Disclaimer: They're not mine, and I'm not claiming them.

Authors Note: This was a one-hour wonder, written because I felt like writing serious, rather dark LotR FanFiction. Actually, it was originally going to be (yet another) short original story about a vampire stalking and killing someone...but one doesn't listen to the FotR soundtrack without paying the consequences...Review if you want, any and all reviews will be very much appreciated.

-A Huntress in the Dark-

Sliding between the trees, she watched her prey. He was stepping lightly over the ground, his feet barely seeming to touch the ground as he sped from place to place, looking for something on the ground. Stepping lightly, she circled round him to try and discover what he was looking for, but found no clue other then that it was on the ground.

It was then, with the loud snapping of a branch, that she realized he was not alone in looking. There was another, a short ways off, also looking - though much less quietly. She saw her prey absently wince as his companion searcher crashed loudly through a bush, and she shook her head in disgust. Did they not know what was following them? Her prey, if he had been paying attention, could have long since spotted her.

In fact, as she watched him, she noticed how low his guard actually was. He was carrying a torch at night in a forest - something even novices in forest craft knew not to do. And even as she watched, she heard and saw several twigs break underneath his foot. Almost snorting in annoyance, she circled back around her prey once more and swiftly went to her horse.

The horse greeted his rider with a light nuzzle, knowing enough to remain silent. His friendly look turned curious when she reached over his saddle and drew the sword that was tied there, but he made no noise, only accepted her actions, tossing his head slightly as she gave him a final pat before moving off again.

Moving silently once more, she went back to her prey. He had not moved far since she'd last seen him, and she quickly found him once more, creeping up behind him stealthily, her sword at the ready. She saw him pause, then crouch close to the ground. Swiftly, he set down his torch and pulled out his knife, taking hold of a plant in preparation to cut off a piece.

She moved quickly, then, knowing that once he had what he wanted, his guard would snap back into place and she would be caught. She stepped forward and raised her sword, letting the cold metal meet the flesh of his neck lightly, almost teasingly. He froze, his body going rigid, and she pondered lightly how long she could draw this out. He was already turning his head to see his attacker, however, so with a sickly sweet smile that could be heard in her voice, she spoke -

"What's this, a Ranger, caught off his guard?"