I froze, unable to speak for once. The boy waited patiently for an answer, his hand resting on the hilt of his sword. Behind us, Lord Wilson was muttering a prayer. I reached forwards and pulled my own hood back revealing my bright green eyes and face full of freckles, "I could ask you the same thing."
The boy smirked, "A little girl like you can't be an assassin, what's your name?"
"August. And I'm seventeen, not so little." I hissed and a look of panic crossed the boy's face before he quickly recovered, "I'm Marco and I'm here to assassinate the man behind you."
I narrowed my eyes, "Me too."
Marco frowned, "Who sent you?"
I glanced around, making sure no one was near, but the street was empty at this time of night. "Lucas Sanster." I answered, "You?"
"Lucas Sanster." Marco hissed, running his hand through his hair. It wasn't surprising that Sanster had hired more than one assassin at a time, he was the bandit king, he wanted to rule the world basically and a lot of people wanted to stop him from doing it, me included. But two assassins on the same job, especially a supreme one like me, it made no sense.
I glanced up at the stars, already they were starting to fade as the sun came up."He needs to die." I said, jabbing my sword at Lord Wilson.
"You don't actually want to help Sanster, do you?" Marco asked, his voice bitter, "He's a vile man who preys on the rich and weak."
"I don't have a choice." I whispered, "We can discuss this later."
As fast as a viper, Marco fished a new knife out of his cloak and threw it. I didn't have time to react as the blade hit home between Lord Wilson's eyes. I growled, "That was my kill."
"You snooze you lose." Marco grinned, pulling his bloody knifes out of Lord Wilson's body. He handed me mine. I though of my sister, her forehead covered in blood and felt liked I'd failed her by not killing the man in front of me. Marco was busy severing the head, to take as proof that he'd killed my target. Anger sparked up in my heart and Marco sensed it. He spun round, swiping his knife out at thin air and pushing me against the wall, holding the knife to my neck.
"Don't try anything funny." He snarled in my face, "Or I'll cut your throat. Just let me walk out of this mess and with the severed head."
"Too late." I said, grinning and nodding downwards to the knife that I held against his stomach, "Its a poisoned blade, so be careful how you move."
Marco cursed, and I knew I'd gotten the better of him. That was before he flung my lighter body over his head and onto the ground behind him. Pain flared in my back and I saw black spots. Marco stepped around me and grabbed the head from the floor, blood dripped onto the pavement near my face. As Marco retreated, I jerked my leg upwards, knocking him over. He fell as I got up, my hair blowing in the morning breeze as I grabbed the severed head and placed my foot on Marco's chest. He winced as the heel dug into his chest. "You really thought you could beat me?" I mocked, "I'm better than you and you know it."
Before he could answer, I heard shouts and thuds against the cobbled path. I looked up, some of the royal guard, on their black stallions, galloped towards us. Someone must have seen us murder Lord Wilson. I froze, there were too many of them for me to fight. I stepped off Marco, preparing to back off. I quickly pulled my hood up, my identity was a secret among the royals and I wanted it to remain that way. I turned round to run, realizing I was trapped. I looked round, frantic for an escape. Then someone barreled into me, pushing me to the left. It was Marco.
"This way!" He yelled over the shouts behind us. He led me down another, much smaller alley, that a horse wouldn't fit into. One I didn't even know existed. It was dark and smelled of damp water and mold. I wrinkled my nose as my boots splashed through dirty puddles. When we reached the end, Marco scaled the wall, "I know a safe house somewhere close." He reached down to help me up, but I ignored it and pulled myself up. On the roof, I could see all around. The lights of the town were the guidance I needed to navigate my way. Marco jumped a gap on another roof and followed, watching the sun as it began to rise from the horizon, painting the skyline a milky color. My brain screamed at me, why was I following this stranger? He could be leading me into another trap, or wanting to buy time to steal the severed head that I was still holding. But a small part of my brain told me to follow, so I did. We leaped from roof to roof as the dawn rose around us. Maybe it was the way he was so willing to help, even when I'd almost killed him. Or maybe it was that he reminded me of myself. I thought about this as we reached the outskirts of town just as the final star was fading. Or maybe, I realized, it was the fact that I'd never had a friend before. The rational part of my brain always told me it was too dangerous, it was dangerous to love because if there was someone you cared about, there was a way to manipulate you. Like Sanser was doing with me right now, he had my sister, the only person I really loved. But the thought of a friend, someone to watch my back, made me feel like I'd been missing out on something special. So maybe i was following this boy because I didn't want to be alone anymore.