“They killed Prince Theodoso,” Sarah whispered as adrenaline and anger faded from her body.
James ignored her and fixed his gaze on Sharon. The woman ignored them as they passed by her.
They killed Prince Theodoso, Sarah told Jason, hoping for some sort of response.
I was told that, yes, his voice was impassive. You must focus on your current task. He reminded her. The boat will be there before dawn. I want everyone assembled and ready in the back by the Willow. Do you understand Scout Smith?
Sarah shook herself and straightened up. Yes Sergeant!
Jason was right; she shouldn’t dwell on Theo’s death. The Princess had been freed and she and the others would be rescued early in the morning. All I have to do is survive the night and gather the group.
“Gods have mercy!”
The quiet words from James brought Sarah back into focus. They had stopped at the top of the stairwell and he stared down the hall. Moving to his side Sarah gasped. The man who had been guarding the door lay dead and the door itself was broken to bits.
“Lady Miriam?” Sarah rushed past the dead man into the room. “Lady Miriam?” She didn’t dare call loudly.
It was not Lady Miriam’s voice that answered but that of a little boy. Going belly to the floor, she peered under the bed. Sarah could barely make out Ryan in the shadows.
“The Nigiri took her,” the little boy told her. “He said she was going back to the dungeon to be used for something.”
“Ryan what are you doing here?” Sarah moved closer. “How’d you get here?”
“Gods sent me by Willow. You’re to take and drink this.” The boy handed her a crystal vial.
Sarah took the vial. “What is it?”
“Gods’ Nectar,” he looked at her with his big eyes, “you’re supposed to drink it.”
“What does it do?” Sarah asked as she tucked it into her cleavage.
“Protect you from pain,” Ryan whispered. “Please, the Gods...”
“I’ll drink it when I need to; trust me,” she whispered. “Now go before you get caught.”
Ryan nodded, his eyes tearful. He was gone like a flash from under the bed and disappeared behind the tapestry with barley a rustle; not a moment too soon either.
“You won’t find Lady Miriam here,” Wholawski chuckled from the doorway.
Making sure the vial was well hidden Sarah slowly rose and turned to face him.
“So I’ve become aware,” she retorted, her eyes flicking to James where he stood behind Wholawski, betraying no emotion. He’s on your side, she reminded herself, focus on The General. “What did you do with her?”
“I am sure my sister told you only useful girls are allowed. All others must go to the Wall.” Sarah’s heart dropped as he chuckled. “But, I think she still has some, usefulness.” His smile broadened. “Come let me give you a demonstration of my torture chamber. I shall show you what I did to Phoenix.”
“No!” Sarah whispered as she backed away.
“Oh yes.” Chester appeared in the doorway, his eyes glittering. “Everything is set in the Dungeon, General.”
“Good.” Wholawski stepped forward.
Keeping an eye on both men Sarah began to move towards the tapestry. If she could get outside and down to Lady Miriam, maybe she could save the woman again and hide out in the bake house until the morning.
“James,” Wholawski turned to his Major with a smile, “why don’t you tie her up for us.”
“Yes General.” James moved into the room.
“Three against one isn’t all that fair,” Sarah remarked, her focus shifting to James.
“Ah, but, I’m only sending one in for you.” Wholawski smiled.
“Yeah right,” she snorted taking up a fighting stance.