“Telverth, put him down,” Esua heard herself say. She stood only feet from the large man that she called her friend. He was holding another man, in the air, by his throat. The man had insulted the circus and Telverth had not taken the comment well. “Telverth. He has done no harm,” she spoke again as she took a half step towards them. Her words pulled the large man out of his anger and he looked at her for directions. “Set him on his feet and let him leave peacefully.”
A crowd had formed around them, in a ring, like the fights Esua had once seen in the streets before Ossam had adopted her into the circus. She took another step forward as Telverth set the stranger on his feet. The man shook himself out, feeling his throat were bruises were already forming from a nearly crushed windpipe. She began to relax and looked into the crowd, nodding to the other circus folk that were watching.
As she began to turn to address the crowd, the light glinted off a metal blade and she turned back in a quick movement. She snatched the wrist of the stranger before he had the chance to slip the knife into Telverth’s chest and used her other hand to throw a punch that landed with the man’s jaw. He dropped to a knee, spitting out blood and cursing at her. She had not yet released his wrist. All concern had left her leaf colored eyes as they had grown cold and dead of mercy.
“You repay my aid by attacking us further?” she shouted down at him and the crowd of outsiders began to grow loud. Their voices became drowned by the cracking then snapping of bone and tendons followed by the man’s cries of pain. She shoved his arm away from her, which knocked him onto his back. Her eyes never moved from him, the muscles in her face pulled tight. “Don’t ever show your face around any of us again.”
She turned to the crowd to speak again, “If you attack one of us, you attack us all and we will defend our family. If you do not like what we are then do not come see us.” She turned back to Telverth who was looking at her, unsure. She moved to him and touched his arm. “Come, Telverth.”