in the dark.” she glances over her shoulder at him as she slips on the delicate strips of leather over her shoulders. Pulling the laces tight to the small top moving toward him again. “So do you glow in the dark?” She asks standing before him, her belly button piercing clearly visible. Some dark scrolling markings are etched on her right side, if he knew common lore he would know of her hertiage.
Her peoples expert way with a horse and a bow, excellent drive by killers. Most of the time the targets could only run as their comrades were dropping like flies. A lethal ally to any army. Though most have been slain, the Queen has been able to enslave a few, the chain around Sam's ankle prove that fact.
Sam places her hands on her hips, waiting for a reply.
Last edited by C'Lee; 05-29-2008 at 02:45 PM.
“Twisting the truth, Samantha, is just as bad as lying. You can play semantics with your fellow man and skim by their laws, but our world doesn’t like to dirty its fingers with twisted meanings. If you’re lying, no matter the medium, you have lied.”
Though Jason was definitively a gentleman, one that was chained to this world by chivalry and honor and all the other steely facets that made an honorable man an honorable man, but he was also a realist, and experience alone taught him not to waste an opportunity if it was freely given and another chance like it was not in sight.
Arms folded gently across his chest and a clearly lecherous smile twisted his lips upward in the quirk of a smirk; his eyes traced the contours of the body that, mere moments ago, had belonged to a man. Actually, that thought alone deterred him. Sam had lied, and had done so seemingly without guilt. As much as it was possible that she had been a girl posing as a boy, there was a distinct possibility that she was a boy now posing as a girl. What better way to make sure a guy stuck around?
“Do I glow in the dark? Nope. But it doesn’t take much to be able to move around a forest with a bit of starlight and moonshine. Camp is a good idea though. No reason to tire ourselves out before we even have to deal with…anything serious.”
Jason was growing more and more uncomfortable about the fact that Sam could be anything at all. She may not even be human! For all he knew, he was walking around with a half-lizard magus that was waiting for him to sleep before he dined on some brains. It wouldn’t be the first time he would have had to deal with a trap.
He patted the horse once slightly and began to lead the way slightly off the beaten path; in a handful of minutes, they would find a clearing that seemed characteristic to most forests, and on the way there Jason was sure to gather up bits of kindling and broke off thicker pieces of branches to fuel their fire. He piled it all in the most efficient formation that came to mind and then kneeled on the ground.
“You know how to start a fire?”
Samantha frowns at Jason’s definition of lies, he defiantly had strange opinions. She knew that he had his fair share of them lurking in his past. That very statement made tore her trust from him, no one is that honest.
This night is going to prove very interesting, this stranger could be the very head of the plot against the princess. Using her to get to the sources that knew about the plan, all this made her head spin. The lines of friend and enemy blurred so badly these days.
As Jason made himself useful at gathering wood for a fire, she wraps her cloak around her shoulders and found a tree to sit against. “No, I have no means to start a fire.” she answers wrapping the cloak tightly around her body. All she had to do is get him to Hanna, then she could figure out why the spell didn’t last as long as it was suppose to. He seems to have related to the male better. Ah, well. What is done is done.
Tomorrow will bring them closer to Hanna and her herbs.
Last edited by C'Lee; 05-29-2008 at 10:56 PM.
Jason smiled and shook his head lightly.
“I didn’t ask if you could, I asked if you knew how. It’s a pretty useful skill to know; what if you were traveling through the forest and I wasn’t here? Sleeping among trees in the dark is very dangerous. Well, I’ll stop lecturing you. If you know how, stay back there and rest, if you don’t then come up here and learn how.”
He would only show her once, just once. It wasn’t a very difficult process to go through, but the night was playing on Jason’s nerves and he was growing progressively more tired. Hands dug into his pockets and procured a bit of steel and a piece of flint stone; he pressed one against the other and a shower of sparks rained down on the small twigs and dried leaves at the center of the fire.
As the flame’s tongue grew and grew and grew, Jason kept giving it the fuel it so hungered for; in no time at all, the fire roared with strength, and Jason sat down onto the slightly springy earth of leaves and fallen twigs with a satisfied sheen in his eyes. Immediately, without moving too far away from the warmth and light that his campfire provided, Jason began to prepare to rest for the night. This involved very little other than removing the strap of his sword, too heavy to be taken away from him without his noticing.
“So, tell me Samantha.” He had already grown accustomed to referring to the woman by her full name. It was not that he was more comfortable around gender as compared to another, but that he had simply spent more time with Samantha’s male alter-ego and now felt that he had to acquaint himself with her female self as if it were an entirely new person.
From the looks of it, she was.
“How far did you expect to get as a boy?”
Samantha shifts in her spot, she didn’t fear the dark or the beasties that roam in it. It is the two legged vermin she had a hard time dealing with. The stallion snorts and stops his foot wandering closer to her, she opens her eyes seeing the branches burst into flames. A talent with useful application, still she couldn’t find enough energy to care about his tricks.
Her eyes opened once again at his question. “The plan was to take you to Hanna. Now that I have reverted to my normal self. I have to think of another way to get you inside the castle walls without drawing attention.”
The frustration of the situation returns, they had been working on this for weeks. With Sam’s knowledge of herbs, Hanna finally mastered the spell which lasted for two whole days every time it was cast. Why it wore out after a day made little sense.
In the thickness of the darkness, a shadow moved silently toward the girl. So, thought the demon, Sam is a girl, how very interesting. No wonder we cannot keep him pinned down. A wide toothy grin spreads over the black face, which disappeared as his orange eyes land on the male by the fire. Who is this? He does not smell of this place.
His eyes return to Sam. She is very lovely indeed, and has ancient blood running through her veins. A people long forgotten. He smiles again, a beautiful addition to his growing army. He just had to figure out what sort of threat this oddly smelling male is. With all mortals they had to sleep sometime.