~ The Singing ~ pg 6

His brother lifted his head and set down his fork with a smile. “About time,” he mumbled, “Leave it to Nivia to turn a one day trek into two.”

“Good,” Alex nodded with a sneer, “Now we can finally be rid of that pair.”

Borris turned a disapproving scowl on him but before he could voice his thoughts, the girls’s voice sounded again. “Borris! Alex! They’re here!!” She had said the same words, but her excitement was gone and fear gave her scream of his name an edge that brought him to his feet immediately. Borris was up and out the door in a moment and Alex only took enough time to grab his sword on the way out.

What he saw chilled him. The girl… the girl was in Avery’s night dress! Where had she even found it?! And she wore it right in front of Borris! Did the girl have no humanity? He stormed down the stairs and grabbed her roughly by the shoulder, turning her to face him. “How dare you!” he bellowed in her face, not caring for the confused fright in her eyes. “That clothing does not belong to you!”

“But–“ she started to protest, but he cut her off. 

He grabbed her roughly by the shoulders, ignoring her cry of pain. “I don’t know where you found that,” he seethed, “but if you have any shred of decency in you at all you will change immediately!”

“Alex!” his brother shouted his name as he strode over and clamped a hand down on his arm. “I gave it to her!” Alex stared at him in shock. “Let the poor girl go, man. We have bigger problems than your forsaken indignation!”

So preoccupied with what she wore, Alex had not noticed the approaching lights or the rumble of many horse hooves striking the ground. They poured into the clearing, at least two dozen mounted soldiers armed with crossbows or swords and torches. They surrounded the trio in a semi circle around the clearing. By the look of their clothing, they seemed to be Promise Keepers… a forsaken and corrupted lot. When they all settled into a place, Alex counted six bolts trained on him and six on Borris. If it came to blows there was no way either of them were coming out of this unscathed if still breathing. 

He could feel his ire rising even more at the intrusion. Dealing with promise keepers was never fun. Force would not win out, though, so as much as he would have rathered knocking heads together, he tried for diplomacy instead. “Gentlemen,” he nodded at the group giving them a smile that held no sincerity. “How may we be of service today?” 

The End

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