Hello, and thank you for finding TAG. I am new to the site, so reviews and advice are greatly appreciated. I hope you enjoy TAG.

Ruth's POV

"Really thought you could get away, did you?"

Adriene reveals herself from the bushes and steps into the clearing, her bright green eyes sparkling with excitement.

"You thought I wouldn't see you running like the coward you are?" Adriene spits.

I remain silent, my hand slowly creeping down to my sheath.

"Oh, I hoped I'd be the one to turn you in to Dai." Adriene smiles, pointy canines giving off an eerie glow in the moonlight. "She will reward me beyond belief when I present her with your dead body."

Adriene unsheathes her 10 inch, wickedly sharp combat knife and advances, grinning madly. The heavy cover of the tree tops block out most of the moonlight, but glowing dots seep through the holes in the leaves, casting on Adriene's face.

I back away as Adriene raises her weapon, only to trip over a fallen log. My torn, grimy t - shirt catches on a peg. Adriene smirks, her eyes mocking.

Of all the people to see that display, it had to be Adriene.

I yank my shirt free, and scramble into a standing position, leaning all my weight onto my good leg.

"Come at me, Ruth," Adriene drawls, leaning leisurely against a tree, "You've got nothing to lose, or are you to afraid to spill a little blood?"

I don't answer, knowing it will irritate her. She's so easy to annoy, and I enjoy watching her contain her anger.

"Speak to me!" Adriene snarls, "Or I'll draw out your death until you're on your knees begging to be killed!"

"I wouldn't want to waste my time fighting you!" I growl and dash as fast as I can into the forest. For as far I can see, there is nothing but trees. This gives me no hope of escape.

"Have it your way, then." Adriene hisses, taking off after me. After only a few moments, Adriene has already caught up. She reaches out her pale hands and launches herself on top of me. Adriene's body slams against mine. The impact makes my back burn.

She gathers herself and her knife flies up to my neck as she hauls me upright.

"Are you going to fight, or should I kill you now?" Adriene asks venomously, barely panting, pressing her knife into my throat. Her relatively clean face is inches away from my grime - covered one. Beads of blood appear on my neck where the blade punctures my skin.

I pull out my own knife and shove her away. Clutching my hunting knife, a small sense of security washes over me as my fingers fall into the familiar grooves.

"Very good!" she praises, sarcasm dripping from her words, "You're actually going to fight! Better make it your best, for I assure you, it'll be your last!"

"We'll see about that!" I lunge, sending a horizontal slash at her chest, but her knife parries with so much strength I almost loose a hold of mine. The riposte that follows narrowly misses my neck.

I'm small for 14, though I've still managed to survive on the run for eight years, but Adriene is an exceptional fighter, and I stand almost no chance of winning this fight.

I feint to the left and thrust right, but Adriene, anticipating the attack, dodging the point of my knife, her agile figure jumping out of the way with apparent ease. As I swing my knife over her head, she ducks and her venom dipped knife grazes my bad leg.

The pain is astounding, so terrible I want to curl up into a ball and cry. One look at my leg and I almost faint. Blood trickles from a long, thin cut. Thankfully, it is shallow, but the venom begins to seep into my bloodstream, causing the wound to swell and turn a sickly green. I know the venom will kick in soon, and it'll make my twice as slow until it's out of my system, and I can't afford to be anything but my best when battling one of the best fighters in TAG.

I attempt at a shoulder blow, but Adriene blocks, then quickly smacks the flat of my blade with her own. My only weapon falls from my hand and hits the forest floor with a thud.

"Is that all you've got, Ruth? Come, now, you must be a better fighter than that! Pick up your weapon!"

I bend down and snatch up my knife, Adriene watching in amusement.

Adriene swings her blood - spattered weapon downward aiming for my legs, but I retreat, springing angrily back up at her with my knife out. Adriene moves to the side at the last second, causing me to run right past her, not able to stop myself. She kicks me in the back from behind as I pass. I fall into the undergrowth.

I pick myself up once more, the pain so unbearable I can barely stand.

Adriene and I exchange thrusts and parries at lightning speed, but no matter how many times I attempt a blow at Adriene, she always seems to know what I'll do and when. I can see the joy on her face as she watches me struggle. But I'm exhausted. I've been running all night and I've fought Adriene twice in one day. I'm beginning to see black spots dancing in front of my eyes.

Seemingly out of no where, footsteps thump against the ground, thundering through the forest. Adriene, looking worried, rushes over to me, rips the knife out of my grasp, and grabs my hand.

"Honorable Dai, I present to you, the mistake of your game, Ruth!" Adriene screams to the sky, speaking quickly and frequently looking back at where the footsteps came from, "Take her as a gift of gratitude for all you have done for me!"

I squeeze my eyes shut, preparing myself for whatever is to come.

Adriene abruptly drops my hand, gives the forest one last fearful look, and sprints into the forest. I almost cry out with relief, but realize Adriene wouldn't be running from just anything. I spin on my heel to face the cause of Adriene's fleeing. One peek, and I follow her as quickly as my legs will allow.

What did you guys think? Comments? Advice? Reviews please?