Friday, July 17, 2015

Bonus Scene 6 - The Restorer's Son

The Restorer's Son Bonus Scene

In which Nolan faces a desperate choice.

After Chapter 19


            I tugged my mother’s arm, half supporting her and half dragging her away from the king’s judgment room.

            “Wait,” she said breathlessly. “We should help him.”

            “Who? What are you talking about?” We needed to get out of the palace before another whim changed Zarek’s mind.

            “Kieran. Maybe there is something we could do to—”

            “Mother. Weren’t you listening? The king ordered our deaths. It would be suicide to interrupt again.” I pulled her along and she didn’t have the physical strength to resist.

            She looked back over her shoulder. “But he saved us. We have to try to help him.”

            Rage burned from the core of my being and filled my chest. “Saved us? He’s the reason I was charged with treason. And Zarek nearly had you killed, too. Kieran deserves whatever he gets. Now let’s go!”

            She sagged and I wrapped an arm around her waist. I barely felt the weight of her arm across my shoulders as we raced along crooked hallways and out the main entrance. “Almost home,” I whispered. After a few more streets and a turn down a littered alley, our broken doorway promised refuge. Her legs barely supported her long enough to get inside. I settled her on her pallet and brought water and a new drug patch. She gave me a weak smile and closed her eyes.

            Watching her surrender to sleep stirred my greatest fear: one day I’d see her close her eyes for the last time. No one recovered from Rammelite fever. Her effort to get to the palace and confront the king had probably stolen even more of her limited time. I knew I should feel grateful. She’d saved my life. But for some reason I also felt angry that she’d risked herself.

            I collapsed into our one chair and stretched my feet out, rubbing my wrists which still remembered the manacles. No, I wasn’t angry at her.

            My hand traveled across my forearm. Yesterday, raw broken skin seared with pain at the slightest touch. Now the skin was whole. Even bruises had disappeared. What evil arts did Kieran know that gave him that sort of power? I shivered and jumped out of the chair, pacing our small common room.

            Most of the Braide Wood barbarians had been predictable—clumsy, brutal enemies acting just as I expected. But Kieran had touched a deeper terror in me. I’d been desperate to escape him and thrilled when I succeeded. I’d even indulged some pride as I raced back to Hazor, thinking of the stories I’d tell the other messengers. I’d survived being a prisoner of our enemies, escaped, and brought valuable information for our army . . . or so I’d thought.

            Seeing him in chains in the Hazor cell did little to ease my fear of Kieran. He was a dangerous enemy full of trickery and deceit.

            Why had he used his skill at manipulation to convince the king to free me? Did he really feel remorse? He’d told the king he regretted what he’d done to me. Not likely. He was plotting some other scheme. 

            My mother stirred. She fought hard to hide her pain, but in her sleep, quiet groans escaped. I wanted nothing more than to get us both out of the city and far from all the danger, but she couldn’t travel. For now, I could only keep her comfortable.

I knelt beside her pallet, blotting away the sheen of feverish sweat from my mother’s face. The hollows of her cheeks were deeper than when I’d left for Morsal Plains with the army. I stood and shook out my arms, the weight of chains still lingering. If I ventured out to the markets, perhaps I could beg, borrow, or steal a bit of dried caradoc and make a broth. I wanted to make her better. Every part of me screamed in frustration because I couldn’t. But at least I could get some food into her. With one more worried glance at my mother, I slipped out the door.

You can find more of the story in The Restorer's Son.


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