"Hey! Get back here you thief!" Jason heard a man shout before a girl ran past him and disappeared into the crowd

"Right like I'm actually going to go back there just because you told me to," she said as she ran through the crowd of people almost tripping on her dirty emerald dress with the police chasing after her.

She quickly lost them and after she was sure they weren't coming back she walked back into the market and looked at some more shops and carts to see if anything interested her. Only a few minutes passed before she found herself a few yards away from the shop she had just robbed. She didn't care much. She quickly slipped past the shop unnoticed by the shop keeper as he put more jewelry out to replace the ones Mina had stolen.

After she passed a few more stores one caught her eye. It was book store and they were having a sale on children's books. She recognized the book in the window. It was her favorite, Cinderella. When she was younger she always dreamed about meeting her prince, getting married and a happily ever after. Unfortunately for her that was very unlikely to happen for she was a thief and thieves usually don't get storybook endings. Mina looked at the book in disgust at what could never be then turned and walked away. As she did that she didn't watch where she was going, bumped into someone and they both fell back.

"Oh, I'm sorry," Mina said getting up and trying to help whoever she knocked into the hard, brown dirt. She might have been a thief but that didn't mean she didn't have manners.

"Whatever," he said taking her pale hand, getting up and dusting himself off. He was wearing fancy clothes which made him look as if he was from the castle but that couldn't be. People from the castle rarely ever came out of it. They just sent servants to do their bidding. A shock went down Mina's spine and she couldn't help but stare.

"I… Uh… My name is Mina. Sorry for knocking you down. I wasn't paying attention to where I was going," she said twirling some of her long dark hair in her fingers. It was a habit of hers she did when she was nervous or embarrassed.

"I'm Jason and its ok," he said smiling. When he finally looked up at Mina he was stunned. She was the most beautiful women he had ever seen. Despite her clothes being all torn and worn away and her messy hair in knots she looked great. "I… I... I"

"You look like you're not from around here," Mina said studying his clothes. "Did you sneak out from the castle?"

"Maybe…." Jason said with a guilty grin on his face.

"Wow. Well it's an honor to meet you, sir," Mina said curtsying. "I haven't seen anybody from the castle in town since Al-" Mina stopped herself from saying her old friend's name. It was forbidden to talk about her anymore. The mere mention of her name could get her in seriously trouble with the others. "Come with me. If you stay out here looking like this a lot of people might try to take advantage of you."

She grabbed his hand and pulled him through the crowd and into an old, abandoned building at the edge of town. Once she was in she jumped onto the brown wooded stage and behind an old faded red curtain leaving Jason in the dark all by himself.

"Where are we?" he asked looking around at the dark walls with faded paintings and discolored ceilings ready to collapse on his head.

"This is an old theater. It was abandoned a long time ago," the teenager said coming out from behind a curtain with a plain dark blue cloak in her hands. "Put this on. It'll help you blend in a little more."

"Thanks," he said taking it from her hands and putting it on. "But why are you helping me?"

"Because I'm a nice person and don't want you to get hurt or something," she said. "And I can't be seen with someone from the castle. It's against our code. If I get caught walking around with someone like you Leader would have my head. Also since you're from the castle the king would be very angry if anything should happen to you and that means stricter laws and more guards. I can't afford more guards around. It's already hard enough trying to steal things with the number of guards we do have and with more they might finally be able to catch me."

"Well you seem totally unselfish," he said sarcastically. "So you were the girl that ran past me with the police chasing after her."

"Yep! Mina the thief at your service! I can also can also con and lie perfectly so that nobody suspects a thing. Not all things I do are bad though. I can juggle, dance, sing and a lot of other things," she said cheerfully making it sound better than it really was. "Now, since I am nice I will show you around town and be your body guard for the day." She grabbed his hood and pulled it over his head and down to hide his face. "Keep hidden. I may not know exactly who you are but other people might."

"You also don't want to get in trouble," he said.

"You got it!"

"If you're a thief then how am I supposed to be sure I can trust you?" he asked looking at her suspiciously.

"You don't have to… You can go out by yourself on the streets with those dangerous, unpredictable, slimy people without anybody to help you," Mina said.

"Slimy?"