Sarah had gone back to talking with Lady Miriam when they heard boots in the hall.
“Why isn’t the door barricaded?” Wholawski’s voice was unmistakable.
Lady Miriam skittered from the fireplace to huddle behind the bed, whimpering softly. Sarah stood. Glancing at the Princess she noted that she too, was frightened.
Not that I can blame her, Sarah thought, her own stomach had begun to twist itself in knots.
There was the sound of a slap, a muffled cry and then pounding upon the door.
“Who is it?” Sarah asked moving to the door.
“You’re an intelligent woman, I’m sure you already know,” Wholawski sounded sickly pleasant.
“In that case,” Sarah huffed. “Aside from my cooperation in bearing you an heir, what do you want?”
A chuckle came from the other side of the door. “I offer you another deal.”
“I didn’t really care for the last one.” Sarah frowned.
“Ah, but you will like this one.” The General chuckled again. “I am giving you the chance to let the Barbarians outside our gate take either Lady Miriam or Princess Allmarah into their custody.”
Sarah looked back at the Princess. Allmarah was clearly as surprised by this offer as she was. “What do you want in return?”
“Only the continued pleasure of your company,” Wholawski’s smirk was audible.
Agree to it, Jason’s voice commanded. The Princess is our prime objective, we can still get other’s out tomorrow morning.
Still Sarah thought through her options. Not that she had many. Better he thinks I’m making the decisions, she responded when Jason’s impatience became obvious.
“How could I deny you such a simple pleasure,” Sarah let her sarcasm out full force.
Wholawski roared with laughter. “I like this one James,” she heard him say quietly before he raised his voice. “So who do you choose to send to the Barbarians at the gate?”
“Princess Allmarah,” Sarah stated.
“You have one hour to report to the Gate with the Princess, she can only take what she can carry.”
Sarah sighed in relief as the sound of boots faded down the hall. She looked to the Princess. “I don’t suppose you could carry Lady Miriam?”
“Even if I could,” the Princess looked to where the girl was hiding, “I do not think you could convince her to come.” Allmarah looked back to Sarah. “Do you really think he is going to let me go?”
Not likely, Jason told Sarah. He is planning some sort of treachery. The Princess should be armored if at all possible.
“Probably not, but we’ll take precautions.” Sarah looked about the room. “It’ll look funny, but you should wear the armor I came back in last night under you’re clothing.”
“But it is...” Princess Allmarah grimaced at the pile, “bloody.”
“Yes,"Sarah agreed, "but it could save your life.”
The Princess nodded and Sarah spent the next thirty minutes helping her change. After that they sorted through the closet. There wasn’t much that Allmarah decided she had to take, for which Sarah was grateful.