There in front of Mathayus stood the blue eyed escaped slave; her ragged form fidgeting with the white camel's bags. "You," he repeated.
A large man passed by, obviously a hired guard, muttering "Lucky Dog." He handed the stranger a full water skin. "Are you sure we can't persuade you to stay till morning? It's dangerous out there alone."
However, the young woman merely ignored his concern. The only acknowledgment she showed him was in taking the water pouch.
"You! How did ... where did ... ?"
"What's wrong lad? Cat got your tongue?" asked the big man.
"No, no, no! You don't get to walk away that easy," growled the muscular teenage grabbing the young woman forcing her to look at him. Ignoring everyone else's confusion at his reaction to a so called friend, all Mathayus could think of was his lost sibling. "It was you that stopped me. What were you thinking, why did you interfere?" Yet she only shrugged him off.
Irritation made the Akkadian teen's patience dissipate, so when she tried to mount the white beast, he reached up and threw the strange girl to the ground. However when he attempted to follow up with a pin, the caravan's hire guard intervened. "Hold up there a moment boy. What's going on?" The large man asked.
But neither teenager was interested in talking. Instead the silent stranger threw off her cloak before returning the favor. She tackled the Akkadian, nearly taking her protectors arm off in the process. Half stunned at the ferocity of her attack the warrior was half way pinned before he realized what was going on. Fortunate for Mathayus, this girl was not very big so he flipped her over with relative ease. He was surprised when she returned the favor and nearly got him in a choke hold. This continued on for several more moments, before the Black Scorpion won from sheer size and force of will. "You fool!" She finally panted once she'd given up on struggling. "What did you think you were going to do? I saved your hide." The young woman spat at him.
So stunned that this black haired, tan skinned, strong willed girl had finally spoke, Mathayus could not help but allow her to escape. "You actually understand me?"
As a response, the girl simply rolled her eyes, as she again tried to mount her camel. Only this time she collapsed beside it clutching at her left side. "Bring her to the tent," waved the leader of the caravan as he raced inside one of the smaller tents. Trying to protest, and failing, the female fighter was half dragged, half carried in after him. An elderly woman and a young boy busily made a sick bed for the poor girl.
"I didn't ..." gulped Mathayus.
"No sir," answered the boy assisting the healer. "This wasn't done by your impressive match. She just reopened an old wound that looks as if it never completely healed. She'll be sore in the morning but otherwise fine." The eleven year old grinned from ear to ear.
When the healer had cleaned and dressed the wound the Black Scorpion was shooed from the blue eyed girl's side so everyone could get some rest. He was returned to the large tent he woke up in. Yet the poor lad couldn't sleep. His mind raced with questions, was tormented with grief, and troubled with thoughts of revenge. For what seemed like hours he just laid there. Just before dawn, he became aware of movement outside. Thinking it was a thief or worse, the young warrior grabbed his sword and silently crept towards the entrance of the tent. As the shadow passed him, the scorpion tackled the person on the other side.
Sword across the throat, Mathayus found himself pinning a pail faced blue-eyed fugitive. She was drenched in sweat. On top of that, her features were rigid, and not simply from having a blade pulled on her. No, it was as if the young woman had suffered a nightmare. "What are you doing?" The young woman allowed him to help her to her feet. Yet once there the fugitive slave girl brushed off his concern. Irritated at the girl's rudeness, he still had questions to be answered. Following as she weaved around the tents, he watched the quiet woman recheck the saddle bags. "You never answered me. Why did you stop me?"
"My debt is repaid."
"But how did you know what I was about to do? I mean the only way you could have known, was if you'd seen the whole thing. But that's ..." His voice trailed off. A look of confusion was met with a 'your point' kind of look staring back. "Wait you were there!" For the first time since meeting the quiet girl, she smiled. It was a mischievous one, but one all the same, saying 'now you're getting it'.
Suddenly the leader of the caravan appeared and dragged the two teens into the women's tent. "Girls bring some of your cloths. You two must hide."
"What's wrong?" Mathayus questioned as women's clothing was pushed into his hands.
"Mercenaries have been spotted heading for our camp." The charismatic man answered glancing behind them.
Confusion contorted the silent girl's normally stoic facial features. "Wait how did you know...?"
"My dear girl we don't have time for that. Now hurry and change." With that he left the two youngsters with the caravan woman. Once out of sight, he could be heard stalling the new comers to camp. "Welcome gentleman to my humble abode. Might I be able to interest you in some of my exotic wares?"
"No old man, you were the last to leave the city yesterday. Perhaps you picked up a visitor or two. Search the tents men. Ransack the place if you must."