‘You let him do what?!’
‘It was his idea,’ Hathering said timidly, but Beatrix was on the rampage - she was having none of that.
‘He’d sacrifice himself for a pancake if he had the chance - just to prove himself to everyone! He thinks he’s got to do enough good for the whole of this world, but here’s the reality - he hasn’t!’
‘He’s just perfect the way he is, and that doesn’t include either dead or prisoner.’
‘How could you?! Just let him run off to Aaron like a good little boy? Didn’t you think what this is going to mean?’
‘Shut up!’ she rounded on Hathering. ‘I’ve had it just about up to here with you Erls and kings and whathaveyou. And now I’m going to have to rescue Keiran because you were too cowardly to admit you’re the leader of the rebels in the first place. Keiran only just got here! How could you?’
She sank onto a chair, her head in her hands, her anger all spent. A shock crept up into her, filling her very bones, giving her mouth a metallic taste. Keiran. Keiran! Her Keiran! She’d come all the way back here, just to find he’d disappeared off without her! And it was all Hathering’s fault!
Tears overflowed for the first time since the death of her parents, and she found herself weeping for everything she’d lost already, and everything she had yet to lose.
How could she lose Keiran? Her heart felt too big for her chest, like it was trying to get to him.
She had to help him. She must. Even if he didn’t love her anymore, even if he hated her, even if she never saw him again after tomorrow - she had to help him escape. Just knowing he was alive would be enough. It would hurt, but it would be enough.
She sat up straighter, the tear-tracks still vivid on her cheeks, the light of battle glinting in her eyes.
Right. How’re we doing this, then?’