“Halt where you stand or I shall cut you as wheat.”
The sword touched his neck like a lover’s kiss; gentle but dangerous and passionate. Haffa let himself shiver and raised his hands uncertainly with quiet submission.
“I presume you have guessed why I spared your pitiful life?”
“Yes.” The one syllabul stuck in his throat and rubbed, like sandpaper, against his flesh.
“And will you do it?”
“Then I believe our account is finally settled then?”
The sword was suddenly lifted and was sheathed with a silken sound. Haffa began to turn around. He knew who it was but he wanted to see their face.
He turned to empty air, a bush quivering where a hasty retreat had been made and small footprints; a woman’s booted imprint in the muddy ground.
“No,” he repeated to himself, quietly. She was gone and he was still alive – the deal was complete and now nothing was protecting him.
The chill of adventure battled fear and Haffa nodded.
“Yes.” he smiled.
He turned away and ran.
Now it was personal.