Let me know if this is too slow for a first page to a novel...
“Are you sure you want to go through with this?
Dorian looked at his best friend and frowned. “It’s the only way Princess Aria would ever marry a nobody like me.”
Lexer stared at the enormous mountain before them. “First of all, you’re not a nobody. And second, I don’t think we have a chance of keeping up with Veena. The woman is like the cross between an ox and a tiger. She’s an oxger. Or a tigox. Either one, you pick.”
Dorian laughed, but it was true. The guide they had rented from the local goat-herder was indeed a ball of energy, with zero patience.
“I’m waiting.” She stood, arms crossed, about fifty feet up the mountain. The glare in her eyes could not be mistaken.
“You heard the oxger.” Dorian began the steep climb up the mountain, followed closely by a laughing Lexer.
The two friends joined the guide and she led them through the dense foliage toward the Valley of the Cursed Mountains. Lexer soon lagged behind, enamored by the colorful flowers and unusual brush.
Dorian took a moment to examine their escort. She was pretty in a rugged, plain way. Her hair was dull blonde, tied back to keep the hair out of her face. Her eyes were a steel gray, a perfect reflection of her cold personality. But there was something about her.
“What are you staring at?” Her voice interrupted his thoughts.
He stumbled over a loose rock. “Nothing.” He tried to regain his balance gracefully. “You just look really familiar. Have we met some place before?”
She stopped, looking at him with a disgusted look. “Please tell me that’s not a pick up line.”
“What? No.” Dorian was equally disgusted by the prospect. “I just have this strange déjà vu feeling, that’s all.”
“Hm.” She resumed her walk, quickly outpacing him.
Lexer ran up and handed his friend a handful of what appeared to be violet flowers. “Check these out.”
The flowers shriveled in Dorian’s hands, then suddenly flew away.
“They’re bugs,” Lexor said with a huge grin on his face. He was easily amused.