Thanks all who are reading and reviewing! Summer is here, updates should come more often!

"Artistrien! Messageforyou!"

The older Elf turned to the squirrel. "Well, don't just stand there looking important." He joked.

". Sheissafe!"

"You have seen this?"

"YesyesIhave! Safe! Home! Peace!"

"Then we should leave immediately!" The Elf quickly summoned the rest of his companions by mental contact, and told them what they needed to know. They would all be here in a matter of days, and by then Artistrien and Aberthos would be taking Wissithe and Talathiel home. Artistrien saw that his brother had already packed up and they were both now ready to leave.

xxx

Wissithe, James, and the Rangers were plotting how to get the two Elves across the borders without getting caught and before the squirrel could deliver the message to the king.

Talathiel paid no mind. She was outside playing. She was coaxing a rabbit out of its hole when she heard several hoof beats. The rabbit fled. Talathiel heard men shouting at each other. Some of the words she could understand, like "Capture" and "Traitors." These men scared her, and Talathiel climbed a tree to hide from them.

Inside, James had noticed the men. "Royal Guards!" he hissed. "What are they doing here?"

"I don't know," said Rob. "Normally they stay far away from this place."

Half of the Guard dismounted. The rest drew arrows and aimed their bows at the house. "All in the house come out with your hands above your head. If you try anything, there will be punishment."

The group looked at each other, and all humans shrugged. They came out, one at a time with raised hands. Wissithe was the last to come out, and stayed slightly behind the rest of them. "Wench!" barked one of the Guards. "Come forward!"

Wissithe put her hands on her hips and glared at them, just like any man's wife would do before stepping forward. "What's your name?"

"Mrs. James Austenson," she said, without any hesitation. James silently said a prayer of thanks to Persep, god of acting.

"This house has been charged of harboring two Elfin lawbreakers. Is the charge in honesty?"

Wissithe drew in a sharp breath. "The hell it is! Those damn immortals wouldn't dare come anywhere near here! Any fool knows that the Rangers are the most dangerous folk out here!"

The guard drew closer to her, hand on his sword. James had a hand on his knife, ready to step in if necessary. "Then what are you doing here, Missy?"

Wissithe scowled. "What any mother would do if she suspected a magick maker made off with her child, idiot!" At that moment, Talathiel ran to Wissithe's side. Wissithe glared at him, daring him to make a move.

He knelt, and softly spoke. "Little girl, tell me the truth of the situation." Talathiel, clearly terrified, only clutched Wissithe's skirt. "Girl, tell me your name." he said, in a more demanding voice. It worked.

"T-t-tally." She whispered.

"Is this woman your mother?" Talathiel nodded. "And what of the Rangers?"

"I lost. Scared. Not see anyone I knew. Rangers take me, am safe."

James walked up to the Guard. "If you intend to pose a charge I suggest you do it. Otherwise, leave and return to your duty."

This was apparently the wrong thing to say. "You will respect your superiors, boy." He leaned in close, and then his eyes narrowed with suspicion. "Wait a second…you're a Gladiator! I recognize you from the Games!"

At this the Guards on horses trained their bows on those before them. "You are all under arrest for the harboring of an escaped Gladiator!" Those who had dismounted came forward.

"Run!" James yelled, and they scattered, arrows hitting where they had just been standing. Tor had grabbed Tally, and was now running to where his horse was. Without it, they would be run down in no time. He simply leaped on and rode bareback.

Wissithe was keeping ahead of her two mounted pursuers at the moment. She was as fast as any horse when she chose to be, and she purposely ran through brambles, vines, and any other difficult place to lose her followers. "Yahh!" She tripped into a spread of thorny bushes. She tried to get up again, but her left foot gave way. Damn it! I must have sprained it. She lay very still, hoping that they wouldn't notice her and continue past. She was hidden by the bushes, painful as that fact may be.

They almost missed her. The first horse completely leaped over her. The second landed on her already painful ankle. There was an audible crack, and she yelled in pain. The Guards wheeled their horses, spotted her, and picked her up. They tied her hands and feet together, paying none-too-kind attention to her now broken ankle. One of the Guards lay her over the horse and jumped on. They galloped back to the Rangers' house, where there was now a Cell-on-Wheels. She was tossed inside, and landed on Rob.

"Off." Was all he said, and she followed the order, cursing as she moved her ankle. Rob gave her a sympathy look, as there was nothing else he could do at the moment. Wissithe looked around and sighed in relief when she saw that there was no one else with them. The others had gotten away.

The Cell-on-Wheels started rolling toward the local courthouse.

Wow. Shorter than I thought. Maybe I need more practice on writing chases.