a/n: fergot to add disclaimer.

Disclaimer: i do not own eragon.

The boy couldn't be any older than Eragon. He was hanging from a tree with a rope around his foot. Eragon recognized the trap as one of his own. He had learned how to make them in the summer, hoping to make it easier to catch his prey. He also used them to get away from bigger predators.

The boy appeared to have been there a while as his face was red from the down flow of blood. Deliberately, Eragon stepped on a twig, breaking it and drawing the boy's attention.

Gray eyes met his own, and for a while, they did nothing except watch each other with suspicious looks. It was the boy that broke the silence. "Who are you?"

Eragon blinked.

"Are you here to kill me?"

"Why would I do that?" Eragon asked, truly baffled.

"So then what do you want?" He tried to sound angry, folding his arms in front of his chest, while hanging—but Eragon knew he was scared.

In answer, Eragon pulled out a knife. The boy's eyes widened, and Eragon saw his hands clench, his lips purse. Either he would fight, or he would die. Never mind his current disablement. How foolish.

But as Eragon got close, the boy closed his eyes…