We arrived today. We wove through the city to shake off someone following us. People all around seemed to be acting … differently. As if something had happened. Something that had been anticipated and awaited for for a long while. A relief.
We wandered until a friend of Maryam confronted us. We were rushed to the safe house where you and Captor were supposed to be staying. No one greeted us with gifts or refreshments as usual. Something struck Maryam, her face going white, muscles rigid. She whispered a quiet “no” to the empty air. A troll from across the room nodded her head solemnly. Then I, too, was struck with it.
They’d captured you both.
I couldn’t move. Couldn’t breathe. In that moment, I could do nothing but stand, staring, unbelieving. Someone sat us down and began explaining a recount of what had happened.
You’d both gone out to get food. A civilian spotted you. The guards came. Chained you up. Led you like animals to the Highblood. An appointed person stood up in front of a crowd gathered in the city square and read off a long list of “heinous acts” that you two had committed.
It was decided that Captor, given his skill in technology and psionic powers, was to be forced to work under the Heiress. His life, at least, would be spared.
Your punishment was to be far more severe.
They planned to string you up by a set of shackles that were made specifically for your wrists only. They’d be made red hot while you were beaten in the city square. People would watch. Cheer, even. Then once the Highblood was through with you, his favorite archer would make the kill. Your dead body would be left on display for two days after. A final humiliation. An attempt to give a warning to anyone who might have wanted to follow in your brave and righteous footsteps.
Once hearing of this, Maryam ran out into the night. She couldn’t handle it any more than the rest of us could. Losing the one she went out of her way to raise abnormally. The orphan she had found, and fled her life before to bring you up like a lusus. She raised you well. You became more than she ever expected. Losing you would be crippling.
I was paralyzed. Unable to cry. Utterly dumbstruck.
My love is to be executed, and I am helpless against saving him.
Week three. We’re almost to the city. One of Maryam’s cohorts delivered a message that you had a close call. In the city market, someone recognized your gray cloak. You’re fortunate for both Captor’s size and his talent to make a convincing argument. Stay as far away from the public eye as you possibly can. There’s bound to be raised suspicion and an increased number of guards. I doubt Captor could be counted on to save you a second time, even with his persuasive qualities. The Highblood must be furious. He’s been searching rabidly for you since the very beginning of your movements; and now news that you might have been in his grasp once and for all, and his guards let you slip away. I say again, if it weren’t for Captor’s persuading, you’d have both been done for good.
Please, stay as safe as you can. None of this would have been possible if it weren’t for your stand against the inequality of the blood castes. A few more days and Maryam and I will be there. Don’t go out unless absolutely necessary. Don’t get captured. I’d never be able to live with myself if I lost you. We will be there soon.