It was a beautiful night. The moon was full and cast its silvery glow over the countryside. The stars were bright against the velvet blackness of the sky. Lord Mikhael looked out over his garden and not for the first time cursed the gods who had made him High Lord of Sorran Hold. He turned to his wife. “They’ll be here soon.”
Lady Rowan nodded. “We don’t have much time.” Even after all this time her voice still held a hint of the northerner’s speech. “Emberlie, come here.”
“Yes milady?” The dark haired maidservant stepped forward.
“Bring me Sorcha,” Rowan said. “Be quick. There’s not much time.”
“Yes milady,” Emberlie said. She ran from the room, her hair flying behind her.
“This is the only way, Rowan,” Mikhael said.
“I know. But she’s just a child. She shouldn’t be left alone like this,” Rowan said.
“If we aren’t here when they come, they’ll hunt for us. That would put her at greater risk. At least this way there’s a chance,” Mikhael said.
“I will miss her smile,” Rowan said.
“As will I,” Mikhael said. “If we survive this night, we will meet at the shrine. She’ll be there waiting for us.”“I know,” Rowan said. Unspoken between them was the certainty that neither of them would live to see the dawn.