Alex steps carefully and keeps a close eye on his surroundings for a time, but soon falls into walking without a care and looking at the forest canopy above him while mumbling about his ungrateful friend. He reaches the lake before he thinks he will and finds a nice shaded area to rest in, he looks at the city walls then out at the calm lake and sighs feeling at peace with his choices for once in a long while. As he sits his mind wanders to other things and soon he is enraptured with his own little world where everything is as it should be, he was free, his family still one, Throne ruling the kingdom, and the Keeper King far away doing whatever it is he did before the old king gave him the post of keeper. With a wistful sigh he lays back in the cool sand and closes his eyes for some much needed rest after a night of high tension and excitement.

It could have been hours, it could have been minutes but at some point Alex finds himself shaken into wakefulness by a guard, before he can react the rest of the search party was on him, hauling him to his feet before binding his hands and flagging down a small row boat on the lake. With a silent curse Alex steps onto the boat, tempted to tip it but with his hands bound behind him he decided it would lead to a fate worse then a few years hard labor in a northern mine; he takes a seat, being sure to rock the boat enough to alarm the men rowing without causing too much fear in the older men holding him captive. “Get us to the city, the King wants to see this traitor.”

“Can’t betray someone you never swore to serve.” Alex grumbles earning a hard hit to the back of his head.

“Shut your mouth.” the man that hit him snaps, Alex grit his teeth as the pain dulls to an ache. The young men rowing began heaving the oars and directing the boat toward the city walls. Alex feels bad watching them struggle to maintain a rhythm and constant speed but it comes down to the fact that they are not experienced and his hands are bound so his help is out of the question.

Finally they reach the wall and Alex is forced out and marched along the wall to a camp crawling with the Keeper King’s men, some stop to stare at him while others keep their heads down and work at their given task as Alex is directed through the camp to a barred wagon. He is loaded up and the horses started off for the gates, but he is not paraded through the city streets, he is taken through twisting alleys and brought in threw a back gate. He is led through the halls of the castle while servants look at him a whisper, ladies that had once fought for his attention now turn their noses up at him and he wants to laugh at them but again he keeps silent as he is brought before the Keeper King in his private chambers. The guards leave him bound but depart with a wave of the king’s hand. “Alexander,” He smiles, a cold baring of teeth meant to put the captive at ease “How nice of you to be returned.”

“Keeper.” Alex responds coldly without any respect or show of submission to the sitting king.

“Tell me Alexander, why did you resign?”

“I…” Alex takes a deep breath and thinks of the Brothers and his master “I am not a pious man, I hate the food of the pious, the work of the pious, and the rules of the pious. I could no longer pretend to be what I am not.” The king nods in understanding.

“I see.” There is a long pause as the Keeper thinks of his next question “Where is the Foretold?”

“Safe.”

“Where is she?”

“Safe.” Alex repeats much to the king’s annoyance.

“Where is she?” He demands, slowly getting louder.

“I told you, safe.” The Keeper shoots up and stalks around the large desk, he stands nearly a head shorter then Alex and weighs far less but bound as he is Alex is helpless.

“Where. Is. She.” He snarls, emphasizing every word. Alex looks at him.

“She is safe, I have ensured that much.” Alex keeps his eyes locked with the man.

“Alexander-”

“Jacob.” Alex interrupts.

“Tell me where she is.” He bellows, Alex smiles some “Tell me, damn it.”

“Fine,” Alex starts softly “I’ll tell you. She is alone in her room crying. She tells me that she does want to wed you, that she wants to go home, that she wants her mother. So I sent her to her mother.” The Keeper freezes his eyes locked on Alex’s cold face.

“You didn’t.”

“I did. I fulfilled the Foretold’s desire.”

“How….” The king whispers.

“I drowned her in the lake.” Alex does his best to convince the king, and it works.

“How could you? How could you.” The king turns away from the knight and slams his hands on his desk. “You… You… Guards get him out of here!” He sputters and finally orders, the guards come and take Alex away, imprisoning him in the small room within the chapel. Alex rubs his wrists and flops back on the bed with a sigh, hope within him. Hope that he convinced the king she is dead, hope that Throne will escape with her, hope that he will live through the night to see the sun tomorrow.

Lost [chapter 22]

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