AN: I sadly do not own the Iron Fey series or its characters.


She is bad ass, I thought as Markie took aim with her bow, shooting the fox that was weaving in and out of the bushes faster than I could see. I watched her memorizing the way her silver eyes narrowed, her pale hair falling down her back, the way her hunting outfit seemed like a second skin.

"Stop staring." Her voice chimed through the woods as she went to retrieve the fox.

"I'm sorry, you're just so beautiful" I said, grinning impishly. She smacked my arm glaring at me, she hated compliments, "Well it's true, ask anyone with eyes." She rolled her eyes at me. She swung herself up into her saddle.

"Com one, I'll race you to the lake." She said a slight smile on her face, making her eyes light up.

I swung up into my saddle, "You're on." I spurred my horse into a gallop racing away from her.

"You cheat!" She yelled, I turned back grinning at her. She had that intense look in her eyes, that she got when she was hunting. She was gaining ground; she and her horse were lighter, and faster, but I still kept spurring my horse, willing it to go just a bit faster.

As my horse approached the lake, I saw she had beaten me there. "How did you get here first? I was ahead the whole time." I asked my eyes narrowing.

She smirked, "Not my fault you took the long way. There is a short cut by the arch of trees." The wind had picked up making her pale hair blow in her face. I swung down from my saddle, crossed the meadow and stood in front of her, I brushed the hair back from her face trailing my hand against her cheek. She stared at me, as if trying to figure something out...

She stepped back, and focused on the lake. "It's funny how beautiful the water can be, but yet so deadly." She whispered. A kelpie stuck its head out of the water, it watched her and she watched it, slowly it sand back down into the calm water. I heard the sound of hooves pounding distantly.

"Markie, get your knives out and hide in the trees." I said quietly. She tilted her head listening for the sounds of trouble, I knew the moment she caught it she quickly followed my instructions and scrambled up the tree. I followed suit.

We sat in silence for a moment before the threat entered the clearing. Thorns jutted out from the shoulders of their armor. Thornguards. Markie looked over at me, her eyes wide with fear. Dammit, I thought these guys had died out.

"I thought you said the brat was here?" The largest and assumed leader screamed he was obviously enraged. "I need the brat of three courts, to bring down those damn iron faeries."

They're after Markie.

"She was here, I swear. She... she was with Goodfellow." Said another in a small voices. I looked over to Markie to see only empty space.

"Well, where is she then?" The leader answered, picking up the Informant by the throat choking him.

"Behind you." All of there heads snapped around to see the haired princess.

"Bold. I like that." Said one of the thorn guards. She laughed a chiming laugh that echoed around them.

"Well, come and get me." She said. After another moments pause they began to converge on her all around. I leaped out of the tree, landing standing with my back to hers and began fighting.

My style of fighting was fast stabs, flying daggers and tricks, Markie was the complete opposite. She looked like she was dancing, she twirled and spun, using her small size to her advantage. It was deadly beautiful, like the lake.

We defeated all but the leader which Markie had pinned to a tree by multiple ice daggers, ice creeped up his body stopping only just below his throat. "Who sent you?" She panted.

"Someone." he said his eyes were a bit crazy, his teeth chattered. The too the butt of her dagger and rammed it into the side of his skull.

"Easy, Markie. We'll take him back to Arcadia and figure everything out." I said stepping up, easing the dagger out of her hands. Her body was tense, every muscle in her arms showing. "Relax." I whispered in her ear, it eased her a bit.

"Sorry, sometimes my Unseelie side takes over and I can't stop." she smiled and I leaned down brushing a kiss to her lips, placing my hand on her waist. My hand instantly felt wet. I pulled back looking into my hand that was smeared red, I then saw the rip in her hunting outfit.

"Markie, you're bleeding." I said, "lets get back and have you looked at, I'm going to enchant him to sleep, so we don't have to worry about Porcupine doing anything crazy." She smiled and nodded before heading to her horse, I glamoured the thornguard and tossed him onto my horse.

"Puck, I'm going to need help getting on my horse." Markie called from her horse. "I can't stretch enough to reach the horn of my saddle without it pouring blood." Her voice was tight with pain and what I assume to be embarrassment of admitting to needing help.

I pulled my shirt off, "I'm gonna tie this around you're waist so it will staunch the bleeding some." She nodded lifting her arms, I tied it around her waist she didn't make a sound, besides a small gasp when I tied it. I helped her into her saddle before returning to my horse.

We flew through the Wyldwood, I kept watching Markie, the father we went, the paler she got and my shirt had a dark spot over the wound. She was bleeding too quickly. I couldn't put her, the thornguard, and my self on the one horse.

I hadn't realized how far into the woods we had gone, the hedge around Arcadia was insight, when Markie fell off her horse and crumpled to the ground. I pulled the reins up short making my horse stop, I leaped off racing to her. I felt her face, her skin was always icy but now it was even colder, " Markie, can your hear me?" I asked. No response. I lifted in my arms, and carefully set her across her horse. I climbed into her saddle, settling Markie in my lap, set the horse off at a trot. I grabbed of my own horse when we passed and rode for the border.