Ruby ransacked the chambers upstairs, leaving Cole to deal with his guests. With any luck, he was busy trying to appease the intruders, and assure them that what happened was a one time thing; rationality lost in the heat of the moment. Or if he was smart, paying them to keep quiet so vicious rumors wouldn't reach the princess. At least she prayed that was the case.
Ruby shook the thoughts away, and focused on finding the tome. She froze when she heard him calling after her. So much for discretion.
Ruby picked up her pace and made a mad dash for her bed chamber, the one room she hadn't looked in yet. She shut the door behind her and cussed when she remembered it didn't lock from the inside.
She worked quickly; opening drawers and moving furniture. When she still couldn't find the tome, she peeled off her bed coverings. The spine of the tome was barely detectable between the head bored and mattress.
She cradled the book against her chest, grateful to have located it. After a moment she began to devise her escape. She glanced out the window. She estimated the jump to be about fifty feet. She winced as she imagined hitting the hard ground below. It was an impossible endeavor. She glanced back towards the linens on the floor and an idea struck her. Hastily, she gathered the coverings and tied the ends together. She secured the first sheet to the bed post nearest the window and threw the remaining slack over the ledge. As she was contemplating testing the strength of it, something in her peripheral vision captured her attention. A big bird flew towards her, traveling at an amazing speed through the sir.
Ruby slowly backed away from the window. The bird had no intentions of stopping, and it was targeting her. She gaped as the bird came closer, and she was able to make out brilliant black feathers on wings belonging to a human.
He hovered by the window, and she moved forward to meet him. His fingers gripped the ledge without disturbing the linen rope. "Are you going to let me up or what?"
Ruby shook her head wildly. While she had missed Jace during her imprisonment, now was not the time to get reacquainted with him.
"I'm sorry Jace, I have something really urgent to take care of."
He hoisted himself upwards and swung his legs through the open window anyway."I just heard you were back, but the details were a bit vague. Mind explaining?"
Rugby shook her head again. "Sorry, this is really urgent."
Jace stood up carefully. "So you've said. What exactly are you doing with the book?"
"I can't say, but you have to trust me."
Jace crossed his arms over his chest and eyed her skeptically. "I wish I could, honestly. But you know I can't let you leave here alone."
Ruby offered him a tight smile. She spoke slowly, doing her best to keep the irritation out of her voice. "I appreciate your concern, but I really have to go. Alone. I hope you understand." She crossed back to the bedroom door, intent on finding another escape route. She quietly opened the door, but before she could leave the room, strong arms hugged her waist. "Jace!" She squealed.
"I hope you understand." He mimicked as he backed towards the window.
Ruby's eyes widened in alarm. She squirmed against him, and kicked his shins. His hold on her was relentless. He sat them down on the window ledge. Ruby felt a surge of panic as the cool wind tickled the back of her neck. "Please, can we at least-"
A scream tore itself from her chest as they plummeted backwards. The castle grew bigger and higher as they fell. They stopped falling and Jace turned so their bodies were parallel to the ground.
Ruby blinked mist out of her eyes. Trees, small cottages, and a very compact looking road, rushed beneath him. If Jace dropped her, she'd be a crimson stain on the scenery below.
She hugged the tome tight against her chest. It wasn't much, but it was the only barrier she had in the event she was dropped.
Jace grinned. There was no greater adrenaline rush then soaring through the air, with the grace of a dove, and speed of a falcon. He increased his altitude, until the scenery blurred into a magnificent water colored painting. Ruby kicked him again. He glanced down at her, ignoring the stab of pain in his leg. She didn't seem to be marveling in the view the way he was. She in fact looked terrified, queasy even. Jace swore under his breath, and turned her hastily in his arms, so her face was pressed against his shoulder. "Almost there darling," he spoke gently.
Minutes later, they landed in fae territory. Ruby stumbled backwards when Jace released her. She leaned against a tree for support, and slid down the length of it, so she was sitting securely on the ground. She scowled at Jace, until she could steady her breathing enough to speak. "What is the matter with you!" She demanded.
Jace seated himself across from her, his wings were now neatly folded against his spine. They were in the middle of the forest. It was quiet, the only sounds came from chirping birds, and insects buzzing in the distance. It seemed peaceful enough, but the last time she had been in fae land, she had an army to protect her against the fae's wrath. "You know I shouldn't be here Jace."
Jace raised his brow. "Well, as circumstance has it, you are here, and you will remain here until you tell me everything."
Rugby groaned, and started to protest
Jace held his hand up to cut her off. "Or, we could go back in the air the choice is yours."