Nyx was becoming increasingly uncomfortable as she hung over the horse’s back. Having her entire weight resting on her midsection for such a long period of time was unpleasant, to say the least. Her wrists chaffed from all the times she had frantically pulled against her binds certain she was going to fall as the horse increased its speed or leapt over a log. She was sure it would happen eventually in spite of the fact Livia had managed to grab hold of her the few times she had actually started to slip.
Livia, on the other hand, was enjoying herself immensely. Her captive had not spoken a word since their altercation several hours ago. It was a lovely day not too hot but not too cold. The breeze caressed her face as she rode through the woods blissfully daydreaming about the many things she could do with her reward. Coming upon a clearing beside a stream she decided it was time for a meal. She pulled her horse to a halt and dismounted before lifting Nyx from the horse and dumping her unceremoniously on the ground. Livia reached into her pack and pulled out some bread and cheese.
“Hungry?” she looked to Nyx who had managed to bring herself to a sitting position. Nyx shook her head. “Suit yourself” Livia began to eat.
Nyx sat in silence desperately trying to think of an escape plan. Livia had been careless, failing to further secure her when they stopped. With only her wrists and ankles tied she had some freedom of movement which she was sure would allow her to get away. She just wasn’t sure how yet.
Livia’s lunch and Nyx’s plotting were interrupted as Livia’s horse emitted high pitched panicked noise which was accompanied by loud snarling.
“Wolves!” Livia jumped up dropping her food. Reaching for her sword she rushed towards the commotion.
Nyx slowly inched towards Livia pack. When she reached it she put her back towards it. Slipping both hands inside she felt around until she found one of her knives.
As Livia sunk her sword into one of the wolves the others thought better of a continued fight and retreated back into the woods. Livia now set to calming her panicked horse.
After several tries and a few cuts, Nyx managed to position her hands in such a way that she could slice the ropes binding them. She then grabbed the knife. Making short work of the ropes around her ankles she ducked behind a tree and looked down at her hands. Some of the cuts were quite deep and there was more blood than she had anticipated but there was no time to worry about that now. She set off into the forest. It was vital that she get a head start before Livia noticed she was gone.
As Nyx wove her way through the trees Livia continued to comfort her horse. She ran her hand over his neck murmuring soothing words until the animal’s terror had reduced. Turning around her eyes fell on the spot on the ground where Nyx had previously been. Nyx could hear Livia’s shout of frustration as she ran through the forest. Her heart began to beat a little faster and she increased her pace.
Livia surveyed the area for clues. She noted some drops of blood marking the material of her pack. She examined the ground noting some footprints pointing east and began her pursuit.
Nyx paused to catch her breath and contemplate her surroundings. If she kept running the bounty hunter would probably catch her. However, if she found somewhere to hide hopeful the woman would run straight past. That would allow Nyx to escape in the opposite direction. Perhaps she could even stop by the clearing and take some of the bounty hunter’s supplies. Convinced that this logic was sound Nyx headed for the closest climbable tree.
Livia followed a trail of broken twigs and the occasional footprint at a brisk pace. However, it was not long before the trail came to an end. Livia stopped, for a moment worried that the elf may have outsmarted her and been successful in her escape attempt but then she noticed smudges of blood on a the trunk of a nearby tree. Looking up she could just make out Nyx’s form amongst the leaves.
“Did a little elf really think she could successfully escape me by climbing a tree” Livia further examined the tree noting that the branches did not appear sturdy enough to support her weight. Damn that elf for being so small. Nyx had also made this observation.
“A little elf still thinks she can escape you by climbing a tree” Nyx smirked.
“It’s over, I have caught you.” Livia growled
“Then come up and get me” Nyx’s confidence increased “oh… that’s right… you can’t.”
“You’ll have to come down eventually” Livia sat down at the base of the tree hoping she sounded calmer than she felt. This was a waste of her time. The longer this lasted the longer she would have to wait to collect her reward.
“And you’ll have to sleep eventually.” Nyx replied. She hoped that would happen soon. The tree was decidedly uncomfortable.