Sarah turned sharply to the direction in which her old nickname had been called out from. A girl around the age of 17 was running towards the couple, gasping for breath, as she made a gesture for them to stop walking.
"Midnight! Is that you? You look so different and you've got yourself quite a catch!" The girl said as she studied Carson.
"I believe you've mistaken this woman for someone else. Leave us alone." Carson interrupted Sarah as she opened her mouth to speak. Sarah immediately closed her mouth but looked at the girl frantically.
"I'm. . .sorry? I thought you were someone else?" The mysterious girl replied uncertainly as she looked at Sarah's frantic face. "But I was sure you were one's seen her since she was 14 when her parents died, except for me. And that was 2 years ago when she decided that she was going to become. I mean, nevermind." The girl walked away, looking back at the couple suspiciously.
"Care to explain, Miss Thief? But maybe you won't need to. . ." Carson said as they came into view of a Wanted Poster. He studied the photo of the girl in the picture, though it wasn't very clear. He looked from Sarah to the poster, and smirked as he decided that no one would be able to recognize the girl in the photo to this woman without looking closely.
"So this poster's been up for 2 years already and they're still looking for you? What a pathetic little town." Sarah remained silent beside him as she collected her thoughts.
* * *
Anna walked away suspiciously from the scene. She was sure that that had been Midnight - her best friend for 14 years - the one who had always loved to sneak out at night. For a year, after mysterious men had killed Sarah's parents, they lost contact until Sarah came back, announcing to Anna that she had studied to become a thief. Anna remembered their conversation as if it had happened the day before. 'I'm never going to forgive those men who killed my parents. When I meet them, I'm going to in return kill them.'
What had happened to the once innocent girl who loved to sneak out at night? The one who ran out into the open fields screaming out of pure joy? It hit Anna the day after Sarah had spoken to her. Natural reality had taken the innocence out of her and replaced it with brutal hate. But no matter what, Sarah was still her best friend and she wondered why Sarah had looked at her with such a frantic face. "Well, I always was the planner." Anna muttered to herself, grinning.
* * *
Carson led Sarah to a crowded market square. Familiar sounds, smell and sights were coming back to Sarah as she was numbly pushed between the hustle and bustle of her home village. 'Why hadn't I noticed it before when I was in the forest? That was always one of the places I went with Anna.'
"Hurry up. Grab a horse. No one will know. I'll be watching you." Carson looked at Sarah expectantly. But she wasn't focusing on his voice. In fact, her eyes were out of focus. Carson waved a hand in front of her expecting her to snap out of her daze. The hand he had placed around her waist began to move upwards slowly. Sarah instantly woke up from her daze and her eyes focused on Carson with a coldness that could've turned anyone into ice - except for Carson.
"Finally. I thought I would have had to take advantage of you before you would listen to me." He laughed as he looked into her eyes. 'She has nice eyes. Ordinary, but has so much depth. I could get lost in those eyes. . .snap out of it Carson! She's your prize money!'
"Not here, people will notice. They notice everything."
"No they won't. These villagers are too stupid to see anything."
"They're not stupid! And how would you know?"
"Like you would know anyways." Carson scoffed.
"You take me as an idiot? I've lived here for 14 years of my life, I know everything there is to know about this village!" Sarah cried but realizing her mistake to late.
"You've lived here for 14 years? So what made you leave? Wanting to go out and see the real world instead of your own boring old life? Is that why you became a thief? So that you could experience a little excitement? A little fun?"
"No, it isn't that." Sarah answered quietly.
"Why then, oh precious thief?" Carson asked sarcastically, positive that his first remark had been correct.
"Because, my parents were killed! I saw more of reality then and there - more than I wanted to see - when I woke up in the middle of the night, finding my parents dead in their beds! Do you think I wanted to become a thief? You think there was a life for me after both my parents died? Where would I go? Where would I live? I had no other relative that I knew living. And even if I knew of one, would they want a poor orphaned village girl? You think I wanted some stupid excitement and fun?" Sarah replied in a deathly fierce but quiet voice, blinking back tears. It had been a long time since she had told anyone her parents were dead. She surprised herself that she was even able to tell someone who wasn't even remotely close to her.
"Oh." Carson couldn't say anything after Sarah's speech. He felt guilty for pushing her to her limits and sarcastically making his snide remarks. "Should we go and eat something until nighttime, then?" He quietly asked Sarah, afraid to push her even more.
Sarah didn't reply but walked into the closest restaurant she could find. She saw the guilt that lay in his eyes as she was speaking, but she had been speaking too quickly to take anything back from the moment her mouth opened.
They sat down across from each other in a warm restaurant. It was furnished expensively with wooden tables and cushioned chairs. The plaid material reminded Sarah of something long ago - though she couldn't quite place her finger on it. It was something that she had seen a long time ago. Her parents had brought her to a large place, with lots of open fields. But Sarah could really remember. It was like a grand. . .
"Do you want to order something?" Carson questioned gently. All the arrogance had left from his face and left something genuine and real.
Sarah smiled at Carson - her first real smile at him since they had met. "Sure."
Anna sat in the same restaurant in a position, which let Sarah have the ability see her. Anna quickly scribbled something in her napkin and began to get up. She walked up to the table where Sarah and Carson were seated and 'accidentally' knocked over the cup of tea on the table.
"Oh my gosh! I am so sorry." Anna took a bunch of napkins from the holder and, avoiding Carson's face, swiped the table quickly, dropping her own napkin into Sarah's lap.
Once the table was dry, Anna apologized again and walked away. Sarah looked at the napkin in her lap and read 'Meet me at the PLACE, at the TIME. I know you're Midnight. -Anna.'
Sarah looked up at the clock. 'Only an hour until the time. I need to get rid of this guy.' Sarah thought. She looked around and realized that the restaurant was actually an inn.
"How about we go get a room to spend the night. I know that activity in this village doesn't end until well past 2am. I'll go steal a horse at that time, okay? You can trust me not to run since you have Josh."
Carson looked at Sarah's sincere face and decided she was telling the truth. If not, her boyfriend - he thought or rather spat out in his mind - will pay.
* * *
At exactly 11:58pm, Sarah slipped out of the inn and stealthily made her way into the outskirts of the village. She would be able to make it there in 2 minutes to meet with Anna like they had done when they were young.