When the guardsmen came to collect her, Beatrix thought it was all over.
How wrong she was.
They tramped down the stone spiral staircases to the courtyard, where three horses waited.
‘What is this?’ she murmured, realising what was happening. ‘Where are you taking me?’
‘Do not worry, my little Cousin,’ Aaron said with a laugh, appearing on the other side of the courtyard. ‘No harm will come to you. My soldiers will escort you back to your camp safely and then return. I offered to allow you to remain here in comfort, but Hathering seemed to disagree.’ He shook his head slightly. ‘Pity. I would have liked to have some company, but there it is. I look forward to the day when we meet again, sweet Cousin!’
Beatrix snarled. ‘That day shall be your last!’
‘How charming!’ laughed her cousin, turning back into the mansion. ‘You really are delightful. Goodbye!’