On the second day, Maggie had realized she was enjoying the chase.
It was exhilerating dashing between the trees, dodging low branches, leaping and scrambling through bushes. As her confidence grew she took the time for tricks, backtracking along her trail, laying a false trail, sometimes letting him get close enough that she could turn and see him, his dark shape seeming to drag a storm behind him.
She was still hungry and tired, but the closer she got to her goal the more the sense of the win filled her with a heady joy. She marveled at her own cleverness as she found herself leaping from stone to stone along a river, finally arriving at a waterfall whose water sheeted in front of her, soaking her with cold spray.
She couldn’t help it, she turned to watch him make his slower way along, “Fool!” She shouted at him, taunting, “I was born to outrun the one-eyed himself! To think you could catch me as you caught Pocket? HA!”
As he came within arms reach she spit and turned and leaped out into the rushing water. She must have miss-calculated, though, because as she fell her head gave a great jerk, He had grabbed hold of her braid, she cursed herself a fool for not having pinned her hair instead of braiding it.
He was hauling her back up to him, hand over hand, she made a frustraited sound and pulled the dagger from her belt and swept it up, hacking at the braid until it came loose, letting her fall, the water snatching at her and tumbling her over…
Maggie woke in darkness, ghasping, the dark figure’s howl of rage still ringing in her ears.
In the blackness she ran a hand through her shortened hair and reached out, feeling the familiar beard, hovering the hand over his mouth to be sure he was still breathing. She lay down again, and closed her eyes, it had been an exhausting dream. She needed a nap, then she would have work to do.