LiAra walked back down the alley, away from the stranger she had almost bumped into. Please don't be looking for me. She didn't look behind her. It seemed like she had got away safely, and then she realized he was following her. She quickened her stride. Don't panic. Maybe he's not after you. Maybe he was going through the alley anyway. He was still following. Maybe... maybe it's just the fact that I'm a little strange, and he's curious. She fought the urge to break into a run. Don't attract more attention than I already have. She made for the main gate. She had to get out of the city, before something happened, because she was scared. Fear only made things worse. Don't panic. Must NOT panic. If I panic, I'm dead. She still felt that he was following her. She sped up again. Please don't be one of Jeryn's men. She knew, that once she got out of the city, she could either get away from or scare away most people, but not Jeryn's agents. If the man following her worked for Jeryn, one of them would get severely hurt. Just go away. Leave me alone. She most definitely had to get out of the city, because if something happened in town, and the people figured out it was her, it could not end well. Not at all. She had heard things people whispered when they thought she wasn't listening. She remembered one instance in particular.
She had been wandering around, as she had taken to doing in the last year or so. She never knew exactly who it was she overheard that night, but the words still reached her.
"You know that girl that lives up in the manor?"
"The one Lord Jeryn took in?"
"Yeah. She's a witch, it seems. People say it's a death warrant to get crosswise with her. Do you remember that guy, what was his name, Leban, four, five years ago? Friend o' Jeryn's. She killed him. And she was only fourteen at the time."
"How'd she do it?"
"Some spell or something. I don't know what. But it's a sure bet she's got Jeryn magicked."
"He does seem mighty fond of her."
"Well, o'course. He's her meal ticket. She's gonna make sure he likes her."
"Well, if we ever get hold of her, we can unmagic him pretty fast."
"I agree with you, but don't forget, she's dangerous."
She had stood in the dark for half an hour, the conversation replaying in her head. Part of her marveled at how far the truth had been twisted, while another part had known that she would have to get away soon, because there was no telling what would happen.
No, she did not want people to know who she was.