By Your Side

-Prologue-

She gazed at her ring finger. She held the small scar in her gaze yet again, and thought once more about the promise. Closing her eyes, it came back to her ever so fast, every word of it. I swear that I will never leave. From this moment foreword though we may part in body we will never part in spirit. I swear to serve, judge, and above all, be the best friend you ever had. I will be now and forever by your side.

A smirk crossed her face and she gazed out from under her hood at the dark city before her. There was a small palace at the middle, and her eyes automatically fixed onto the spot where he had told her to watch for the signal. She scanned the spot endlessly, tearing her eyes away only once to glance at the moon. It was almost directly overhead, and he was far overdue for the signal. Fingers tapping nervously on the saddle that she sat upon, she spoke lowly to the man next to her. "Am I wrong in my assessment that our lord is overdue?"

"No, Mistress." They exchanged a glance and he rolled his eyes, making her smile into the shadows cast over her mouth by the extra large black hood.

If he had taken me instead of that freak, this wouldn't be happening. The ice in her mental voice was frightening, even to the one who thought it. He really is rubbing off on me.

There! The signal that she had been so impatiently waiting for graced the night. A fire was now beginning to blaze in the corner of the flat roof of the building. "Let's go men! We have a King to help!"

And as fast as the order slid from her mouth they were off and racing down the hill on the backs of horses; and one camel. As she unsheathed her saber, one determined thought crossed her mind. We're coming Akefia.

-Chapter 1: Meeting-

He ran. He ran as fast as he could. He ran so fast that he figured his heart would burst right from his chest. But he could worry about that later, because right now he had to concentrate on running away.

Away from the gang of children, who could be so ruthless for their age. He hated them. They made fun of him just because he was different. So what if he had light skin and even lighter hair? Why did he deserve to be beat for that? All he had wanted was to play. None of the parents in town would let their kids play with him.

He rounded a corner into an alleyway, hoping to throw them off. But just as he rounded the corner he found himself flying through the air, landing face down on the hard dirt. Disoriented, he lay on his face for a minute then sat up, feeling the wet spot that was growing on his forehead. To his dismay he found red on the fingers he pulled away from the wound. "Not so tough, are you?" taunted a kid who he had not noticed before. It took only a few seconds for him to realize that he must have been tripped by this boy, who was obviously a friend of the boys who were coming up fast. He tried to get on his feet, but was pushed back down by the boy who had tripped him.

The other boys were soon there. Though breathing hard from the attempt to catch him, they were amused by his bloody forehead and began laughing once more. After a while of laughing, with the white haired boy just staring up at them and not knowing what else to do, they pulled him to his feet. There were five in all. Two were now holding him up by his arms and two were standing behind the boy who was obviously the gang's leader. The leader of the gang, known as Seti, approached the white haired boy with a big evil grin on his face. "Well, trying to run, are we? I told you not to. And you know what happens when you do something I tell you not to, don't you?"

All he did was stare at Seti, blood running down his face. He was normally a good fighter, at least one on one. But against five, he didn't even dare try. He swallowed, and in a last attempt to defy them glared and smirked widely, looking straight into Seti's eyes. He knew this would anger the boy, and it did, but at least it made him feel better about what were most likely his last minutes on earth before they beat him to death. Seti's smile turned into a deep frown, and he let out a yell as he punched the boy right in the stomach. The others in his group laughed at this, so he did it again. The white haired boy closed his eyes and waited for another blow, but none came.

"What do you all think you're doing?"

Someone had come to save him! Was it one of his parents? No, that didn't sound at all like his mother, and the voice was definitely feminine. It was too high pitched and young to be anyone he knew. He wondered briefly why this girl was trying to help. Didn't she know they would only hurt her too?

"Get out of here girly, it's none of your bee's wax!"

"It is my bee's wax who you beat up outside my house. Now scram before you get hurt."

The boys laughed. She was definitely asking to get smacked. The white haired boy looked up, but all he saw was Seti's back. "You hurt us? Yeah, right!"

"Well, if you think you can take me, have at it."

There was a yell from one of the boys and then a thud, but because of his position behind Seti's back he didn't see what happened. But soon Seti moved, attacking the girl himself. Or, attempting to. She was a good fighter, for a girl. But Seti was good too.

It was at this point that he noticed the boys holding him were so distracted by the fight that their grip had loosened. He took his chance and stomped as hard as he could on their feet, jumping in the air and landing with one foot on each of theirs. With a loud cry, they let go, and one of them fell over. He looked to see if the girl needed help but what he saw was Seti kneeling on the dirt clasping his crotch in pain. He smiled as he realized that she must have kicked him where it hurt, and hard.

"Let's go!" She grabbed his wrist and pulled him along before he had any chance to object. Not that he would, she was pretty after all. And she had just saved him. "We'll go back to my place!" She told him as they raced through the winding streets of the village.

"Wait, didn't you live back there?"

"Nope. I lied."

He was a little puzzled by the way she just stated that she had lied. She didn't even seem to be embarrassed or regret it. Most people would have been hesitant to admit a lie.

They had stopped outside of a little inn near the edge of town. She took one more quick look around, and then continued to pull him until they were well inside the inn. The first floor of the two story inn was actually a tavern, and she pulled him over to a table in the corner and sat him down opposite her. She breathed a visible sigh of relief, and then brushed the hair out of her face. It was quiet for a minute, but then his curiosity got the better of him.

"So, where do you live?"

"Well, nowhere. Not really." She paused, and then continued, "My parents are merchants, and we pass through here every few weeks. We don't go many places, mostly the same stops; Cairo, Giza, and Sakkara, are the cities, and then a few town on the side, including this one."

"Wow, I've never even been outside the village."

"Well, maybe someday you can come with us."

"Really?"

"Sure, what are friends for?"

He hadn't known that they were friends, but since he didn't actually have any he thought that she was probably right. "Okay," Was all he could say.

"Oh, and what's your name?" She asked.

"Akefia."

"Nice name."

"Thanks…?"