“Ed speak!” and both words were a shriek as if forcing themselves through tiny holes. She dropped to his side. It was then she looked around him. There were no rocks, just very thick tufts of grass like hay strewn about for a bed. There was no blood.
                She breathed then, and realised how closely she had avoided the coming blackness that she felt was about to take her. Instead she sobbed and smiled.
                He had taken a breath himself, although he did not open his eyes.
                Dalaena wiped away the tears and held the rest back. She touched his cheek, then gently slapped them, calling his name.
                Finally his eyes fluttered open, and she took another breath.
                “Del, is that you?” every word fell into the other like the tumbling of stones down a long hill. But he could speak, and he knew her still. At least in that she could find solace.
                “Does it hurt?” She took yet another breath.
                “Head hurts.” He whined. She laughed. She knew not from where the laugh had come, but she laughed all the same. The despair had turned to hope, and just the slightest shivers of annoyance.
                “You cannot do that.” He looked surprised, or as surprised as he could from the daze in his eyes. “You cannot run from things little Ed, you have to face them.” And tears welled up in his eyes. “Be brave.” She urged.
                “But I’m really scared.” He coughed up, voice pitifully low.
                “And that is the best time to be brave, little brother.” She cooed, and stroked his hair. “And do not forget, I shall be there with you.”
                They stayed like this for some time, her comforting him and singing a little song he liked, until the sound of a horse could be heard.
                “Now come on, can you get up?” the sound of the pounding on the track sparked action from her. Edaran sat up, gasping a little from some pain, but was up all the same.
                Dalaena helped him to his feet and kept him upright as best she could. He took a limping step and vomited on the floor. She tried not to look as he put his hand on his stomach and groaned. But he took another step, then another, towards her horse.
                Devlin finally stopped, a little way from them both. He wore a very stern look, just like father when he reprimanded them. His eyes flitted towards the horse still neighing incessantly, then returned to Edaran.
                “Best to kill the beast, Ed—“
                “No!” he tried to break from Dalaena’s grip, but she held onto him.
                “She will never ride again.” Devlin shook his head and looked back to the castle. “You should have thought about this before you decided to take off like a three year old.”
                “Devlin!” Dalaena snapped, trying to stop the harsh words. He was becoming just like father indeed.
                “No Del, he should learn from his stupid mistakes—“
                “Then let him find the mistake on his own. Chiding him shall win both him and you nothing, in the end.”
                He looked her down, or tried to, but he submitted, knowing her to be true.
                “We must take him back to father. He will want words no doubt.”
                “Yes.” She agreed. Much as she disliked it, even though she was, by all rights as heir of Ascocenda, superior to her father, this was his son, the chastisement to be decided by him alone.
                “But Del—“ Edaran began, but this time Devlin did not fail to succeed in silencing him with a look.
                “You must have some punishment, Edaran.” Though even Devlin did not seem best pleased. “best get there quickly. You do not want to keep father waiting. You know how he gets.” He inclined his head and Edaran’s eyes dropped to the floor.

The End

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