There was a crackling from the forest’s edge and the rumble of frantic little goat hooves against the ground. Avaline and Eli whirled around to see men on horseback barreling from the woods, sabers and lances drawn and down. At their head, the handsome Prince, his eyes blazing with jealous rage.
“Run!” Ava cried, and Eli needed no encouragement. They sprinted down the field, the horses hot on their heels. Lances thudded into the earth around them. One grazed Ava’s shoulder, and she toppled to the ground.
Eli drove his heels into the ground, standing over her with his knife drawn. He made up his mind that he would not touch her. Never again. Not while he drew breath.
He found himself borne into the air, higher and higher. The horses below him reared and whinnied in fear, and all but the Prince ran from the sight of the thing that carried Eli on its shoulders. Ava was a Beast once more. And she was angry.