‘Sarah?’ a voice interrupted her dream. Sarah rolled over and groaned, trying to hide her head under a pillow. ‘Sarah!’ the voice became persistent.
‘Just 5 more minutes, mom,’ she groaned.
Someone dumped water on her. ‘Richard you little brat!’ Sarah sat up, with instincts honed to perfection in her youth. But it wasn’t Richard whose arm she was now twisting, it was Mathew. There were snickers from all the other scouts. Sarah let go, as vertigo caught hold of her and she stumbled. Jason caught her as he scowled at Mathew.
‘Well, it got her up,’ he was rubbing his arm.
‘Sarah, we have to make haste, do you think you can keep up?’
‘Yeah, sure,’ Sarah steadied herself. Jason helped.
‘How are you feeling?’ Griffon asked.
‘Like I’ve been run over by a train,’ Sarah stated as she felt her head pulse with a horrible headache. Jason and Griffon exchanged puzzle looks.
‘Like I have the worst hangover you could possibly imagine,’ she rephrased her statement in exasperation.
Griffon nodded. ‘She’ll be okay.’ He turned, leaving her leaning on Jason. ‘Get those canteens filled, we need to head out Stat!’
‘You sure you will be able to keep up?’ Jason asked.
‘It's not my legs that were hurt Jay, just my shoulder,’ and head, she finished silently. ‘What the hell happened?’
‘Later, you’re in the center of the group with his Highness.’
Sarah squared her shoulders and made her way to the Prince, well aware of Jason’s watchful glance. Soon the men were gathered around and they were off. Sarah’s stomach rumbled loudly.
‘You too?’ she asked, noticing the way the Prince was holding his head.
‘Sword butt to the back of the head,’ he muttered. ‘They wouldn’t fight me.’
‘Probably didn’t want to hurt your princely hide,’ the words were out before she could sensor them. ‘Sorry.’
‘I just don’t get it,’ the Prince continued, ‘He would rather I was dead.’
‘Who knows the thinking of a cruel man?’ Sarah shrugged, ‘personally, I’ll be thankful all I have is a headache and,’ Sarah sighed, that I still have Jay she finished silently. She looked ahead where Jason was walking with Griffon, leading them on. She could take up Griffon’s offer, if he didn’t mind eating soup and only soup, with the occasional roast meat. Sarah looked around the group and realized there were men missing. Brad and Allen were not to be seen, and, she counted, it looked like Griffon’s troop was missing two. That is, if her assumption that all scout troops consisted of seven men, was correct. Sarah hoped they had gone ahead, but somehow she knew they had become casualties of the mission.
‘Are you all right?’ the Prince’s voice drew her out of her thoughts.
Sarah sniffed and wiped away the tears that had begun to form in her eyes. ‘Yeah, I’ll be fine, soon as my headache’s gone.’
He studied her for a bit, but didn’t say anything else. He was a strange one, first acting as if he was above all this and then like a boy out on a big adventure. And now, he was subdued and concerned. The fight must have been an eye opener to him and Sarah wondered how sheltered his life had been.