Chapter 1

Snakes

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Hi everyone! This is my first Tamora Pierce fic so I hope that it's ok. I love Dom and Kel! I hope that you all enjoy it. I own nothing and nobody!

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Finally the gates of Steadfast appeared in the distance. The banner waving a greeting to the weary and mud splattered travelers. For the few days Kel, Tobe, and Neal had been on the road they had had nothing but rain and gloom. Kel was glad she had left Peachblossom at New Hope for he would have gotten stuck in the mud. Neal was anxious to get back to his "Beautifully Morning Star", as he liked to call Yuki. It would seem that Cleon wasn't the only one who knew how to adorn a woman with compliments.

Neal had tried to insist that they eat their noontime meal while on the move, but Kel had calmly reminded him that if the horses collapsed from exhaustion it would delay them longer. At that thought Neal quieted down instantly, but continued to mumble something about not eating fast enough. Kel was brought out of her daydreaming by Tobe softly cursing under his breath. She was about to swat him on the head for his language when she realized why he was swearing.

"Don't move." Neal warned.

"Tobe," Kel said quietly, "Do you think you can keep the horses calm?"

The black-headed cobra that had crossed their path regarded Kel with calm black eyes observing her every move, Kel knew if she did anything it would move and frighten the horses. The last thing they needed right now was for a horse to rear and hurt its rider, She contemplated reaching for her arrows, but the snake still studied her intention. 'Curse it' she thought realizing that Tobe didn't have any arrows and Neal didn't carry them.

"Tobe," she whispered calmly, "How are the horses?"

The young boy barely moved as he spoke. "They're a little jittery, but they won't skit to bad, I think" As soon as he finished speaking there was a soft zing and a quick flash in the air. The horses pranced shortly; Kel's first thought was that the snake had moved, but when she glanced at the ground the snake still laid there the only difference was a small quivering arrow protruding from its neck, anchoring to the ground where it lay dead.

Kel mentally kicked herself for not noticing the archer posted as a scout in the trees. She could already hear the torture of the other knights teasing her about slipping in her old age. But all of her anger evaporated as soon as she heard the scout's voice and in spite of herself she grinned, almost letting her Yamani mask fall.

"Well, well, well. Is Sir Meathead afraid of snakes!?" They all looked into the high branches of a tall oak tree to see the bright grinning face of Neal's cousin, Sergeant Domitan of Masbolle of the Kings Own.

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Hope you guys enjoy it :D let me know what you think by reviewing Tell me if you think I should keep going or stop while I'm ahead. (I now know that snakes would be unrealistic here but o well I hope I have corrected most of my mistakes thank you to everyone who let me know them

Tanks Liquid