A/N: Special thanks goes to Lady Gisborne 15 for giving me the honors of being my new beta-reader and the courage to publish this new revised version of my story "Spirited Away"! Love ya sweets! *hearts* Do check her profile, she has published two awesome stories that must be read by all RA fans! :D
Without further blabbering, here's chapter 1 of the revised version. Hope you enjoy it! xD
Since the crack of dawn, in one of Locksley's stables, a tall and sleepy man had been fixing the saddle of his sturdy, black companion; for the past five hours, his eyes had been refusing to fall shut and his body kept tossing and turning restlessly, rebelling against its most precious need of a good night sleep. It was almost dawn when he had given up trying and decided to seek out the company of his faithful companion.
Unable to focus anymore, the black-crested man yawned and patted his mare gently before sluggishly walking back to the manor to quench his thirst. He took his time as he dragged his legs along the muddy path, breathing in the slightly cool, fresh air while he did so. It was still so early that the peasants had yet to awaken from their beds, and the only sound that could be heard was the annoying chirping of the birds as they flew across the fields trying to catch their breakfast.
Once he reached halfway to his destination, a sudden thud and a panicked neigh came from the direction of the stable and startled him. With an alarmed face, he ran back hastily and was met by a frightened mare stumbling back and forth in her stall. Fortunately though, she calmed down almost instantly by the all too familiar touches and soothing hushes of her beloved owner.
The tall man was confused, for his mare wasn't the type to get scared easily. As he thought of this, caressing the black beauty's mane, he heard a faint rustle and jumped into action. With a swift move he was able to catch the culprit by surprise and turned around to block the only exist available. The stable had only one entrance and two small openings at the top, both of which can be only reached with the aid of a ladder.
"Who are you?!" the tall man demanded as he stared angrily at the hooded figure that stood a couple of meters away from him.
The hooded figure stood there silently, whether the stranger was scared or simply trying to analyze the situation he was in, remained unclear to his raging captor.
"Do not make me repeat myself!" The man snapped.
After a few seconds of silence, "That horse…" the figure finally whispered, and then with a sudden and instant raise in his voice, "That horse really likes you!" The figure jumped in excitement, nudging the hood backwards, and at the same time, revealing a pair of large, hazel eyes complimented with long, dark lashes.
As soon as their eyes met, the astonished pair of blue eyes couldn't look anywhere but into the large hazel ones. However, after quite a bit of hesitation, the blue orbs broke contact and tried to focus on to whom these mesmerizing hazel ones belonged to. Their owner was a twenty-some, sun-kissed lass. Aside from her gorgeously large eyes, the rest of her features were quite petite and delicate, framed by short and wavy chestnut-brown strands that were barely kept by an emerald lace.
The man was dumbfounded by the reaction of the lass standing in front of him. Her eyes bore nothing but pure excitement, either ignoring or simply forgetting the position she- for it was a 'she', not a 'he' as he had first expected- was caught in.
As soon as he regained some composure and was about to speak, he lost it again when the lass leapt forward, grabbing his rough hands with her cold, delicate ones.
"Oh please, please show me how you just touched this handsome creature without scaring it!" The lass begged while squeezing the man's hand gently, "It's so strikingly handsome that I had to touch it, but the moment I placed my hand it flinched and pushed me to the ground."
"By God some nerves you've got!" The man scowled, releasing his hands from her grip, "Have you no idea whose lands you're trespassing on? Do you not know the laws around here?"
"Hmmm… no." The lass answered with an impassive stare.
"Then I, Guy of Gisborne, shall be your judge! And for being such a blissful ignorant, I condemn your pitiful life to death!" Guy, filled with ire, pulled a concealed dagger from his right sleeve, and with a quick movement, he was inches away from the lass. Unfortunately for him, she disappeared suddenly and all he managed was to stab a piece of cloth, shredding it until it fell to the dirt floor.
He kept looking around for her until her chuckles revealed that she was above him; she had been kneeling over one of the wooden beams that supported the stable's structure.
"Nice to meet you Guy of Gisborne." She said through her chuckles, "The name is Malak and you shall call me Laki!"