Copyright 2012 Shock Brothers Studio, LLC
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Cinnamon heard the sound first, as usual. She flung her head up and snorted, ears pricked.
"What is it, girl?" Kell patted the mare's neck and strained her own hearing. Nothing, of course, just the gentle sighing of the chill breeze as it passed through sodden leaves and over drenched grass. The mare halted of her own will, ears trembling as she analyzed that distant sound, then she moved into a canter, smoothly covering the ground faster than most horses could gallop.
They'd traveled a good distance, probably a quarter mile, when Kell finally heard something over the sound of her Great Horse's hooves: a girl screaming. Her heart leaped into her throat and she loosened her shortsword, hardly more than a big knife, in its scabbard, then checked the strap securing her bow to the saddle. Yes, ready to do its job and release the bow quickly if needed.
She could see the disturbance ahead now, and urged Cinnamon to move faster, faster. Mounted men crowded around a fallen figure. Some of her tension eased. With the men still mounted, the chances of rape decreased dramatically.