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Your Life or Mine

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His hair was black as a raven's wing and his face gaunt and beardless, burnt dark
brown by the sun. The ladies all hungered for him, but his heart was like a cold stone,
and none could hold his interest for more than a few days. By his own admission, he
was a hard man... and more than once had he been on the wrong side of the King's
laws. A long scar ran down the left side of his face giving him a most sinister and
distinguishing look.
He rode in silence as he had done all day, as he had done for untold days. Rem was
not a big man, maybe 150 pounds, but he was lithe and supple, with a strength that
belied his slim profile. Not a man of many words, his eyes usually said enough......try
me and die. Few could look into those cold grey orbs smoldering under heavy lids, and
not look away. Who wants to really stare Death down!
Another cold camp tonight, his man was close ahead, maybe within a mile. Rem reined
in a short while after dark beside a small creek and unsaddled the paint. After a brief but
filling supper of deer jerky and creek water he stretched out full length on the ground
close to where the little paint was tethered,sword handle resting against the side of his
right hand. Tomorrow should end this hunt and he would have the big man's head in his
saddlebag. He'd have to ride hard back to Azael's castle to collect his money before
mother nature could ruin the features, and cheat him out of his purse. A small orange
twinkle caught his eye, maybe the gods fa vored him. He buckled on his sword, "Adder"
named for the very skin that the handle was crafted from.
The blade was made from obsidian and metal, forged in one of the Seven Hells the
demon came from that Rem had killed, to obtain this weapon of magical design. The
sword always stayed razor sharp, and Rem had found nothing that would withstand
Adder's stroke, wood nor iron nor stone. Only luck had saved Rem that day, the demon
had slipped and went wide with his stroke...Rem didn't.
Walking quietly, rolling the heel of his soft skinned boot to the toe. Rem eased through
the underbrush until he came within sight of the small fire. What Rem mistook for a
boulder turned out to be the big man himsel, Gar, in all his massive seven foot frame,
warmi ng himself over the tiny fire of peat moss. Before Gar's chestnut stallion could
snort and give him away, Rem stepped into the small clearing and stood, sizing Gar up.
"You and I have business" Rem said low but clear. Gar jumped to his feet and looked
directly to Rem drawing his sword and coming up. " Who sent you,"he growled.
"Don't matter much,all that matters is the price on your head,"Rem replied.
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