Subin eyed the tallest of the three ruddy-faced men fearfully as he hovered over her, casting a shadow. The other pair had bound her to a pole, her hands tied up above her head and her legs tied together so that she couldn't move. Subin had tried begging them to see reason and to realise that she wasn't at all in cahoots with the cheeky brat. But to no avail. Her pleas fell on deaf ears.
The man took out a long whip and flexed his muscles by trying it out as if practising his aim. The whip made a sharp cracking sound as it made contact with the floor, soon to make contact on Subin's back. Her legs trembled beneath her and her teeth chattered uncontrollably.
"You're making a mistake!" she begged again. "Please, you've got the wrong person- I'm innocent!"
One of the men cackled, "Heh, that's what all thieves say. You shoulda thought of that before you went and stole from us."
"I told you," Subin screeched. "I didn't steal anything!"
"Silence!" the man with the whip ordered. "You should save your cries for when my whip hits you..." The man lifted the whip above his head as he prepared to lash out.
Subin closed her eyes in terror, a scream escaping her mouth as she prepared for the worst. But just as the man was about to strike Subin, an arrow pierced through the air, deflecting the whip's trajectory. Loud shouts of pain were heard from the ruddy-faced man as he crouched down, mortified that an arrow had penetrated through his hand.
When Subin finally opened her eyes, she found that the two other men had fled, leaving the tallest cradling his arm in pain. Subin blinked away her tears that had started welling up in her eyes.
"Are you alright?"
Subin blinked again and saw that a young man with tousled black hair was standing before her. He eyed her worriedly as he took out a small dagger and cut through the rope that bound her feet and arms. Subin collapsed onto him, her legs like jelly, after her traumatic experience.
"I am now" she replied.
He smiled at her and Subin took note of his long eyelashes and straight but bushy eyebrows. His face was so close to hers that she started blushing. Damn, this guy's kinda cute, she thought.
"It was a good thing I got to you when I did" he stated.
Subin nodded meekly as she pushed herself away from him. "Thank you, I owe you one. If it weren't for you, I would have been punished for-" Subin stopped herself midway her sentence as she remembered the cheeky brat from before. His smirk was engraved on the back of her mind and it made her blood boil when she suddenly thought of how she would have been punished for something she didn't do.
I swear to God, I'm gonna whoop his ass if I ever see him again!
The young man looked at her quizzically. "Well, if you're okay now, I have to get going..." He started moving, attracting Subin's attention.
"Wait, what's your name?"
The young man's lips curled into a smile as he looked back at her. "If you knew, I'd have to kill you."
This alarmed Subin.
He chuckled, "I'll tell you next time." He looked her up and down, "And since I haven't told you my name, I won't ask for yours."
Subin raised her brow at him. What's with all the secrecy? she thought inwardly. And then she thought, Next time? There will be a next time?
The young man smiled briefly before he started walking away again. "See you around, Rags."
"Hey, my name's not Rags! It's-" but when Subin looked around, the young man was already gone.
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