EXCERPT: CEASELESS: ESCAPEI panic as I realize they have already figured out that I am gone. I pause and breathe in deeply before I shift into action. There’s no time to pack, for time is of the essence. I quickly pull on my boots and climb down the winding stairs to the bottom of the tower. The guards are headed in the opposite direction of me as I circle around the perimeter. My back presses against the cold wall as I slowly pull my hood up, shielding myself as best as I can. Trying desperately to not make a sound, I carefully head in the direction of the dark forest. There are so many questions spinning around in my head but I have to ignore them all and carry on as planned. This will work. I have to believe that.
Constantly looking over my shoulder, I make my way deeper and deeper into the woods. The horse’s hooves pound the ground in the distance while the hounds bark at their sides. This is not good. They have released the hunters after me. I’m doomed. With a rapidly beating heart, I ignore my fear and push on through the dense bushes and up the boulders covered in algae. I nearly fall a few times and can’t help but smile as flashes of the first time I met Elijah cross my mind. Shaking it off, I continue. I need to focus. This is not the time to walk down memory lane. If I don’t escape, all As my boots sink into the moist ground I see that my footprints are visible, therefore making their ability to track me simpler. I glance around quickly, contemplating. I remove my boots with determination. I have no other choice. I continue on foot through the water and mossy paths. The horses seem to be getting closer by the minute. I hesitantly look back and gasp when I see they are indeed not far behind me. There are several white horses with soldiers on their backs and the hunters running alongside them. All with one thing in mind; get me back or kill me. Neither option is acceptable. I breathe in deeply and turn back, firmly resolved to escape. I continue to make my way up a steep incline until I come across a large tree that has fallen on its side. I try to climb over it quickly but fall into the mud. Damn my clumsiness. As I stand, I hear voices in the distance.
“I see something over there!”
Frantic I turn and run as fast as my feet can take me. The dogs are so loud now and I fear they will find me. I glance over my shoulder to see if anyone is near me but don’t see anything. When I turn forward to continue my trek, I stop dead in my tracks. There before me is a large black horse. My heart sinks as I gasp for air, it’s over. They have found me. I stare blankly at the beast in front of me, certain that death is upon me. A hand reaches down, surprising me and breaking me out of my trance. I look up, finally seeing the rider’s face.
“Elijah,” I whisper.
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