She gritted her teeth in a begrudged smile as he offered his hand to her.
Her one good eye glared with apprehension and embarrassed fury, looking from the scoundrel's outstretched hand, to where her men sat around the flickering camp fire.
If any of them had so much as a smirk on their face, she would have slashed them in half with her blade, yet wisely, they all seemed to be very busy being preoccupied with the pretty maidens and handsome lads that filled the bandits' hideaway.
She looked back to their leader, whose hand was still awaiting hers; The King of Thieves asking her to dance. Ha!
His roguish smile matched the mischievous glint in his green eyes, as he looked down at her where she sat upon one of the felled logs they used for benches.
Raising her hand she started to reach out for his, but changed directions in mid-motion to run her fingers through her short-cropped, auburn hair.
Snapping her eye patch strap as an unconscious habit she had adopted when wary of a situation, she gave a snorting smirk and took his hand roughly, pulling herself up almost before he had a chance to back up.
The villain was quick on his feet however, and swooped gracefully into a deep bow at her acceptance to join him. She bowed slightly in return, keeping her azure blue eye on him.
They began to dance; him with a jovial spring in his step, while she countered his moves with the quick caginess of a jungle cat, stalking around a rival.
The minstrels' music roiled with their lutes, flutes, and drums, on which they fervently played as they twirled and spun around the flames of the fire that danced to its own licking rhythm.
Her men now watched blatant as she let the Thief King lift her into the air with a spin and bring her gracefully down again in one fluid motion.
As they dance and the music played on, she found herself lost in the moment. She felt herself as a young girl again, not the fierce and harden warrior she had become.
Feeling as light as air on her twirling feet, she even thought she heard herself laugh along with the handsome scoundrel whom continued to spin and toss her wildly as the music grew more frantic.
The camp scene spun round and round until she was not sure which way she faced and she made herself stop at once with sudden embarrassment.
Looking around the camp, the music no longer played, only the crackle of the fired could be heard, its pops a stark contrast to the silence that now hung in the night air.
Her men stirred from their log seats as if they had just woken from a deep slumber.
Only her men stirred.
The camp was empty save them. The band of thieves and their king had vanished into the night.
With a snarl she snatched at the five bejewelled rings she kept hung around her neck on a chain at all times; her ancient and powerful treasures, for which she had quested all those many years ago; had sacrificed so much to find.
Letting out a rage-filled roar, she drew her sword and barked at her men to mount their steeds as she ran to her own black war horse that stood lashed to a near by tree.
The stallion reared as she swung herself up with another guttural bellow. She turned to find her men already upon their horses facing her, awaiting her command.
"Find them, all of them. And destroy them" She ordered in a dark, dangerous voice and they all galloped off with the speed of a pack of wolves setting out to hunt their prey.
As they all disappeared into the darkness just beyond the fire-lit tree line, she looked down at her left hand that gripped the reins. Still resting upon her mid finger, her most prized possession glowed red with shared anger.
The sixth and most powerful ring of power was hers still. With it she would find the others again.
And as for the King of Thieves, he would pay for his mistake of taking them from her.
She clenched her fist and the ring's massive gem stone seemed to radiate its red glow outward, causing the camp fire to extinguish, letting the blackness of the night enshroud the scene; only the light of the ring and the intense blue of the warrior's eye gleaming in the darkness.