Aulia ran between the trees, needled branches whipping her face and arms, fountains of powdery snow jumping at her feet. They were behind her somewhere, driving her forward with the barking of their dogs and the clattering of their weapons, but she was pulling ahead…
"Halt." He was ten feet in front of her, sword drawn. "Bitch."
She tried to stop, slipped, tumbled through the snow and came to rest at his feet. He slid his sword into its scabbard, grinned, and reached for his belt.
They locked eyes; something switched on inside her and he burst screaming into flame.