Chronicles of Charanthe
Copyright Rachel Cotterill 2010
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His attention was caught by the snapping of a twig down in the valley. Laban held himself still, forcing even his breathing to silence, and turned his eyes to follow the sound. The disturbance came not a moment too soon; he'd been starting to doubt the quality of his informants.
It was a few moments before the girl emerged from the dense cover of the trees. She walked barefoot up the slope, a purposeful look on her face, and though she looked up she didn't seem to see him hidden between the branches. She was a thin child, short for her thirteen years, with stunning red hair which flowed down her back. She looked so like her mother.
She came blinking into the sunlight, paused for a moment, then seated herself cross-legged on the ground. Now she was closer, he could see she'd been crying.