As Conwyn Fyrehart entered the room, the first thing he noticed was that his children were there.
'Why are my children here?' he asked. His question was directed at the guards but it was Carla who stepped forward.
'I thought it would be useful to them to watch what happens to tresspassers.'
Con thought for a moment and then-
'No. They need to leave.' he decided.
'We should stay. We do need to know what happens to tresspassers.' his youngest child spoke up.
'You heard your father, Jenna. You may watch it when your older.' said Tornei.
'It's not fair.' sulked Jenna.
'Come on, Jenna.' Con watched as the tutor grabbed Cadmys and Jenna by their wrists. Only Dalya stayed behind.
'Could I watch, Father? I am fifteen.' she asked.
Con looked at his wife. He saw the answer his Tornei's eyes. He turned back to his eldest child. 'I'm sorry, Dalya. Depending on what he has to say, this could end up being something I don't want you to see...yet.'
'Yes, Father.' Con watched as Dalya followed Carla and her siblings. She left with no argument, like Dalya always did. Con half-hoped she would argue, but of course, she didn't. At times, Con found himself wishing she was more like Jenna, or Jenna was the eldest. He turned his attention back to the elf.
'What is your meaning for being here?' Con asked.
Ignoring the question, the elf- Bowen the guard had called him- asked his own question. 'What did you mean when you said to the ginger wolf, depending on what I say, this could end up being something you don't want her to see. You're not gonna kill me, are you?'
'That depends if you answer the questions or not,' said Con. 'And if you answer them correctly,' he added.
'Prince Allyn told me to look out. Before you ask, I don't know what for. I heard he visited you earlier.' it wasn't a question.
'Prince Allyn? He's the elf-king's son.' said Con.
'Yeah. King Corym. He wants to take this place, once he's became King of Newearth. Dunno why. Nothing exciting happens.' Bowen looked around the room.
'You're not going back to Elflees,' Con began.
'I gathered that much.' Bowen interrupted.
'You're going to work for me now.' There were gasps all around the room, but it was Tornei who spoke up.
'You can't keep him here. Word will soon go to the elves in Elflees. Once they hear you've captured one of their elves, they'll take Berkeville. You know how proud elves are.
'Yer Queen's right, Your Grace,' Slatefort spoke up. 'The elves have more men there than we do in this village.'
Con thought about what Tornei and Slatefort had said. But his decision was final. 'Put him in chains. I'm sure you'll find him some jobs to do.' the guards did as he commanded and locked iron chains to his legs. Con walked out of the main hall.
It was dark a few hours after that. It had started getting dark earlier and earlier. Winter was definitely around the corner.
'You think I've made the wrong choice.' said Con, as he was getting ready to sleep.
Tornei unbraided her hair. 'Yes, I do,' she said.
'I couldn't just send him back, Tornei.' Con knew he sounded angry, and he was. It was bad enough he doubted himself. He didn't need Tornei to as well.
'Why couldn't you?' Tornei stood up from her chair. 'All of us practically told you to, maybe only two spoke out but the others thought it. You know how many lives you've put in danger because of your stupid decisions? What about the bears down the road? Bea has only just given birth. What about your own children? You want their lives to end at eleven, thirteen and fifteen? And what about me?' there were tears in Tornei's eyes now. Tears of anger or of fear, Con couldn't decide. 'You heard what that Prince Allyn said, and elves aren't ones to go back on their threats.'
What Tornei had said had finally sunk in. He stood up and pulled her into his arms. 'I won't let anything happen to you, Tornei.' he told her.
Tornei pulled herself out of his embrace. 'But you already have. With your stupid decisions.' she walked away from him then. 'Go, Conwyn.'
'Tornei-' Con began.
'Go!' he could hear the tears in her voice and desperately wanted to take her back in his arms again, but he willed himself to stay where he was.
'Where?' he asked.
Not even turning to look at him, Tornei said-
'Anyway. Downstairs. You can even sleep in the forest for all I care.'
Realising there was nothing more he could do, Con left the room. Another argument had broken out and this one didn't end with angry sex which Conwyn Fyrehart actually wished for as ending like this was harder than anything he'd ever experienced.