Chapter 2: http://www.rhemuthcastle.com/index.php/topic,814.msg5368.html#msg5368
Juliana, rarely at a loss for words, stared at the handsome stranger with the honey amber eyes…
Jesse was confused. For some reason he wanted to impress this girl. He wanted her to know that he was heir to the earldom of Ebor, that his father had been advisor to and close personal friend of the late King Cinhil.
“I…I regret that we arrived too late to save your friends. We have been hunting these men for months…”
“Lord Jesse,” called one of his men, “we found another.” A tough-looking old soldier held the limp form of a young girl. He gently placed the still form on a cloak hastily laid on the ground.
“Brigid!” Juliana screamed, “Brigid are you hurt?” She fell to her knees at Brigid’s side. The girl did not respond. Her gown was torn and muddy but she did not seem to be injured. “Brigid,” Juliana screamed again, reaching out to shake the girl, “it’s me, Juliana.”
“Hold, my lady,” said a voice from behind, “she’s in shock.”
Juliana grabbed Brigid’s shoulders but was suddenly, inexplicably, unable to move. An older man who did not look like a soldier kneeled on the other side of Brigid. “I’m sorry my lady, she cannot be handled roughly.”
Jesse’s hand was on Juliana’s arm. Her eyes flashed anger…and fear. She was furious at the unseen restraint.
“Sylvan is my father’s healer,” Jesse said. “Your friend is…very fragile just now. You could hurt her more…”
The healer gazed sympathetically at Juliana. “You can release her,” he said to Jesse, “she will not harm her friend.”
Juliana pulled away from Jesse. What did you to me? How dare you? Don’t touch me!
She turned away without waiting for a response.
“Will she…? Is she…?” Juliana desperately wanted to be told that Brigid would live but was afraid to ask. “Why is she so cold? Can she hear me? Can you Heal her?”
“Not here,” said the healer, “we must get you to shelter. We dare not be here when they return.”
Sylvan gently tucked a blanket around Brigid then wrapped her in the cloak that was under her. He placed her in the cart with the injured men. She looked small and frail and helpless.
“I will ride with her,” Juliana announced as she climbed into the cart. “I…we…thank you for your assistance.”
She did not look at Sylvan as he climbed into the cart. She especially did not look at Jesse as he mounted his tall bay horse.
At a signal from Jesse the cart and its escort moved forward. The cart bearing the bodies of Brigid’s family fell in behind. As they left the bloody clearing, Juliana buried her face in her hands. Her shoulders shook. After a few moments she lifted her head and smudged her tears away with a bloody hand. Her duty was to the living, however much she might mourn the dead.
Chapter 4: http://www.rhemuthcastle.com/index.php/topic,1286.0.html