The branches tore at her skirts, ripping flesh from her arms and cheeks. Her breath hoarse, she continued to run, her feet stumbling and catching on logs and trees. Her breath came out in vapors, the cold air crisp and still. Thorns hooked into her skin, sending pricks of pain through her body. The woods opened upon a meadow clearing and exhausted Rasiella collapsed to the ground, where she stayed for a long time.

The hooves of the horse thudded dully on the forest path. Prince Cassan paused before entering the clearing. A doe and her two fawns grazed peacefully in the meadow. Slowly Prince Cassan reached back for an arrow and pulled his bowstring tight. The doe looked up just as the metal tipped arrow pierced her flesh. She let out an unearthly scream and the fawns fled for cover.

A grin on his face, Prince Cassan urged his horse forward, in order to claim his prize. He noticed a figure lying in the grass and dismounted. It was a girl, not more than fifteen years of age. Her dark, chocolate colored hair was spread out behind her, long lashes graving her cheeks as she slept peacefully. Her skirt had been torn by the waist, revealing long slender thighs and a flat, ivory tummy.

Prince Cassan felt lust begin to rise and without a thought he rolled the girl over. She moaned and woke suddenly as a piercing pain shot through her groin and in the pit of her stomach. Screaming she attempted to struggle away from Prince Cassan, who was moaned and lay heavy upon her.

Her hand reached for her dagger, which thankfully was still attached to her belt. IN an instant Prince Cassan was pelted by the dagger and he staged back, his passion dying down quickly as he watched the rosette of blood spread across his pale white shirt. He fell backwards and soon thought no more.

Rasiella stared in horror at what she had done. In fear and surprise she staggered backwards, the thorns of a rose bush pressing into her skin. She turned away from the blood stained prince, her mind reeling from the horror. The thorns dug into her skin, and when she pulled away she could feel the blood dripping down her arms and neck. She stared at the blackened ground, darkened by dripping blood.

Snowflakes began to fall around her, the tiny crystals falling gently about Rasiella. The white settled against the burgundy blood and the blackened ground and Rasiella suddenly felt sick. Without another though she ran, sending herself out into the blistering cold of the snow and air, trying to white out the memories of what just happened.