171 ~ Jules

2560 hours

He and Jason skirted the edges of the castle, keeping to the shadows, as they headed to open the gate. He hoped Yarrow had a plan, because he really didn’t want to let Lord Exsil Vis’ forces into the castle. He didn’t know what she could have come up with, though, aside from the look she’d given Coalette. Had the two women talked? Or was it that form of communication exclusive to gender, which he’d had with his male comrades betimes?

He didn’t know. He hoped it was the former. Less chance for miscommunication.

Soon the two men reached a servants’ door in the wall between the East Gardens and the main entryway; not bothering to try and jimmy the lock he kicked the door down.

The place was deserted. The doors to the castle were closed, but more easily opened than the gates in the wall. The stables looked dark; the whole driveway was devoid of life. He looked nervously up at the battlements, hoping he wouldn’t be hit with friendly fire when he and Jason ran to open the gate, but saw they were empty. Not a single sentry or soldier stood up there.

Mayhap Yarrow had gotten a message through. If she had, it could only mean one thing: his betrothed was alive.

Courage surged through him and settled the nervous beating of his heart. He and Jason flew to undo the lock on the gate. He ended up working on it alone, for he was better with undoing locks. When finally he heard the click he was about to breathe out in relief.

Then he felt the edge of Jason’s cutlass against his throat.


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