June 26, early a.m.
“Quickly now,” the voice behind Emmett was breathless and tense. “We must keep moving.” The sounds of every foot and pant echoed over dripping stone walls and the treacherous cobbles beneath them. Only a single lamp lent lighting to the space, casting great shadows and ominous, twisting silhouettes everywhere. Six men? Eight? Emmett couldn’t recall the count – suddenly could recall very little, in fact, with respect to plan or purpose. His heart pounded, his mouth was dry and the question as to why he was there at all would not stop haunting him.
Emmett reached out blindly, grabbing for the man to his right, assuming, hoping it was Thomas. Thomas would know; Thomas had to. “But where is the prince?” Emmett hissed.
“Never mind the prince,” Thomas’ voice came from in front of him and Emmett’s hand was slapped away from the unknown doublet he had grabbed. “Stick to the plan.”
Emmett grunted and lurched forward, attempting to close the space between him and the speaker he sought. “The prince was part of the plan!”
“Lights!” a whisper from the back of their group, quivering with barely-contained panic, sounded far too loudly as it found hard surfaces and came back at them not once, but a dozen times.
“We’re being followed.” As Thomas stated the obvious he grasped the elaborate cuff of Emmett’s sleeve. “There is no time for discussion. Move!”
Emmett dug his heels and fought against the pressure when he was tugged forward. “This is the only time,” he growled back. “Where is my prince?” Bodies rushed past and Emmett didn’t bother to count them even though his mind sought solace in the process. Numbers … when had he given up on simple numbers? Why? What had ever convinced him this life would somehow be more fulfilling than his father’s ships—
“Now!” Thomas’ fingers wound tightly over Emmett’s wrist and allowed no room for argument. Emmett stumbled after him, slick soles sliding over moss and slime.
Oh, Andrewe, he thought. What have I done?