"We need to move," Angel said, looking around nervously. "If we stay here much longer then we'll be seen, and I don't want to have to explain who you are to anyone else, it's too risky."
"Then where should we go?" I asked.
"I need to get you out of here. Is there anyone else in the garrison with you?"
"There are two others with me, but I said I would meet them when we got out independently. It's too dangerous for us to leave together."
"Right," Angel said. I could see him mentally processing the information I had given him. "Where are the rest of your men? I'm assuming there are more than three of you."
"I have over ten other men waiting for me outside the walls of the garrison. They'll wait there until my return."
"Then we'll have to get you back to them," he said. "Follow me."
I dutifully followed my guide out of the small room we'd been hiding in and back along the corridor.
Angel Hurst. I was thinking so hard to see if I could remember hearing the name before but couldn't think of where I would have heard it. I knew we had sympathisers in Handrin, it was how Jon got his support, but I hadn't expected to find a friend in the garrison. I was pretty sure I could trust him; he hadn't called the guards on me yet.
He also knew where Alexandra was, and the thought of seeing her safe drove me onwards. It was my duty to keep my family safe and I was going to do exactly that.
I let Hurst lead me down various corridors, realising after a few moments that I was hopelessly lost and wouldn't be able to get myself out if Hurst abandoned me. My life was literally in his hands.
"How are you going to get me out of here?" I asked, leaning in so my mouth was as close to Hurst's ear as possible in order for me to whisper.
"Through the normal exit," he said simply, not even turning to look at me and continuing to walk straight on.
"But they'll know I didn't come in that way. They'll work out that I broke in."
"They won't," Hurst reassured me.
"They will," I insisted. "No guards are that thick, especially the ones put on the ways in and out of this place. They'll be monitoring everyone that comes and goes in this place. I'm not getting out that way."
"I promise you I'll be able to get you out," Hurst said, pulling me to an abrupt halt as the guards on the door came into view. "If we try to sneak you out of a window you're bound to get caught. The only way to get you out safely is to walk right under their noses; they wouldn't think anyone would be brave enough to do that. Now lean on me and pretend you've been drinking."
"What?" I thought he was just trying to make a fool out of me now. "How is that going to help?"
"Trust me, it will work."
I took a deep breath and waved my dignity goodbye as I leant on Angel's shoulder. If I was going to do this I was going to put everything I had into it.
"Hello gentlemen," Hurst greeted the guards as we approached, me leaning heavily on Angel and staggering as I walked.
"Hello Mr. Hurst," one of the guards responded. "Who's your friend?"
"He's had too much to drink, that's who he is," the other guard said, laughing as I stumbled across the threshold of the door.
"And it's my lucky job to take him home," Hurst said, staying in character, his voice not faltering once. "I'll be coming back to see you boys later."
"See you around," the first guard called after us as I continued to stagger along.
"Do you think we got away with it?" I asked when the guards were out of earshot.
"I think so," Hurst whispered back. "Just keep acting."
Once we were a safe distance away from the garrison I straightened up, standing on my own two feet and taking my weight off Angel.
"Thanks for that," I said, unsure how to behave in this situation. A total stranger had just helped me to escape from an enemy stronghold. Did this call for a handshake?
"Well it wasn't totally selfless," Angel confessed. "I want to get back to court; I don't like being away from the Queen for too long in case she needs me. Finding you has given me the perfect excuse to go back."
"And you'll help us get Jon and the girls out of the dungeons safely?" I asked.
"Of course," was the response. "As long as the Queen allows it."
"Good," I replied. "Then I'd better introduce you to my men."