With the setting sun at her back turning the evening skies to shifting shades of crimson, apricot and violet, Queen La, her hair still damp from bathing, descended the awkward path from the springs above Opar with all the natural grace of a jungle cat, her bare feet stepping easily from precarious ledge to uneven plane, her blonde head held high. Before her the lamps of Opar twinkled in the gathering dusk and her servants awaited her pleasure. Soon, she would be wrapped comfortably in skins and seated on her throne, watching the fires leap and crackle as she ate her supper while afterwards she would review and judge any news, findings or specimens
that her Leopardmen had chanced to come upon in the lands surrounding Opar that day. Her pink lips curled, who knows, perhaps they had finally found her a mate.
* * * * * * * * * * *
Disappointed, La stared at the 'gifts' the Leopardmen had brought her - a punctured waterskin, the shredded remains of a Waziri garment, and a scant handful of stained teeth, most likely from an aged gorilla. Of a mate, suitable or otherwise, there was as usual, no sign. "Idiots!"
Intent on their punishment, she reached for the Leopard Staff, slim fingers closing about its length just as her keen ears picked up the sound of hesitant footsteps, and her head servant snarled a guttural warning.
Leaping to her feet La brandished the Staff, her cat-like eyes narrowing as she recognised the approaching shape. 'How does she dare?"
Her gaze skipped across the woman after no more than the most cursory of glances, eagerly searching the shadows for her companion. 'Where is he? Where is Tarzan? Has he come to me at last?"
Realising with irritation that the woman was quite alone, La raised the Staff, pointing it in her rival's face, 'Oh how quickly I could snuff you out and be done with you. How sweet your death would be'.
Her eyes locked with the Englishwoman's, no, she did not deserve a quick clean death, but something perhaps more elaborate, more pleasurable.
Moving back to her throne, La seated herself comfortably and crossed her long shapely legs, looking down on her guest with brilliant eyes and a bright, brittle smile, "Why Jane my dear, what an unexpected pleasure. In fact I'm surprised you managed to find your way here at all, you never struck me as being particularly intelligent or athletic."