The men watched the maiden fleeing, saw the flare of her skirts as she turned a corner. A silent look passed between them, teeth flashed in the light as one smiled. His own steps were silent as he followed her, while his companion faded back into the shadows of the halls.
Her persuer shadowed her steps as easily as a hunter would a wounded deer. It was his business to know this castle, to know its inhabitants. Long strides trailed hers and his smile widened as she neared the stairs that led so inexorably toward the lower floors. The torches around them went out, one by one. The hallway was plunged slowly into darkness.
"Pretty maidens shouldn't wander alone in the dark," he whispered, reaching out to catch her wrist. The stairs were close, the work was at hand.