Life Without Life

Chapter 19:

"Katherine, why are you doing this?" Timothy asks, watching Josette run back towards the manor.

"Why else would I be doing this?" She saunters over to him and places her arms around his waist from behind.

"Katherine, please. What we did that night, it- - it was not right!"

"Aye, but now we can be together without her. Let her go. She deserves to go back to my cousin. You deserve better." She turns him around and kisses him, placing his hands on her hips.

He pushes her away and says, "Aye, I do deserve better! I deserve her and, aye, I will get her back!"

"Timothy, you are wasting your time. She is about to marry my cousin and I would not stand in her way, if I were you."

"Well you are not me. I will get her back!" He starts to leave the cave but Katherine grabs his hand. "Let go of me, Katherine! I must do this!"

"Why, so you can say you are a hero? To say that you saved the day and won your fair maiden as a reward? Please, Timothy, believe me, this is no fairy tale! She is where she belongs now, as you are." She walks over to a far corner of the cave and seats herself down on the floor. "Come on, Timothy, we deserve this second chance."

He strides over to her and sits down next to her watching her with doubtful eyes. She immediately wraps her arms around his neck, bringing his face down to meet hers.

"Nay!" he shouts, pulling his neck free from her grasp. "I will not give you the satisfaction!"

"Oh, come now, Timothy. Do not be a fool. You want me again. You want the one thing that you cannot and will never get from Josette!"

"Stop it! I must find her! I hope it is not too late!" He jumps up and heads for the mouth of the cave.

"It will be too late!" she shouts after him, laughing ecstatically. "It will be too late!!"

* * * * * *

"Josette! Josette, where are you? Please, tell me where you are!" Timothy shouts, running frantically through the woods back towards the manor.

"You, over there!" exclaims someone in the distance. "Come here!"

Timothy steps over to the man calling him, hoping he is not recognized. "Please, sir," he begs, "I must find my dog. He has run off and it will be dark soon."

"You may go only upon answering one question."

"Very well, sir."

"Have you seen a young girl about sixteen and a young boy about seventeen up in these parts?"

"Why, I have seen plenty of young boys and girls here but I could not tell you if I saw them today. I have been after that darn dog for close to five hours now," he lies, hoping the guard believes him.

"Fine. You may pass. If I see a dog scurrying around here, I will bring him to the manor and you can get him there."

After the guard leaves, Timothy lets out a sigh. One more incident like that and he would surely be arrested by the sheriff! He continues running, even when he is out of breath and almost collapsing. Even after running into that guard, he continues to look behind him to make sure that no one is following him.

"Excuse me, sir, please watch where you are going. Why are you running so fast?"

"Sorry, sir, I was not looking. But, as you can see, I am in a bit of a rush."

"Surely you know of whom you are speaking to. The Baron's son is no one to walk away from. And who might you be?"

"I cannot tell you who I am or why I am running. All that I can say is that I am looking for a girl, my sister. She was right behind me a moment ago and now she is gone. I must find her before dark," he lies, yet again.

"Very well. But surely you would not keep such secrets from your Lord?"

"I am not so certain that milord can uphold such secrets."

"Surely you do not doubt your Lord?" he questions in shock.

"I am only a Blacksmith's apprentice," he admits solemnly.

"Wait a moment. You mean the Blacksmith's apprentice? My father will have your head if he finds you here! Come with me and I will save you from my father's guards."

"But what about Josette? What will they do with her when they find her?"

"The question is not when they find her, but if they find her."


chapter 20