Nathan slowed his horse, sighing. He was very cautious, looking over at the girl. His eyes flickered to her chest for a brief second, but went right back to her face, memorizing. "Yes? What do you want?"
He had dealt with assassins before. Nathan did tend to make enemies without meaning to. Enemies that wanted him dead. He was always on his guard with strangers. He never let himself get drunk, and he didn't sleep at an inn if there seemed anyone suspicious in it, which was pretty much all the time.
"Listen, I'm on a tight schedule. I need to be going. I don't have time for nonsense. What do you want? If it's not important, be on your way." He said, sounding nervous, which made him inwardly kick himself. He wasn't nervous, just on edge. More scales were starting to show on his face and his neck.
He sounded nervous, good.
"I wa wonde'in' if you were tra'elin' the same way I was'....I mea' you don' seem like oth'r guys and I want a tra'elin' par'ner that ain' a creep." she explained. She smiled at him, though it was lopsided and played with the collar of her shirt, pretending to be nervous. She knew how to sell herself if a guy wanted her, after all she'd spent around 12 years of her life doing it.
"Well you're looking in the wrong place." Nathan told her, kicking his horse's side and moving forward once more. "No one wants to travel with the dragon man, kid. And with good reason." He called over his shoulder.
He didn't like the way she made him feel. She had power over him, which was something he hated. He didn't like a woman to have power over him. It meant he'd likely fall in love and do something stupid and just get his heart broken. Again.
Shiloh kicked her horse up to him again, undoing her braid as she did
"I don' min'. she said, flipping her hair,
"I don' li'e tra'elin' 'lone, things ten' to 'appen to gir's tra'elin' 'lone." she explained. She twisted a strand of hair on one finger and attepted a smile agai, she pulled her collar a bit lower but not too low. She felt the cool breeze brush against her, they'd be out of town soon, so far they were heading in the direction she needed to go.
Nathan sighed. "I can't stop you from following me, but I'm going where I want, when I want, and sleeping when and where I want, got it? And quit that." He reached over and buttoned her collar with one hand. "I'm not interested. The last thing I need right now is another woman giving be trouble."
He didn't realize how red in the face he was, or how more scales were showing on him than he was really used to. A lot more orange was there than usual. He grumbled something under his breath in another language, one he found no one understood but him and those connected to the dragons.
Dragons had existed some centuries ago, but were believed to have gone extinct. Occasionally, something or someone dragon-like would come along, like Nathan. He never knew his father, and his mother was mute. There was no one to tell the story of how he, Nathan, came to be born how he was.
Nathan sighed, shaking his head. "Women are bad luck." He mumbled. "I've learned that the hard way, that's all. Come to me five years ago and I'd probably have been no better than that man back in the tavern."
He cast a quick glance at her. "What's your name?" He asked, not bothering to tell her his. He wanted to see if she was following him for a specific reason. She could have slipped up and used his name without him telling her what it was."
"Shiloh...pretty name." Nathan murmured, acting as if he hadn't heard her question at all. "Tell me Shiloh, how old are you? You don't seem very old at all..." He glanced at her, his scales seeming to fade away before her eyes. He was relaxing some, feeling a bit easier.
Nathan chuckled to himself, shaking his head. "I'm Nathan. And by dragon standards, I'm not much older than you. But dragons age slower, and so do I." He looked at her again. "Care to guess my age?"
Nathan laughed. "Oh that's almost a complement." He chuckled. "I'm well past 24. I'm 45. The equivalent of eighteen, in dragon years, I believe. It's two dragon years to five human years, For a half-blood anyway. I know I'm not full dragon blood, otherwise I'd be aging much slower. I'd still be a kid."
Nathan sighed, keeping his eyes ahead. "I'm headed home." He told her, his voice soft. He hadn't been home in decades. "My, ah, mother, passed away." He grimaced. "I have to head home to take care of everything. Where are you headed?"
"And why would you tell someone that?" Nathan asked her. "Most slaves would be afraid to admit they're on the run. There's always the chance that someone will try to return them to their owner." He looked at her, his eyes seeming to burn even brighter than before. He was suspicious and starting to get uneasy again.
"You stole it." Nathan shrugged. He knew that horse, and he knew it didn't belong to her. "But enough on that. I don't care." He sighed, falling silent as he went deep in thought.
If this girl was a threat, he'd have to keep his guard up. Yet if he never relaxed, he'd be too exhausted to defend himself if she did make a move. He couldn't send her away with a clear conscience(sp), but he really found her to be a problem.
Nathan didn't do it to leave her behind, but he didn't call to her either. The moment she was ahead of him, he made a sharp turn off the road and into the woods, planning on taking a particular route away from the road from that point on. It was quicker and he prefered facing animals as danger rather than people.
Nathan never checked to see if she'd follow. He rode a little ways until he reached a stream. He stopped and let the horse drink as he washed his face and stood gazing at the sky through the branches of the trees above. "Wonder how much it's changed..." He murmured.
Nathan sniffed the air, taking in the sweet scent of nature, but something in him caught Shiloh. He frowned, looking upwind. There she was, just barely visible from her perch. He kept his guard up but didn't watch her any longer, instead focusing his attention on the horse.
Nathan stayed a few minutes longer before climbing back onto his horse's back. He rode to just underneath Shiloh and looked up at her. "I take it you got rid of the horse? You want a ride?" He almost left her, but the gentleman inside wanted to offer help to her.
Nathan sighed. "Don't be afraid to hang on to me if you need, but that's up to you." He told her, kicking his horse before they set off at a steady pace, faster than a walk, but still slow enough to navigate in the woods.
When she held on, Nathan sped up just a little, content that she was safe. He sort of zoned out, thinking deeply on things far away from then and there. He practically forgot she was even there, growing used to her so quickly.
As the sun began to set, Nathan found a place to make camp. He slid off his horse and gathered wood for a fire. He hesitated after that, staring at the pile of wood and then glancing up at Shiloh. "How long are you planning on sticking around?" He asked.
"Well good luck with that. I'm not going through the mountains." Nathan told her. "I plan on going around. It takes longer, but i prefer it that way. There are things, or rather people, in the mountains I prefer not to cross paths or deal with."
He shook his head, glancing over his shoulder as if he heard something, but there was nothing there. "I don't like the weather in the mountains anyway. I take heat well. Cold eats me up."