The wind whipped off the ocean turning Katherine’s thick dark hair into a storm as she stood watching the dust from the mounted force drift away in the early morning sun. Although she didn’t know exactly what took most of the army from the castle, Katherine could deduce quite a bit. Whatever happened needed to be dealt with quickly and the bulk of the men and women were gone, leaving only a minimal force at the castle. They had gone over the north bridge and then turned to the west, riding fast. Katherine watched them from the Moon tower, the second highest tower in the city, dwarfed only by the overbearing, forbidden Wizard’s tower.
That meant they had gone to Westhold which was four or five days away at a hard ride. Westhold was one of the most heavily fortified places in the land, with walls that dwarfed the walls of the capital. What happened there was secret, but Katherine occasionally watched wagons arrive at the city from north of the river, usually one in the spring and one in the fall. First the outriders would arrive, the minutes later the forguard would join them north of the city. Finally the caravan itself would arrive, a number of wagons, heavily guarded, but Katherine could always pick out the one that was the most important, there were always telltale signs.
She looked toward Southtown and wondered, not for the first time, if she would ever make it over the south bridge. At nineteen she had only left the island a few times and then it was over the north bridge and under heavy guard. She knew Kelvin snuck into Southtown occasionally and was, not for the first time, jealous.
She turned away and began to scamper down the steps of the tower and head back to the living quarters in the castle. The castle was massive, as far as she was told, everyone in her entire extended family that wanted their own room had their own room and there were many to spare. All of her Uncles, except for Kelvin, had their own individual wings of the castle and of them only Seth was a current resident. A current resident until an hour ago, she corrected herself. It was Seth that led the army out to Westhold.
Kelvin’s room was across the hallway from her own room, a floor above her mother and father’s suite, and as she made her way up the stone steps to her own room she just managed to catch sight of his door closing.
After cleaning him up and re-wrapping his head she had told him to rest and assumed that after the beating he had taken that he would follow her instruction.
Katherine quietly made her way to his door and listened briefly. She turned the latch and boldly entered. Kelvin’s cloak was thrown over his overstuffed bed and he was taking off his gun, hanging the belt over one of his bed posts where he always hung it.
The guns fascinated her. She wondered if she would ever get one. She had studied and practiced healing and medicine since she had been able to read but these ancient metal agents of destruction fascinated her.
“Kat!” Kelvin exclaimed, caught off guard.
Katherine turned her withering gaze away from the weapon and fully onto Kelvin.
“Sleep well?” she asked haughtily noticing that his bandages were completely missing.
“I felt fine and needed to get out of here,” Kelvin responded.
“You’re slurring your words,” she retorted.
“So what?” he said climbing into bed. His room was small in comparison to those of his brothers, a single window, desk, and chest of drawers. The entire room was mainly filled up with his huge bed that he had built for himself on his fourteenth birthday. The carpenters had to bring the wood up and build the frame in the room itself it was so large.
“So I told you to rest Kelly,” she said. “That was no small blow you took.”
“You said I was out for a day and half already,” Kelvin said climbing into bed.
“The sun is coming up, not going down. You are almost eighteen now, but you still seem to go to sleep when the sun comes up instead of when the sun goes down.”
“Speaking of which,” Kelvin said, motioning to the heavy curtains over the window he had forgotten to close.
Katherine closed the curtains and then climbed up onto his bed and sat at the foot.
Kelvin sat up.
“What is it?’ Kelvin asked.
“They took just about everyone out this morning,” she said.
“Yeah, they lost half a day. Do you know what delayed them?”
“No, but they rode like the night chased them this morning. Over the North bridge.”
“Northwatch. . . Julian.” Kelvin sighed.
“No,” Katherine said. “They turned west, I watched them from the tower.”
“Westhold?” Kelvin asked incredulous. “That’s impossible, why would they have to go there?”
“I’m only telling you what I saw, they turned down the west road,” Katherine said.
“The only thing down the west road is Westhold but nothing can get in there,” Kelvin said, rubbing left side of his face.
“My Uncle’s estate is down the west road,” Katherine reminded him. //ABOUT KATHERINES UNCLE//
“I will go talk to my father,” Kelvin said. “I’ll just ask him.”
“They don’t tell us anything Kelly,” Katherine said.
Kelvin threw his sheets back and marched over to the curtains, throwing them back and lighting up the room once more.
“Well, this time I will make them!” he said.
A thud pounded on the door starting them both. Another two thuds quickly followed and then the door opened and Bohrs stuck his head into the room. He glanced around quickly and then looked directly at Kelvin.
“Your father would like to see you,” Bohrs said. Bohrs was one of Kelvin’s personal guards.
Kelvin and Katherine turned and looked at each other and then back at Bohrs.
“Immediately,” Bohrs said, slamming the door behind him.
Katherine knew that Kelvin had rarely been called to his father’s chamber. She wasn’t sure if he had been summoned since he had turned sixteen, and that was not an unexpected calling. That was when he got his gun.
He turned toward Kathrine.
“Oh shit,” he said.
“Good luck,” she said raising her dark eyebrows slightly.
“The night with that, you are coming with me!” Kelvin exclaimed grabbing his gun belt and strapping it on.
“Bohrs wasn’t very clear as to which ‘you’ he was talking to,” Kelvin said.
“He was looking right at you!” Katherine exclaimed as she jumped down off the bed and pressed down her blue dress with her hands.
“You are coming with me Kat,” Kelvin said.
“I am not,” she responded.
Kelvin threw his cloak over his shoulders and adjusted it and then turned back to her.
“Please?” he asked
“Oh for shit’s sake,” she said heading out the door. Kelvin hurried behind her.