Hurst: Consider her dignity

I understood Alexandra’s reaction to her brother’s forceful hand, even sympathizing to a degree. I also understood her mistrust of me and anything Handrin. If only she knew the queen as I had come to know her, perhaps then she would be willing to lower her defences just enough to accomplish wonders.

Her brother wasn’t helping, of course. Speaking to her had not worked so far, so I decided to speak to him. I waited until we had progressed down the road and an uncomfortable silence clung to the air between each of us.

“May I speak with you?” I asked. I continued after Sebastian nodded. “I am hesitant to intercede between you and your sister, but ….” I held up a hand to stop Sebastian from speaking, for it was clear he wanted nothing else.

“Hear me out, please.” Another nod prompted me to continue again. “What Alexandra and Eliza did may not have been the safest thing to do, perhaps not even the smartest, but she is full of courage. More courage than you give her credit.”

“I understand what you are trying to do,” he replied, “but how would you feel if it was your sister?”

“I would probably feel similar, but seeing what she has been able to accomplish, how she has carried herself, I would like to think that I would be proud of her as well.”

“I’ve had to take care of her for so long.” Sebastian’s gaze went to the dirt path beneath his feet, and he shook his head, expelling a breath almost as slow as he could. He turned his head toward me just enough to catch me at the corner of his eye.

“Her safety is my only goal,” he stated.

“Perhaps you should consider her dignity as welll.” My suggestion was received with another nod as he returned his gaze to the ground.

A moment later he stopped walking, and the soldiers under his command came to attention as he raised his right hand. He pointed to either side of the path with two of his fingers, and the soldiers quietly and quickly escorted the entire group off the path. Alexandra made a noise of protest, but quickly realized it was not the time.

After lowering his ear to the ground for a moment, Sebastian gestured once again to some of his men, first raising two fingers and then performed a knocking motion with his fist. His men relayed the message to the rest of the soldiers. Less than a minute later, two men on horseback cantered by.

After listening for vibrations again, Sebastian was the first to reenter the clearing where the dirt path meandered through the forest.

“Amazing,” I said as I dusted off the front of my pants. “Just amazing! I could use that trick.”

“No trick. Just lots of training and practice.”

“However you gained that ability, I am sure it has saved your life on more than one occasion.”

Alexandra ran up to her brother and hugged him. “Who were they?” she asked as she released her grip.

“King’s guard.” Alexandra frowned at my answer, though her expression shifted slightly as she looked away.

“They might be looking for us,” I announced with a heavy sigh. “Or, they might not. The safe bet, though, would be to get off the main road.”

The End

140 comments about this exercise Feed