Kathryn Martell

Later that night (or very early morning), when he was sleeping, Trey felt a hand on his shoulder.

"Wake up."  a voice ordered in a whisper. He blinked. It was still dark.

"Not first light yet." he muttered.

"Wake up already!" the voice whispered again. Trey rolled over, away from the voice. He did not want to be woken up. "Stubborn prince." the voice muttered.

"Flip his mat." the voice ordered.

Immediately, two men stepped out of the shadows and began lifting one side of Trey's mattress as she gingerly stepped out of the way.

Trey gave a strangled cry as he was flipped over his head and onto the floor. After struggling out from under his mattress, Trey rubbed his eyes, waiting for them to adjust to the moonlight. When they did, he saw a figure, who, even in the darkness, gave off a sense of authority.

The figure had long, thick hair pulled back into a high ponytail, like that of a man. Knee-high boots, tights, a man's tunic and a sword belt with a short sword was all the figure wore.

But, Trey knew that this person was not a man.

He could see, from the shadows, the faint outline of breasts and a fit figure that would make any woman jealous. She held a coiled whip in one hand, whilst the other was extended towards him.

Ignoring the hand offered to him, Trey got up, running his fingers through his hair.

The girl shook her head at him, as if in pity.

Raising her hand, she slapped his face hard and sent him reeling to the ground. 

"When a hand is offered to you, you take it, no matter whose hand it is! It is common courtesy, which you may still have yet to learn. Now on your feet, prince, so that I may look at you." she ordered, keeping her eyes level with his and her voice even.

Trey stood back up, glaring at this demanding woman, whose hand had knocked him over and forced him to his knees.

"That's it, back straight, eyes ahead, shoulders back, arms at your sides. Let's see how you look."

Trey sharpened himself with each word, at first not knowing why. He felt as if he knew her, although he most certainly did not. But her familiar, distant aura was immediately recognized when she stepped into the moonlight.

Trey's eyes widened at the sight of her. Like he had deduced, her figure was  perfect.

She had the valor of a high-ranking general. Yet when he looked at her, he saw a humility hidden in her, the same humility that he saw in Arowyn.

It was her eyes that spoke to him. He almost thought that she was. . .

Hoping he was correct, he extended his right hand. She shook it firmly, a quick shake just like the Reverend and his son both did.

"You are a Martell." he guessed.

"Yes," she replied. "and you are a Virden."

"Yes." he answered truthfully. If she was a Martell, she probably knew anyways.

A moment passed, then Trey's curiosity overcame him.

"Why have you come here? Are you not serving in House Cameron?" he demanded.

"I was." she said.

"Were you detained elsewhere?" Trey asked her. It was funny, from what he had heard of Kathryn Martell. She didn't seem like the type to get fired so soon.

"I was. . . . promoted, so to speak." A Spy?

"I see."

"You didn't know me, did you, Prince Trey?" She swiftly changed the subject.

He shook his head. "I did not."

A small, barely noticeable smile graced her face for a moment.

"You took a great chance, guessing who I was. We need some risk-takers to train. Along with our Arowyn and all the kids old enough, even my young brother, you could fit in. Will you join us, Trey? I can't say that trust will be an issue, as you are highly valued among my superiors-"

"Your superiors? Who are they?"

Kate hid her irritation as she told him: "The Gascons, for one."

Oh, I have so much work to do. Kate told herself.

Trey nodded, pondering over what she had told him.

"Where will I meet you?"

The End

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