I woke up, still in the medical tent to a lot of shouting. Not of the happy joyous kind either. Lady Athena and Viscount Aaron were arguing very loudly.
“You could have told me is all I’m saying,” he shouted at her.
“Just because you lived in the same place your whole life, so every girl you ever kissed we would encounter on market days,” she shouted back.
“I’ve never agreed to marry them,” he retorted.
“And I was never going to marry Warren Davis,” she insisted, “not really, not once I knew what he was.”
“You should have told me,” he reiterated. I was up now and found them. Aaron looked serious. Athena looked furious. “I’m glad you’re feeling better Marina.” He said before stomping away.
“I didn’t mean to interrupt,” I said softly.
“You didn’t, we were going in circles,” she mumbled. “You are feeling better.” I nodded. “That was amazing, whatever it was that you did. Terrifying, absolutely, but amazing.” I nodded.
“Have you seen him?” I asked.
“From a distance,” she whispered. “Do you know what happened?” I shook my head. “I was in love with him, or I thought I was, and so I told him about all of this, about Martin and my parents and,” she sighed, “I was wrong, and he was in Brayton’s pocket, and,” she sighed.
“I thought it might be that.” I said. “I should get to work.” Athena nodded. “Be patient with him. You and Tristan have been working towards this your whole lives, and Annalise always knew, but for Aaron and I, this was a lot, all at once.” She nodded. “And he’s madly in love with you.”
“Is he?” Athena smiled, helping me to make up a bed. I nodded. “You’ve Seen something?”
“Just the way his aura brightens when you walk in the room,” I said, “I’m trying to avoid Seeing about the people I care about.” She nodded.
“Your father didn’t mean to hurt you, Marina,” she said, “being Chosen is a great honor, General Martin,” I looked up at her. “Right, you know about the expulsion and the revoking of the blessing?”
“I Saw that,” I said, “I don’t want any part of any of that. I’ll help Lisette, but I’m not,” she nodded. “Are you alright?”
“No,” she sighed, “I thought I was ready. But I’m not. I can’t protect her from those things, and when I saw Warren,” she sighed, “I knew he was spineless, but I didn’t know,” she shook her head, “I just feel so stupid.”
“You’re not stupid,” I insisted, and she helped me make up the cot I’d been working on. “I should go speak to my father.” She nodded and I walked out into the field.
“Ah, Lady Marina,” Count Caleb walked up to me. I nodded to him. I think he knew I was still upset with him and Papa. “I’m glad I ran into you.”
“Are you?” I said softly. He nodded.
“It seems our,” he sneered, “guest, requires some attention.” I nodded.
“Let me get my bag,” I went back into the tent and took the small leather satcheled begun assembling my medical supplies in. “What’s wrong with him?”‘s
“Nothing that I can tell,” he said. “But you’re the healer,” he parted the tent and I walked in.
Sir Warren Davis was sitting his hands bound, grinning at me. I’d always thought he was handsome, I could even see, now, though he looked diminished, what Athena saw in him.
Though I’d wager she’s better off now.
“Ah, Lady Marina,” he said. I looked at him, his red hair grown into his eyes. “You’re to cure what ails me, then?”
“There’s little ailing you,” I said. I could see it immediately. I quietly lit a fire and brewed a tea.
“I thought you might bring a message to Thena,” he said. I stared at him.
“No,” I said and handed him a glass of tea. He grinned.
“Lord Brayton specifically instructed me to retrieve you, you know,” he said. “He’s quite taken with you.” I tried to ignore him, but I felt my cheeks flush. “I don’t see it, but you aren’t my type.”
“She despises you,” I said. “You betrayed her.”
“I never told him anything about Athena,” he said. I looked at him. He seemed to actually believe it, which might be worse, now that I thought of it. “I adored her, I would have married her.”
“If you get back to him,” I said, “which I assure you, Princess Annalise will not allow while she breathes,” I looked him in the eye and I noticed the fear. “You can tell him that he’ll never have me. I’m not his.”
“No,” he smirked, “not yet.” I glared at him and left the tea as I stood up. “I can’t pour that.”
“A shame,” I said and walked out. Tristan was standing there. “I hate him.”
“Good to know I’m not the only one feeling that particular emotion,” he said. “Is Athena alright? I gathered that she and Aaron argued.”
“I think so,” I said. “He was talking about his orders. Apparently, I was the target.” He looked angry at that.
“We have to tell Lisette,” he asked softly. I nodded. I realized this was the first time we’d been alone since that night when we kissed. “He won’t come near you. She won’t allow it. I won’t allow it.” I swallowed and looked up at him. I swallowed. “I mean, well, you know.” I nodded. “The battle won’t be far off now. You need to stay safe.”
“I have this feeling,” I whispered. “I don’t know that I will be kept away from him.” He looked at me. “I think I have to be at her side when she,” I swallowed, and he took my hand, “when it ends.”
“No,” he said, “that’s my job, remember?”
“Hello,” Lisette walked up. “Is the prisoner alright?”
“He’s fine,” I said. “Lisette, I don’t think I should go to Dovetail with you.” She looked at Tristan and then at me.
“I don’t understand,” she said, “you have to! Rina, I need you, and we,” she looked at Tristan again. “They came for you?”
“That’s what Davis said,” I whispered, “he wants me, Lisette and he won’t stop and it puts everyone in danger.” Her face was flat and then her eyes filled with anger.
“No,” she said.
“Lisette,” Tristan said, reaching for her hand.
“No,” she said, “I’m your princess, and it’s my wish that you stay by my side. You aren’t going anywhere, Lady Marina, is that understood?” I nodded, a little bit afraid. “Good. Tristan, please tell General Martin that we’re going to march on the city tomorrow. I’m done waiting.” She walked away.
“Have you ever seen her like that?” He asked. I looked at him.
“Not in real life no,” I whispered. But that was the Annalise I knew before I knew her. The Annalise of my Dreams, who frightened me.
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