Word Count: 726

"What's a pretty girl like you traveling these roads alone? Don't you know there is a war going on?"

Belle glanced behind her shoulder to see a knight donned in a helm shaped of a hound. "I'm running from someone."

"Don't you know you might just be running towards the wrong person?"

"Might you take off your helm ser?"

"I am no ser." He said angrily.

Belle frowned, "Apologies, might you take off your helm my Lord."

"My face is no beauty." He admitted, "You might just run in the very direction you came once you take sight of it."

She looked at him, what could he be hiding? "I do not frighten easily." The man lifted his helm and her breath caught in her throat. His face was grotesquely burned on the right side. "Does it hurt?" She questioned.

"Not anymore." He admitted.

"My name is Belle what is yours?"

"I am called the Hound."

Belle smiled, "I didn't ask what you were called, I asked for your name."

"Sandor. My name is Sandor."

"Well Sandor since these roads are so dangerous it could help having a companion to travel with."

"I'm not sure I'm the right man for that job Belle."

Belle turned and continued to walk down the road, "I think you're wrong about that Sandor." She faced him once more, "Aren't you coming?"

Sandor looked at the girl, no one had ever been so nice to him, no one had ever looked at his face without being appalled; but there was something different about her. He walked forward and stood beside her. "It's a dangerous road."

"Then it's good that you'll be coming with me." She looped her arm through his and began the walk down the king's road.

As night neared they found an abandoned house and took up refuge for the night. As they lay by the fire they told stories of their past; who Belle was running from, how Sandor received his scars. For the first time in a long while they both had a friend.

A loud chattering of voices and hooves interrupted them. "I'm going to take a look." Sandor said moving slowly towards the window. Outside were a handful of men carrying a banner of three black dogs on a yellow field. Sandor turned to Belle and helped her from the floor. "Belle please you must listen to me. The man who gave me my scars is outside with men who are no friends of mine. You must leave now."

"No." She said, "They do not know we are here, leave with me."

"I can't. This is something I've been meaning to face for years." Laughter was heard once more from the window and as he turned to glance outside Belle saw the scars illuminate by the fire. "You must run Belle."

Sandor grabbed his sword and exited the door leaving Belle alone in the house. She gathered her few possessions and ran for the back exit as she heard Sandor's battle cry. She heard the steel clashing against steel and the moans of men dying. Belle fled the house and ran into the woods. The clatter of steel grew fainter but her worry grew more intense. She couldn't leave him. Belle ran towards the battle and saw four bodies on the floor. Two men were still in combat, Sandor and the man she believed to be The Mountain for he was over 6 feet tall. Sandor was knocked to the ground and Belle couldn't help but shout for him, "No!"

The Mountain turned at the sound of her voice. "What do we have here? Is the pretty maid crying for you Sandor?" He laughed. Slowly he walked towards Belle, "Could it be that you've found someone who will actually gaze upon that hideous face of yours?" He reached forward and quickly grabbed Belle by the hair. "After I'm done with my brother I'll be back for you." He threw her to the ground and turned just as a sword pierced through his neck.

Belle looked up at him as he helped her to her feet. "I thought I told you to run."

"I couldn't leave you."

His hand gently swept across her hair where his brother had grabbed her. "Are you hurt?"

Slowly she leaned forward and placed a kiss on his cheek. "Not anymore."