“She stole my clothes, you know,” Nive said, her grievances not close to being at an end. “And my jewels.”
“That is because a young lady in finery is rather distinctive,” Ayla explained. “We prefer to operate more discreetly, you understand.”
“I am never discreet. I am a pretty princess!” Nive declared proudly.
“You’re much more than that,” Ayla replied. “But we have time to discuss all that later. For now, we must move.”
“Yes, because my father’s men are coming for you, and the forces of Iskendar too, I bet. There will be hundreds looking for you, dozens of patrols, each armed to the teeth.” Nive directed a smug gaze at Kira. “I will enjoy watching you be captured.”
Kira did not answer. She took a length of leather and advanced upon the pretty princess. Nive stood, or rather, knelt her ground, refusing to show fear. She no doubt thought she was being brave, but her stillness played into Kira’s plans perfectly. As she drew closer, Kira stretched the leather out between her fists and pressed it toward Nive’s mouth.
“What… mmpphh!” The would-be princess was neatly and swiftly gagged by the warrior, who knotted the leather behind Nive’s head, leaving Nive staring daggers.
“Do you have the carriage?”
“It is waiting outside,” Ayla confirmed.
“Good. I am almost certain trackers will be here in a matter of hours.”
“Mnngmhph mhff nnng!” What Nive said was lost to posterity, but both Ayla and Kira could more or less guess at the gist of it.
Kira grabbed Nive and hauled the squirming almost-princess over her shoulder. Kicking and squealing muffled threats, Nive was carried out of the little roadside inn, her feminine frame quite helpless in Kira’s muscular grasp.
On the road outside, two sleek black mares stood with ears twitching, hitched to a carriage designed for speed. The wheels were geared and sprung in such a way that rough terrain would not overly unsettle the carriage itself, hand-carved from obsidian hued wood. Ayla opened the door, revealing an interior was richly appointed in the finest of deep purple velvet and silk.
“You travel in style now, Ayla,” Kira noted as she tossed Nive into the interior, showing little regard for the nearly princess. Fortunately Nive landed on soft satin pillows, sustaining little more than a bruised ego.
“I have discovered a taste for comfort in my old age,” Ayla admitted with a smile. She was not old at all, of course, if anything she was in the prime of her life, her voluptuous beauty more alluring than ever. The warrior’s dark pupils dilated markedly as she ushered Ayla into the carriage, her gaze running over the witch’s curvaceous rear.
Before Ayla could observe her lurid gaze, Kira shut the door and climbed up to take the carriage reins. There was no time for the kindling of old lusts, not while there were still traces of blood on her sword and plumes of dust in the distance told her that it might once more run sanguine if they were not swift enough in their escape.