The Girl in Cell 3 (Triple Witching Hour)

Every day SABLE talks to her knight in shining armor, EREN. She says sweet words, tugging at his heart, hoping to steal it. But there is always a barrier between them - a prison cell door. EREN has struck a deal: keep her locked up and his little brother will be out of harms way.

Her cell is inescapable and her placement on death row rises fast. She aims to seduce him and have him break her out. But when truths and lies become one, can she deceive his heart without breaking her own?

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61. Chapter 60 - Marcus

Marcus went back his room and rummaged in his pockets. He drew out the crumpled up order he had received from Reinhard yesterday; the written order that instructed him to move to Svenja to a new cell. He sat down and examined the handwriting. Sharp Ls and Os that could in some cases by mistaken for an I. He looked at the bottom of the order — Reinhard’s signature. An elegant R with a long E and afterwards only the H stood out. 


It shouldn’t be too difficult to forge. 


Marcus estimated that in the darkness of the dungeon, most guards wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. 


He got out a clean scroll and quill. One letter at a time. 


He frowned. Every knight was required to be able to read and write; a knight had to be able to issue written orders and be able to read them when received, after all. Otherwise, the battlefield would turn into chaos. 


One letter at a time. His hands grew sweaty. It had been a while since he had written with a quill and even longer since he had to forge someone’s handwriting. 


Marcus thought of Anna. Was she able to read and write? Most likely not. The only ones to receive proper schooling were the nobility, the royal family and those selected to work close to the command center in the military. He smiled slightly. Even without ever reading a book, she was able to see through the smoke and mirrors of life and act on what wanted the most in the world. 


Not driven by honor, but driven by selfishness. 


Perhaps that was a better way of life. 


It was hard to say. 


Marcus crumpled up the forgery he was attempting and started anew. Halfway through the order and the handwriting had changed back into his own.


How different Anna was from Svenja, he thought. How much easier life would be if he could return Anna’s feelings. He could live together with her at the inn, and when they had saved enough money, they could open their own business somewhere in King’s Pride using the years of experience they each had in their respective crafts. They would work together, live together. Hand in hand they would brave the waves of difficulties the vast ocean of time would throw at them. And then they would have children, perhaps one boy and one girl, or two boys, or maybe two girls, and they would live together, helping each other, raising each other. Then when the children left to explore the world on their own, they would settle in for their twilight years and reflect on life and how it might have gone differently, but it did not, and amidst the many regrets that one gathers in adult life, they would be glad that despite it all, they had found each other.
Marcus stopped writing. Yes, that would be a quiet and ordinary life. A good life. 


Suddenly, a younger Anna came to his mind. She stood in the corner of the room, watching him with a mocking smile on her lips. It was the Anna he had first met when he came to King’s Pride several years ago. At that time, Anna had said, “Men are all fools,” and none of the men present dared to disagree with her, but Marcus argued with her and in the end he realized he was a fool for doing so. 


Maybe I am a fool, he thought. A life with Anna was easy and obvious. He could see the beginning and the end. Anna was a good woman. A woman of integrity. A woman with a will that could fell mountains and tenderness to warm a broken heart. A woman who would stay by his side even if the world did not. 


He thought of Svenja. Cold, calculating, her golden eyes peering into his soul. He could not read her, he could not grasp what motivated her to act beyond the simple desire to escape the prison. 


And yet — it was the thought of her lips that made his heart beat faster. 


Men are all fools. 


The forged order was almost complete. Only the signature remained. 


Anna was right after all. 


He took a breath, dipped the quill in the ink and carefully copied the style of the R in the signature. It didn’t end up quite identical to Reinhard’s R, but it was good enough. In the barracks, no one would suspect forgery anyway. 


Never forget that we are your true brothers—your brothers in arms.


Marcus felt the cold hand of guilt reach for his heart. He had shared many drinks with Eren and the others. They had cried together, trained together and talked about the young maidens they saw that day.


But all that changed when the prison for the witches was established. Everything was under a veil of secrecy. The darkness of the prison had swallowed everything whole. 


Reinhard. 


The signature was complete. 


Letting out a deep breath, Marcus inspected his work. It wasn’t perfect — far from it. There were many odd letters where he had slipped back into his own handwriting and many words that were a poor imitation and resulted in being barely legible. 


But no one in the barracks expected forged orders. There was a sense of trust that bonded everyone together. It simply wasn’t done. 


He let the ink dry, got up from the desk and put on his uniform. He polished his sword. He might need it. 


He shoved the scroll into his breast pocket and went out into the night. 


Anna watched him leave. She did not call out to him or ask him where he was going. 


Men were all fools after all. 

 

————

 

Men are all fools ^^” Do you agree? ;) 

- CK Bachman

 

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