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Thread: It's a trap! - 8/3 morning, gates of Hebron - Tarran/Evangeline [closed]

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    House Hutchinson Tarran Hutchinson's Avatar  
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    It's a trap! - 8/3 morning, gates of Hebron - Tarran/Evangeline [closed]

    "I don't like it."

    In fact, he didn't like any of it. Tarran couldn't be sure what had transpired within the walls of Shellten Castle in the past day, but he knew that the urgency with which she had been summoned, and the refusal of anyone to tell him what the emergency was, was enough to make him uncomfortable. It was the first real traveling he had done since he recovered, and he could tell that Eva was less than thrilled at his insistence that he accompany her. But something in his gut told him that he needed to be with her on this occasion.

    After resting, and gaining back all the lost weight, and suffering under the tyrannical rule of Doctor Baptiste, he was also glad to stretch his legs a bit. "This whole place bothers me," he admitted. They had been on Tuneric for a very short time, but nothing had gone right since they came. Plagues, murders, war, all of it was more than he could handle. It had cost him his father, and had almost cost Lochlan their sovereignty. "We should go home," he told her. It wasn't a command. In fact, it was bordering on whining. As though she were very much in charge of their lives, and he knew it.

    And now, as they stood in front of the towering spires of the castle, there was a growing sense of unease. As though things could only get worse. "Do you have any idea why this isn't something the royal maesters can't handle? Did they tell you anything?"

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    House Baptiste Evangeline Baptiste's Avatar  
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    "We should go home."

    Home. Even on a good day, the sheer thought of seeing the shores of Balfour rising up out of the ocean sent a pillar of longing through her. "I know," Evangeline breathed, her words wistful as she stared up at the imposing gates of the royal castle. It felt like she spent all of her time here, or coming from, or going to. Precious little time for Tarran, or for herself, or for thoughts of home, no matter which 'home' he'd been referring to. In her heart, home was always Balfour.

    Taking a deep breath, Eva shook her head. "All they told me was that it was an emergency and I was to come immediately." The look on the face of the man who had delivered the message, though...he'd ridden straight from Hebron, and there was a haunted look to his eyes that made her dread whatever lay beyond the gates that loomed before them. "I suppose it could be something with the queen again..." Although she had been sworn to secrecy on the matter of Queen Nataliah's fledgeling pregnancy, it had been impossible for her to keep the information from Tarran. She had tried, at first, but after the third or fourth time she'd come back from Hebron in a short span of time, it hadn't been hard for him to guess.

    "Didn't the prince just come out this way yesterday?" She couldn't be sure, but she thought she remembered hearing that Prince Langston had gone off to visit his sister, but he'd left the younger princess behind. "Perhaps it's something with him."

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    House Hutchinson Tarran Hutchinson's Avatar  
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    Valley Haven was less than a day's travel from Hebron, but it was still more than anyone would care to do twice in a day, and so Tarran had not really expected Langston back. In fact, the young sailor had figured that if his business was concluded, they would all travel back together. He disliked the thought of Tatianna back at the makeshift embassy by herself.

    Guards were coming out to escort them, and Tarran's unease began to grow. "Perhaps," he agreed, knowing full well that Langston looked fine just yesterday. When the guards approached, one of them held his hand up. Apparently, they were only interested in Evangeline. Supposing he could find something to do in town for a few hours, he kissed her on the lips and brushed her hand with his cheek.

    The woman was nearly past the gates, when the man stopped in his tracks. He could feel the color draining from his face, which was quite odd for a man who had grown up on the sea. "Eva," he called back. "Eva, wait." Stepping between the guards, who bristled at the intrusion, Tarran grabbed the woman by the arm and pulled her back. "Let's go," he told her, tugging on her wrist away from the entrance to Shellten Castle.

    Confused, but knowing what was at stake, and having Belle's orders, the guards moved to cordon them off. Tarran had his sword half out of it's scabbard, and the woman pulled behind him. "Northwest tower," he told her in a hushed tone, finally freeing his steel and leveling at the men who came toward them. "Let's talk about this gentlemen," he offered, waiting for Eva to look, and to see, the severed head of Prince Langston Farrand-Calhoun, sitting on a blood-soaked pike.

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    House Baptiste Evangeline Baptiste's Avatar  
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    The sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach had only grown upon their reception. She'd never been met by guards like this, and the fact that they were so keen to separate her from Tarran...it didn't bode well. What kind of emergency call was she responding to, anyway? Still, she could do little but adjust the grip on her bag and move with them, shaking off the guard who tried to grip her arm and lead her in. There was a job to be done, and potentially a life at stake. She couldn't, in good conscience, turn away now.

    However, it wasn't even a moment later that Tarran called out to her again, pulling her back, and something in his voice quieted the objection Evangeline would have launched. "What, what is it?" Pressed behind him, she looked up to the tower as the guards moved around them, weapons drawn. For one brief instant, she doubted what her eyes saw. Surely she couldn't be seeing this? But that would explain the guards, and presumably the urgent call, although her country's prince was clearly too far gone for help. Swearing quietly but colorfully under her breath, she tried to think quickly.

    "I have to go in there," she said quietly, her voice resolved. "If they had wanted me as anything but a doctor, they wouldn't have let me come here unescorted." Of course, this could just be a trick, as they knew if she was called she would come...and she knew Tarran would think of that, but she had to believe they were honest in their request for help. "And it certainly looks like they're hardly going to let me leave."

    Without moving from where she stood, she looked at the guards surrounding them and raised her hands, a show that she was going to cooperate without letting herself move close enough to get grabbed. "You've got to get the girls someplace safe." If the Balfourian prince's head was on a pike outside the King's castle, it was clear Tuneric wasn't safe for any child of Balfour anymore. She could only imagine what might have been done to Nataliah...but there was still one princess they could save, and it was now up to Tarran to do it.

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    House Hutchinson Tarran Hutchinson's Avatar  
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    It was instinct that told him to fight, but her sense of reason battled him. Tarran had Allan's gift of sense, and knew right from wrong. But he was also a lot more selfish. His father had given up his true love for the sake of a nation. The son was not quite so willing to do the same. "You can get to the horses," he told her, though the words implied that he would not be able to join her, if he had to hold off pursuers. He could see by the expression she shot him that it was pointless to argue, and when she put her hand on his sword arm, he finally relented. "Fine," he said. "But I will be back in two days, and if you aren't safe, I will tear this castle down with my bare hands."

    As he lowered the sword, he glowered at the guards, who also seemed to relax. They fell in around the woman, and Tarran watched as they disappeared into the castle. When they were out of sight, he screamed at the sky and turned on his heel, making his way back to the horses. He needed his ship.

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