I own nothing in here.

Chapter One

Hate at first sight

"Get off me!"

The sound of a screaming banshee awoke Guy from his semi-sleep mode and he turned slightly on his side to see a wild-haired woman getting shoved into the cell next to him. Her screeching voice was enough to make him pierce his eardrums with a stick. She sounded like a cat in the middle of a fight.

"Let go! Ahh! No!" She screeched the entire time she was being chained. "Oh! Ahh!"

A guard shoved her against the wall and she landed hard on her cot. She bounced right back up and stomped towards them as they slammed the cell door. "I'll make you pay for this you bumbling brute!" She shouted. She inhaled, exhaled, and her voice changed to a snarl of a whisper. "Men! If I had my way, theyd all disappear in a puff of smoke and then the world will be a happier place." He rolled in eyes in dark amusement. She turned, noticing for the first time that she was not alone, and her brown eyes narrowed. "What are you staring at?"

She snapped at him. He merely turned and began to study the very familiar ceiling above his head. She was a bold girl, granted, possibly even a little crazy. After all, he could be a murderer and if given the opportune moment, he could strangle her.

"I know you." She said edging towards the bars separating them. "You're Isabella's brother. I'm her friend."

"Not very close obviously." He said darkly. He could only imagine what she'd done to cause Isabella to throw her in jail.

"Her nasty husband did this to me." She said with a tight shake of her head and a curl of her lip. "Clever."

"Thornton?" He laughed. Isabella's husband would soon put her back in place. "Is he here?"

She nodded. "She's terrified of him."

"Then she shouldn't have run off and left him then." He pointed out. "After all, he is her husband."

"You always were a bit pleased with yourself weren't you?" She snapped. He turned and looked at her. Who did she think she was? "I saw you once. Then man in black, on his black horse. The big 'I am'." She taunted. "And look at you now." She ran her dark eyes up and down him. "Dirty, miserable and small. Now you're going to be executed."

"By the look of things," he snapped, already getting weary of her. "you're not far behind me."

"I hope you go to Hell." She spat and him as she walked to sit back on her cot.

"I'm already there." He muttered quietly. He stood up and glanced at her. She was fiddling with the chains around her wrist. "Well, if you aren't going to be executed, you'll probably wind up married and I hope to someone who can put you in your place!"

"Me? Married?" She snorted and rolled her eyes. "Fancy that!"

"Aye! And I hope the man who surely marries you will find a lifetime of hell in your arms!"

"Ha!" She said shaking her tawdry, light brown curls. "I hate men! I'll never marry."

His brow arched. "Really? Your father will say differently I'm sure!"

She smirked. "That's why Isabella and I are friends. She released me from my father's care after I refused to accept suitors he chose for me!"


" If you can call them that. One was a drunken sod." She yanked on the chains harder as her emotions grew more and more. Her voice grew in pitch with almost every word. "The second looked like a donkey. The third a half-wit with the brains of a tree! The fourth a mummy's boy who'd eagerly accept money stolen from his future father in law! I don't want to marry! Men are so….stupid!"

She groaned and resumed puling at the blasted chains. They made an infernal clattering and it was grating on his nerves. "Just leave it will you?" He asked turning to sit with his back against the cell bars.

"Well it hurts!" she whined.

"Stupid girl." He groaned and buried his head in his hands. "That's why they do it. Deal with it."

She sighed. "I'm thirsty."

"Then save your breath and stop whining!" He snapped darkly.

"Nasty piece of work aren't you?" She said. "No wonder Isabella want's you dead." For a moment, all was silent. "What'd you do to wind up in here?" Her voice shattering the once still, dark, and silent cell.

"Oh, God give me strength!" He groaned. "it's almost worth dying to be spared your endless chatter!" If he were a woman, he'd have burst into tears of aggravation a long time ago. He was honestly starting to look forward to death, if her voice wouldn't still haunt him to wherever he was going.

"Oh come on." She said, her voice a tad softer. "You're here, I'm there. What else are we going to do?"

Meg sighed and glanced at the dark man. Heck, everything about his was dark. His hair, his clothes, even his voice!

"I found her a husband." He said darkly. "That's what I did. Gt a good price for her too."

"You sold her?" The outrage built up in her. "Your own sister?"

"The best chance in her life." He said with an impatient growl, as if he were scolding a child. "It's not my fault she went and made a mess of it."

"Yes it is!" She said, her voice rising. "You went and sold her to a monster!"

"Stupid girl." He spat without looking at her. "You know nothing about it."

"My name is not stupid girl!" She shot back at him. "It's Meg!" She exhaled. "And I'm still thirsty." She fidgeted with the chains on her wrists one last time before exhaling and leaning back against the wall.

"That stone around your neck." He said quietly. She glanced at him. "Suck it. It'll make your mouth water."

She frowned. He hadn't looked at her more than once. So how'd he know? Oh, well, he must be very observant. She timidly did what he said and sucked the stone. Sure enough, liquid began to fill her mouth. She frowned and studied the black back facing her.

"You know," she said removing the stone from between her lips. "you should apologize to her."

"Oh! For God's sake, shut up Meg!"

"Only saying." She frowned and resumed sucking the stone. "You'd be no better off then you are now."

"Shut up." He growled. "Just, shut up and suck the stupid stone!"

"And who do you think you are telling me to shut up!" She snapped. "You call me stupid too! You're not better than me!"

"You're a nagging and mind vexing woman." He spat as he spun around to glare at her. "A man would have to look far and wide to find a more capricious mind!"

"Oh, fancy words! I don't understand a word you're sayin'! Just because you were the sheriff, that doesn't mean you've got any control over me! Well, that ain't so! I'll say what I like, when I like and to whom I like and you I do not like!"

Guy groaned and went to flop onto his cot, with his back towards her. She made a face at his back and settled down. She immediately began fiddling with the chains.

"Leave it." Guy ordered.

She groaned and did as he asked. She was stuck here for the time being and there was no sense in making it worse for her. She needed someone to talk to, else this imprisonment would be unbearable. Even a growl was pleasant instead of silence. But did it have to be his growl?