Since the shadow attack, Annalise is different. She’s so determined and almost grim. Even Tristan is keeping his distance from her. But we’re getting closer to Dovetail, and my heart skips a beat every time I think about it. We saw the city spires on the horizon today and I was thrilled.
“Athena,” Martin stepped into my tent, “I need your help with something.” I nodded and put down the map I was studying.
“Alright,” I said, “What do you need?” He sighed.
“I’m going to ask Trey to evacuate as much of the city as he can,” he explained. I whistled. “What?”
“That’s a big ask, Martin, and I don’t know that he’ll,” I sighed, “you want me to come with you.”
“He’s more likely to comply if you’re there,” he explained.
“We can start with if you’re asking him for a favor, using the word ‘comply,’ might not be your best bet,” I said. He laughed. “Drea’s probably North already, she’d be better than Trey.” He shrugged.
“We still have to try,” he explained.
“oh, I agree,” I said, “we leave now?” He nodded and I grabbed a few things and rode out towards the city, arriving at the gates. I was dressed as a merchant so we passed quickly and got to Market Street and slipped to Uncle Trey’s house. We went to the back door and I banged loudly.
Gordon, the butler opened it wide eyed.
“Lady Athena,” he said, his eyes glanced over to Martin. “General.” I couldn’t help giggling. “Please come in. I’ll wake him.” I nodded and we went to the parlor. I sat on a couch and Martin paced.
“I always hated this damn room,” he muttered. Uncle Trey walked in and stopped. He walked to me and embraced me.
“I was worried,” he mumbled, “when Lotte said you were in Pantona, and what else she found there,” he pulled away. “What on Earth were you thinking, sending them to the most dangerous possible place, Tom?”
“I was thinking that Athena and Tristan are Captains of The Royal Guard and the appointed protectors of the heir to the throne and they have a job to do,” he shrugged and leaned against a pillar. “It’s nice to see you, by the way, Trey.”
“Hmph,” Trey snorted and cupped my face, “You’re alright?”
“I’m fine,” I said, “but we need help. We’re marching on the city in a few days. With Annalise and,”
“We’d like to minimize casualties, and if anyone can quietly get people out it’s you,” Martin said. Trey looked at him, his eyes wide. “Trey, I’ll beg if you like.”
“I’ll do what I can,” Trey said softly. “Of course.” I nodded at him. “Stay for breakfast?” I smiled
“We can’t,” I said, “if someone saw Martin, they’ll already be looking for us.” He nodded. Martin looked at him.
“Thank you, for this,” he whispered. Trey looked at him.
“Dead people make poor customers,” he said with a gentle laugh, “someone told my father that once, even if he didn’t listen.” Martin chuckled and nodded. We moved quickly back out through the kitchen and down alleys, silently back to the camp.
“Do you still,” I tried, Martin looked at me, “now that things will be settled, and you can go back to the city, I thought maybe,” he smiled.
“The first time you asked when Trey and I would be together again you were twelve,” he said, “the situation has not changed much Athena. We’d kill each other in a week.” I smiled. “But I do miss him. I always have.” I nodded. “I hate that house.”
“We all hate that house,” I said. He laughed. “I’ve always been glad you refused to give us up to the family.” He smiled at me.
“I promised your mother,” he said, “I don’t make commitments not to keep them.”