Maggie is allowed to sleep while Alex quietly slips through the forest to the roads, finding all blocked off with patrols too constant to avoid. He returns to his companions and sits down, back slamming against a tree hard enough to make him groan, Throne looks up at him. “How is it out there?”

“Bad, we best stay here for a while. There’s patrols, road blocks, and gods only know how many of them might be in the forest looking for us.” Alex sighs and looks at Maggie.

“Do you think we should move further north? Try to cut a wide circle around these fools?”

“We need to stay here, Throne. Its dangerous to move.” The bandit pouts and returns to staring at the dirt by his feet, Alex looks at him.

“Alex, we should move further, whomever Keeper sends will find us here.”

“Throne, we can’t move.” Alex emphasizes, the bandit glares.

“Why not?”

“They will kill you! He already tried twice! The first time his men thought you were dead! The second I damn near died stepping between you and an ax!” Alex yells, exasperated with the man.

“I know, but-”

“Margery can handle herself and the people, Throne. Right now you have to worry about surviving long enough to get your throne back.” the knight sighs and Throne falls silent, looking at Maggie.

“At least we have her on our side.” Alex shakes his head, and closes his eyes leaning against a large tree.

“Try and rest, Throne. Maybe we’ll be able to move when night falls.” The bandit stares at the knight for a moment.

“Rest?” Alex groans “You want to rest? His men are out there!”

“Yes, and if you start yelling they won’t be out there, they’ll be right here. Now hush.”

“Alex you don’t seem to understand! We have the Foretold, we have the high ground right now.” Maggie whines and stretches, awakened by Throne’s yelling.

“Why are you yelling?” She mumbles, rubbing sleep from her eyes.

“We need to move.”

“Right now?”

“No,”Alex interrupts “we need to rest and save our strength for tonight.”

“Don’t you want me on the throne again?” Alex sighs and contemplates his next words.

“I want you to have what’s right, I want you to have justice but we can’t do that right now.” He speaks slowly.

“I thought you were my friend.” The hurt that rushes over Alex’s features make the bandit prince immediately regret his words.

“I am your friend… I have been your friend… If this is what divides us then…” The knight rises and takes a deep breath. “I’m sorry Miss Magnolia. I… I just…” He shakes his head and turns, walking out of the dense clearing.

“Alex, Alex wait.” The knight does not stop. “Alex I’m sorry!” Throne huffs and flops against a tree.

“That was cruel, Throne.” Maggie speaks softly but deep inside she feels the regret of loosing a close friend, much in the same way.

“I know… He’ll come back… He always does.” Maggie shakes her head slowly.

‘”I thought that too, once… Some times a person just gets pushed too far and they don’t come back.” Throne ignores her and instead rests his head against the tree and closes his eyes. Hoping when he opens them later his friend will have returned.

Lost [chapter 21]

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