She lay upon her side, curled up like a child after a bad dream, almost luminous against the stony ground beneath her. Two of her fingernails were missing. Only hanks lying at her nape remained of her beautiful hair. She wore nothing but the colors of blood and bruise.
He too was the color of blood and bruise with shades mixed in of outrage and hurt and why? Why her? Had he done this to her? Had he caused this, unknowing? Had he cursed her to fall into these creatures' hands? Guilt wrapped about his shoulders and lapped darkly at his heels, lingering amongst the bodies he had cut down to get to her. Even then, he wanted to love her, to take her into him.
Too late, he lifted her into his arms, her forehead against his neck, and carried her into the sunlight.