"Just bloody great!" Griever shouted, cursing the luck he had.
It had started as a simple thing: distract the Sheriff so Corin could grab his men from the dungeon and try to use them to punch a gap to the Sheriff. A good plan, that, but for one issue. A minor one, really....
"We still have this," Jem commented, pulling another arrow to shoot a flying beast. "We've seen worse."
Griever cursed under his breath. "Having to fight all of the Sheriff's forces - who, did I mention, all but ignored Coring and Kate! - while holding Fae off our arses pretty much takes the barrel, Jem."
"Stop whining and help," Jem cursed, shooting one of the Sheriff's men this time. "I thought you were able to adapt to any situation, Mercenary."
Ah, nothing like a feisty woman to ease you. Still... Griever had to figure this out. He glanced from his position to the rear, where most of the hawks had gathered. Robin and his Merry Men were helping out, raising morale for that side. It still wasn't ideal, but... Little John could handle it. The man had been through worse.
"I'm going to punch through and head into the castle, Jem," Griever told her, pulling the long sword he had gotten to replace Eternal Lion. He had wanted to retrieve that blade, but everything... well, it all went to hell after Corin ran in. It was suspicious, but for some reason, the Sheriff had his men ready to fight a war when we got here.
The Fae? Were they with the Sheriff?
"Trying to be a hero again?" Jem said, though not in a pleasant tone.
Griever smiled. "Of course, but I could use a sidekick."
"I'm needed here," she snapped, then also let her bow snap. A man fell from his horse a moment later. "And so are you!"
Hesitation gripped Griever. Had Jem just told him to stay with her? No, that couldn't be it. She must have meant the troops needed morale, right? Well, it still was nice to hear it... No, he couldn't be thinking like this. The reason he wanted to go in WAS to be a hero. Because Griever knew there were some other people who needed saving in there...
"Jem, I have to."
She glared at him hard, pausing from her archery. Around them, the battle raged. Inhuman screeches and roars from the fae, and shouting and steel from the humans. None of that mattered for the few moments - maybe even fractions of a moment - that Jem and Griever held each others eyes.
Finally, Jem softened. Griever had almost thought he could steal a kiss, but was stopped with her voice rising above the sounds around them.
"If you get yourself killed," she shouted angrily, "I'm going to be pissed!" Her expression darkened. "I still have to serve out your punishment for lying about those letters and being a fool when coming to rescue me alone. Not to mention all the other stupid shit you've done. There are plenty of things that need knitted."
Griever smiled, despite himself. "You know I suck at knitting," he retorted, turning to run toward the castle. "And now I HOPE I don't make it!" He laughed deeply, then took off toward the castle. Behind him, he heard Jem say something but it was lost in the sound of battle.
A sword swung at Griever's face. He ducked, stabbed the man who had swung at him, then moved on toward the castle. It wasn't easy, honestly, but he managed to create a wedge in the Sheriff's forces with the help of others. Selena, Rowan, Edgar, and a few others caught his eyes, but he tried to shut them out. They could handle themselves. He believed they would.
Sadly, he had believed that before.
It was a depressing thought, but he knew a lot of the people he had worked with would be dead after this battle. Maybe even some of those he was closest to. There were always losses, and sometimes even the most talented could fall to a stray arrow. Hell, the original Eternal Lion died from a neophyte swordsman who had managed to get to the old man before being noticed. Griever had killed the boy, of course, but it was something that made reality become more apparent.
But, he had to believe still.
Griever pushed into the castle, leaving his allies behind and punching through the last line alone. Once inside, he began to search for where reports had said it was... but...
The outline of the castle had changed, if slightly. Bedrooms were now storage rooms, and vice versa. The Sheriff had either redecorated a lot of tried to confuse people like Griever... But he wouldn't give up! Someone had to save those in the worst place possible.
Griever turned to see Kiara, smiling with a bloody sword in one hand and another person that looked... identical to her. But, Griever didn't have time for questions. Those women needed him. And for once, he didn't even subconsciously think of something dirty.
"Yes, I'm looking for the women."
Kiara nodded seriously. "Follow me!"