The next morning, Daniela woke up with one of the worst headaches she had ever experienced. She groaned and rolled over. Or at least she tried to. There was something blocking her path. She opened her eye a crack and looked straight into Ronan’s sleeping face.
She was immediately awake sitting up and moving away from the sleeping man. Fear gripped her as Daniela struggled to remember what had happened the night before. She had offered to share her room with Ronan to stop him from being thrown onto the streets and then he had suggested another round of drinks to celebrate. After that things became harder to remember.
The only reassuring thing was that she was still wearing all of her clothes and the binding over her chest was still intact. She assumed her secret had not been discovered.
She slid off the bed as quietly as possible, trying not to wake Ronan. She decided she would get her stuff, pay her bill and leave without Ronan ever knowing where she had gone.
“Did you really think you could leave without me?” He moaned from the bed. He looked rough. His hair was standing on end and his eyes were only half open so he was squinting at her. His shirt was rumpled and there was a rip in it Daniela hadn’t noticed before.
“Oh, you’re awake,” she said nervously. “I didn’t wake you did I? I was trying to be as quiet as possible.”
“I’m a light sleeper,” he explained. “It’s a habit you pick up when you owe people money. You never know when they might drop by to call in your debts.”
“Is that why your mother kicked you out?”
“You’re such a little innocent,” Ronan laughed. “Yeah, that’s why she kicked me out.”
Daniela wasn’t quite sure what he meant by his first comment but decided not to question him as he stood up and ran his hands through his mad hair.
“Well I’m going to go and find the army barracks and hopefully one of the men there will be able to tell me where I go to sign up.”
“I know where to go,” Ronan said. “I’ll take you there, it’ll be a lot quicker.”
“Alright then,” Daniela agreed.
“But I’ve got to get something to eat first, I’m starving.”
Daniela reluctantly followed Ronan downstairs towards the bar area. She had really wanted to get going as soon as possible but she didn’t want to be rude and leave Ronan by himself. He’d been very friendly and was offering to help her out, it would have been against Daniela’s nature to run out on him.
The pair walked into the bar area, which was already full of people having a liquid breakfast. Daniela squirmed inwardly at the thought of starting the day off with a drink. She couldn’t understand who would do that.
She was about to approach the landlord and ask for some food when a hand clamped down on her arm and her entire body was jerked backwards. She staggered back, unable to resist the force that was pulling her out of the room.
“What’s going on?” She asked as Ronan slammed her body against the wall. “I thought you wanted something to eat.”
“There’s someone in there I know,” Ronan whispered.
“What’s so wrong with that. You don’t have to speak to him.”
“He’s not exactly a friend of mine.” By Ronan’s tone and the sheepish look on his face Daniela could tell he was in some sort of trouble.
“What did you do to him? It can’t be so bad that he’ll remember it.”
“I borrowed some money from him to buy something, I forget what, but when the time came to pay it back I didn’t have the money, so-“
“So I paid him back in fake coins.”
“You did what?” Daniela exclaimed, hitting Ronan’s chest with the flat of her hand. It made a resounding thud and Ronan flinched. "You idiot. What did you do that for?"
“Ow! That hurt. And what else did you expect me to do? If I didn’t pay him back I would have had my right hand cut off and he’d still expect me to find him the money. Trust me if I could have found another way out I would have taken it. No one wants to spend every waking hour thinking he’s being hunted down.”
“So what to we do now?” Daniela asked.
“Because he’s just looked in our direction and I’m pretty sure he’s recognised me.”
Daniela turned to look back into the room and saw a big guy with two even bigger guys running in their direction. Ronan grabbed her wrist and pulled her into a run, leaving the tavern by the backdoor and going straight out into the yard.
“My horse,” Daniela protested.
“You can come back for it later,” Ronan retorted without slowing down. “Right now I would rather keep us both alive.”