A short action piece from the second book in my WIP. It is pretty raw and I would appreciate suggestions for it. “Give me a good reason why I should not kill you?” The question was spoken without any emotion in the voice. It was that lack which frightened Greb Jordan. He stood in the center of the tavern drenched from the storm and had being in the process of removing his cloak when the hooded man at the tavern’s counter spoke. Jordan knew that voice. He had heard it bawl out commands on the battlefield many times in the past. Ragnar ‘Toothless’ stepped away from the counter, pushing his hood back. Dark eyes bore into those of Jordan’s. “My Lord?” asked one of Jordan’s men. Greb looked about at the empty tavern. Ragnar was alone and he had ten men with him. He should have known that Ranald would send an assassin after him. The Earl did not lack courage, but he would be damned if he died in a duel with a Weapons-Master. Backing away from Ragnar he indicated for his men to step forward. Swords were drawn and Greb saw a flicker of a smile on Ragnar’s face. At that moment Greb felt his bowels loosen and the heady aroma of **** filled the tavern. Ragnar sniffed at the air and laughed. “So many…” the Weapons-Master said, producing two long daggers from the folds of his cloak. “I much prefer these in confined spaces.” Jordan was sweating now, the cold and wet of the night forgotten. A thought crept into his head, a brief regret for his betrayal of Prince Thrand. “Kill him!” the Earl suddenly shouted. He had a glimpse of his men rushing forward and Ragnar falling into a fighting crouch, before he turned and fled. The wind screamed into his face as he burst out into the muddy courtyard. Turning left he bolted for the stables, a mere ten yards away. The doors were open and he found the two men he had left to care for the mounts. “Saddle my horse, any horse!” he roared, the fear rising up to be replaced with hysteria. Mutely one of the men pointed to a horse that was still saddled. Jordan rushed for it. “What the …” the other soldier said and Greb heard swords being drawn. He reached the horse and placed his hand on its back, ready to vault into the saddle. Screams echoed behind him and suddenly he was falling back from the horse. Searing pain engulfed him as he fell to the ground and the last thing he saw was the smiling face of Ragnar ‘Toothless’ leering down at him.