Harrison made a sharp right to dodge a a blow to his face. Unfortunately, he dodged a blow to the jaw, and took one to the nose. It bled profusely, but there was not so much pain. He booked it to the wall. The wall? he thought to himself, We are dead. There's no way around that thing!
"What are we supposed to do now?" he shouted over the roar of the crowd. He stood there like an oaf, scratching at the twelve foot stone wall.
Cedany jerked Harrison around a corner, running beside the wall, her hand trailing across it, feeling as she muttered prayers under her breath.
"It should be here." She said, panic creeping into her voice. "It should be here. Wait - here!" She dropped to a crouch and seemed to just...vanish into the wall. Actually, there was a part of the wall down low that sloped backwards in on itself, creating a narrow passage that, due to the careful pattern on the stone, was imperceptible unless you felt it. There were many secret passages around and in the castle. "Quick, get in!" The mob would be coming around the corner any minute...
Harrison, having just watched Cedany disappeat into a solid stone wall, did a double take. Once he came back to reality, he tried to find the spot she had, and when he did, he slipped through easily. He met Cedany on the other side. "What now?" he asked in a panic.
Cedany slapped a hand over his mouth to silence him, then froze. From the sound of it, most of the mob had paused in confusion. Someone started sobbing and praying, and someone else yelled "Witchcraft!"
"Don't be stupid, they just ran around a corner."
"There isn't a corner, it's a dead end."
The blabber went on for a few more minutes, getting louder and louder. Loud enough to mask any noise they made following the passage.
Cedany silently motioned for Harrison to follow her, then continued on down the passageway. It was only maybe a couple dozen yards before they came out into the sun, on the other side of the wall. Standing up, Cedany glanced down at her hand with a frown. There was blood on it from Harrison's nose.
"Your hand is bleeding," Harrison said. He saw the blood on her hand and wondered how she'd cut herself. He felt the warm trickle on his lip and tasted the iron when he spoke. He suddenly knew it wasn't Cedany's blood. He wiped his nose with his sleeve. It still bled a lot, but he ignored it. "Where do we go now?" he asked. "We've got an angry mob on our tails and the neighboring kingdom is days away, forgetting the fact that we don't have a map."
"No it's not." Cedany said, then casually wiped the blood off onto Harrison's shirt.
She pointed to the worn dirt road that lead away from the palace. "We could try following that. Just walk away with the merchants, pretend we're one of them. If no one calls us out, we can figure out what to do then."
"Okay, we could do that," Harrison nodded. He started walking down the dirt road as Cedany had indicated. His nose bled heavily and showed no signs of stopping in the near future. "What about this?" he asked wiping hisgushing nose on his blood soaked sleeve. "Surely they'll suspect something. Also I'm getting dizzy." Behind them, going back the few feet they'd walked, tiny droplets of blood trailed, dark on the dirt.
"Pinch it and tip your head back." Cedany told him, refusing to make eye contact. "Didn't your mother teach you anything?"
Harrison glare ahead of him. He refused to look at Cedany or do what she instructed. "No, she died when I was seven remember?" he huffed. He wiped his nose on his sleeve again. He walked faster leaving Cedany a few feet back. He merged with the traveling market and continued walking. He stayed away from the people so as not to draw attention to himself.
Cedany sped up slightly too, keeping up but staying back a little anyway. She had remembered. That's why she said it. It made her feel guilty, but she did it anyway. He didn't deserve her sympathy.
She held her breath, muscles tensed, expecting an arrow to pierce her back, or a shout reach her ears any second. As soon as they'd crested the hill, out of sight of the walls, she let out a relieved breath.
"What now?" Harrison asked after they'd disappeared behind the hill. By this time his nose had stopped bleeding, but he'd lost so much blood he was dizzy. He walked slower, more carefully, until he came to a complete stop. "Feel free to leave. I'm not holding you captive," he muttered.
Cedany whirled on him. "And where exactly am I supposed to go?" She hissed, remembering to keep her voice down so no travelers would suspect anything. "You made me a fugitive."
"You were telling a guard where I was going!" he hissed back. "All I did was take you down with me. It doesn't even matter anymore," he huffed. He stepped off the path and sat on a small boulder. "Neither of us have a place to go, you hate my guts, and you will never trust me enough for me to make up for it. For all I know, you'll turn me in the next town over."
"I was telling him you went in the opposite direction!" Cedany yelled, forgetting to be quite. It didn't matter though, as the merchants had passed on too far to tell what they were saying. "He was directly en route to you, and he hadn't seen you yet.
"I had every right to turn you in, but I didn't. Maybe I should have. Maybe if I hadn't been so stupid, I wouldn't be in this mess!" Her eyes fileld with tears of anger and frustration and she turned her back on him so he wouldn;t see, hugging herself.
Harrison looked up at Cedany. "I-I didn't know," he stuttered. There was nothing he could say to make anything better, and he knew it. He looked back down to his blood encrusted hands. A merchant walked over to him, standing between him and Cedany.
"Everything fine here?" He asked looking at Harrison. "Boy, you covered in blood! What happened to you?"
Cedany rolled her eyes and mustered a smile for the man. "My brother is a clumsy idiot." She said in a joking tone, though she still wouldn't look at him. "He tripped in a hole in the road. It's just his nose; head wounds always bleed a lot."
"Come to my cart, my wife can clean you up a bit," the man offered.
"No thank you, I'm fine, really," Harrison declined. The man shrugged and left. Harrison looked at Cedany. "Why do you keep doing this?" he asked. "You could have turned me in right there, and been on your merry way. Why didn't you?" He hoped Cedany would look at him. He didn't know why but it made him increasingly sad that she refused to look at him straight.
"They were leaving the city." Cedany pointed out. "There's a good chance that they'd heard of two criminals. Turning you in turns me in." She still wouldn't look at him, instead focusing on the horizon. The sun was dropping lower in the sky, and they probably only had a few hours of daylight left.
A thought hit her, and she felt like crying again. It was almost harvest time. All the hours of work she'd put into her garden would go to wild animals, unless one of her neighbors took them. She hoped they did. The animals, too. Mary usually came over once a week to pick up cheese, maybe she'd see that Cedany was gone and take the animals.
Harrison saw Cedany on the verge of tears. He stood and went to her. He reached out, but took his hand back. "Is there anything I can do to make it better?" he asked meekly. He knew the question would bring on a hysterical young woman, but he had to ask to show that he really did care and was sorry. "I know," he added quickly before she had a chance to answer, "I am the last person you want to see and talk to, and I know I can't take back what I've done. I just want you to understand how sorry I am for bringing this down on you. I'm sorry I took you from your... house... and garden."
"You don't get it." Cedany said coldly. "It wasn't just a house. It was my home. We built that house, and the barn. I grew up there. Everything I have - had - left of my parents was there."