“Oh, you poor baby…” I begin.
A shrill scream cuts off from a couple streets over, pausing my words in the back of my throat. A dog barks and whimpers as I hear the reverberations of metal on flesh. Ran’s ears perk. A growl rumbles in her chest as her scruff stands on end.
Her flashing eyes meet mine. “Let’s go, pretty girl,” I whisper.
I drop the rest of the chain mail and garments in a heap. It’ll only slow us down. I just hope Sir Hans understands.
My hands tighten on Ran's harness as she gathers herself to leap upon the nearest roof. She perks her ears. Grunts of pain and the scuffle of a struggle meets my ears, but I let Ran take her time across the slick rooftops. She knows what she’s doing.
She leaps over the next alley, and the next. The moon high above dances with the stars as our only witnesses. The shingles clack beneath her claws, and a few even tumble down the side to land with a splat.
A man from down below draws his head back inside his window just in time to avoid getting knocked out.
“Sorry!” I call back at him before Ran leaps one last roof.
We’re in the Middi part of town. Nicer houses than the slums, but not so nice as Upper. Before I have time to gain my bearings, Ran drops straight to the ground.
I tumble off with an oof as she lands with all the grace of a cat. She huffs and I feel her amusement. “You could’ve warned me!”
"Wouldn’t have been half the fun," my crazy bond replies, her tongue hanging out the side of her mouth in a wolf grin.
I roll my eyes at my white wolf, then look up to see four men clustered around a girl and her dog.
The dog is bleeding, but that doesn’t stop him from trying to protect his owner. He stands in front of her with hackles raised and saliva dripping from his bared fangs. Good for him.
The men stare at me with varying degrees of wariness. The dog growls at me in consternation while the girl whimpers from behind him. Her faithful dog is loyal to a fault.
“Go, and I won’t make my Timber eat you.”
The men exchange glances. One has cheeks as bright red as a tomato, and they all sway with a silent, nonexistent breeze. Drunk. Folds of ripped fabric cover their emaciated forms. I would feel bad for them—if they weren't trying to take advantage of the girl.
“What she goin' ta do?” one slurs.
I wish. I wish for once they would just run. No bloodshed. No pain. No fighting.
“Just run, you stupid oafs. This will go very bad for you if not.”
Of course, that was the wrong thing to say. They simultaneously growl in haughty indignation, sounding like a pack of rabid hyenas.
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