"Do we follow?" Corin asked.
I didn't bother answering as I set off after Griever. He had already disappeared in to the trees and I feared that we would lose him if we wasted another second. Of course he would be foolish enough to go charging in alone.
Although his tracks were still there in front of me I stopped, leaning against a tree to catch my breath momentarily. Corin skidded to a halt beside me.
"Where is he?"
"God knows. We could keep following his big ass boot prints but I don't think we're going to catch him." I shook my head, damning him internally. "Idiot."
"You'd have done the exact same thing."
"I- Well yes but..."
"Kate, I don't think I've ever seen you lost for words."
"Shut up Corin." I shoved him with less force than I would usually but he still stumbled. "We have to follow him; he'll get himself killed."
"Griever? Never. I swear he's got more lives than a cat."
"A cat can still be killed."
"You said yourself we'll never catch him now. So let's go back to camp and prepare everyone else for the rescue mission. I know you said it should wait but... Jem couldn't be in better hands with Griever as her rescuer, and my men need to be saved."
"Corin, I can't just-"
"-Kate, you know I'm right."
"But it's Jem-"
"But you're the leader of the Hawks. They'll do as you say. We have to go and save my men."
I sighed and nodded.
"Fine. Back to camp. Now."
I turned on my heel and began to jog back towards camp, feeling Corin's eyes on the back of my neck as he followed. It didn't take long before we neared the boundary, and Corin took my arm, stopping me.
"Are you mad at me?"
"Mad. Are you mad at me?"
"Why would I be mad at you?"
He stared at me and sighed.
"Because I convinced you to come back?"
"Corin, you've known me for a while now, but maybe you haven't been paying attention? I NEVER do anything I don't want to do."
"I know that. I just know how close you are with Jem and I didn't want you to think I was putting my men above her. I just think she's going to be fine, with Griever after her, and my men have no one in there that can help. Just a half fae girl keeping watch."
"I understand Corin. Don't worry. Now let's go, before anything else happens."
"Famous last words."
I rolled my eyes and hurried through the rocks to the camp. I was met by a couple of warriors anxious to hear of a plan.
"We need to move against the castle. I want two teams of five to report to me now, everyone else get ready for a fight." One of our best, Anya, stepped forward. "No Anya, I need you for the fight. Go get ready. You three, and you," I pointed at some of my girls, "You four, you, and you, all of you, I want you here now."
They stepped forward and, as everyone else hurried to prepare for battle, Corin came up behind me.
"What's the plan?"
"You're not going to like it." I muttered and then raised my voice for my two groups to hear. "Group A head east. Target fae. One of them has taken Jem and Griever has gone tearing after her. Group B, the same but head west. You'll be heading through the villages to warn them of the battle, and inviting anyone who wants to join. Warn them that some death is probably inevitable. I don't want people coming in to this without full knowledge. You will both use this sweep to meet at the back of the castle by night fall. If one of you doesn't make it back in time, wait for the others. We will attack once you send a scout to tell us you are reunited. Hopefully Jem and Griever will have joined you. You will need rope and grappling hooks. When we launch our attack you will wait until the castle guard are significantly distracted and then head over the wall at the back. Make your way to the dungeon. Ali will be there and she will help you free the guard. Get them to safety. If any of them are in a position to fight, that's fantastic but don't assume. They've been there a long time and no one knows better than I how much the Sheriff enjoys playing with prisoners."
Corin's flinch next to me was so obvious, but I ignored it and carried on.
"The fight will most likely be in the courtyard. Join us there and we'll make this Sheriff rue the day he ever dared take on the Hawks. Understood?" The group nodded. "Good. Gather your equipment. You leave now."