In the quiet between her question and what she assumed would be Killick's answer, the perk of her horse's ears caught Sarnai's attention only seconds before she heard the sound of footsteps. No, she realized, not footsteps but hoofbeats. Too heavy for a deer or elk, could be a moose, maybe, but what it really sounded like was--
A shod horse. Carrying a rider.
Marcus: “Ho, travellers!” ... “Dangerous parts, these woods are. What sort of business do you have out here?”
Beneath her, the gelding drew to a stop at the soft tug on his reins, her sudden wariness causing the animal to toss his head and snort a puff of steam into the cold air. Sarnai's hand went to the hilt of her short sword, resting there but not gripping; she wasn't helpless, the gesture clearly stated, and she'd defend herself, her son, and her companion if this stranger meant them harm. She wished she had a bow instead, though. And her own horse. "Just passing through," she answered vaguely, eyes cutting to Killick before settling back on the man in front of them.