“You are asking the impossible. How am I supposed to sneak her out?” he demands. “She can meet us somewhere, and we can grab her on the way. Either that or I stay, Kade. I won’t leave her behind,” I tell him, snatching my phone back off him. He growls and I turn away from him, walking up the street only for him to grip my arms.
“Fine, fine. What is this plan you have?” he purrs. And I turn in his arms to look up at him. He smiles back at me. “I’m sorry, Love. I didn’t mean to upset you,” he tells me, cupping my face in his hand. *Now tell me what you want me to do,” he says, and I smile. He was going to help me.
The breeze was cool as the day slowed down, and all the servants prepared for dinner and end-of-day tasks.
Tugging the white sheets from the clothesline with Ivy, we folded them, bringing the corners together and placing them in the basket.
Our interactions had been flat most of the day, and she had been quiet for most of it.
I was itching to tell her that Kade agreed and I tried a few times, but then had to stop because someone was always around.
A guard, another servant, so amongst the blowing winds and the flapping sheets, I moved closer to Ivy before reaching over and dropping the pocket watch into the front pocket of Ivy’s apron. She glanced down before putting her hand in the pocket and feeling around for what it was.
“When the big hand is on the twelve and the little is on the seven, I am leaving,” I whisper as she examines it.
She chews her lip before glancing around nervously and I glance around, making sure no one else is around or within earshot. Then I reached into my shirt and produced a small key from my bra that I had to take off Gannon’s key chain when he wasn’t looking, which was a real bitch.
I had to wait for him to shower when he came off shift and I quickly used my key he gave me to sneak into his room before quietly sneaking around and finding the keys.
He had caught me and I told him I was grabbing his laundry, which seemed to get me off the hook.
I drop it into her pocket before quickly retrieving another sheet from the line to fold.
“I stole the key from Gannon. It’s for the laundry door,” I whisper, nodding to the one we just came out of.
“Run along the river and head west. Keep going, and you will find a bridge. Meet us at the bridge.
He said he would help me get you out. You have to be there at 7 PM sharp,” I quickly tell her while glancing around, and she nods.
And for the first time in ages, I saw the sparkle back in her eyes as she tried to hide her smile while pulling another sheet down from the clothesline.
“You convinced him,” she smiles and I smile back at her and nod once.
“Yes, but he said if you’re late, we can’t wait. He said he doesn’t want to be caught waiting outside the town limits,” I tell her.
Looking at the sky, the clouds are moving in dark and heavy and it was going to be one hell of a storm when it hit. I just hope she won’t get caught in the middle of it.
“And you’re sure he won’t tell on me?” Ivy asks.
“He promised me,” I whisper before reaching over and gripping her arm. “We will be free.
Just not the freedom we used to long for, but actual freedom. Freedom to live,” I tell her and tears prick my eyes. “Always and forever,” I tell her.
“More than my life,” Ivy says in return. Those words mean more to us than a simple I love you.
It meant I was still fighting, fighting to remain by her side and her mine.
“More than my life. Always more,” I tell her because the Goddess knows the only reason I am here is because of her, the only reason I still sucked air into my lungs each day, if it weren’t for her I would have been dead the moment I tied that noose and around my neck, if she hadn’t climbed up there with me placing it around hers too, the rope never would have broke, I would be dead. Because the Goddess knows I wanted it to end back then.
Sometimes I still do until I remember I would be leaving Ivy behind.
We finished dragging the clothes off the line and walked back through the laundry doors when something hit me and I shrieked.
I rub the spot on my lower back and growl. Laughter reaches my ears, I spin spotting Peter, the stable hand boy, then I notice a rotten apple splattered at my feet that he threw at me. That rotten little sod.
“Peter, you little shit!” I hissed, dropping my basket and chasing after him, picking up rotten apples that had fallen beneath the trees. I start lobbing them at him. Peter was one of the stable boys.
He was 15 and had a mop of blonde curly hair and was always up to mischief or making a mess any way he could. I shriek when he pelts another my way before throwing another, trying to hit him with the apples while screeching when he tosses one back and ducking.
gather more apples, filling my apron pockets, when Ivy picks one up and tosses an apple.
Peter darts behind the castle wall just as Dustin walks around. The mushy apple smacks him in the face, and he freezes on the spot, stunned for a second before wiping the mush off.
I chuckle, unable to contain it while trying to muffle my laughter. Peter hid behind him before popping his head out and sticking his tongue out at me, and I pin him with a glare. Dustin wipes the mushy apple off his clothes, growling. Bits of apples sticking to his crisp, clean uniform and a chunk was stuck in his stubble.
Dustin’s eyes go to me and I gasp, pointing at Ivy who shakes her head. He raises an eyebrow at her, a devious smiling splitting onto his face.
“You think this is funny, my Queen?” he asks her, a smile on his lips. I snicker before stopping when he walked over to the apple tree, making me squeal and I rush toward Ivy before using her as a shield. Dustin picks up a gross-looking apple that was nearly liquified in his hand.
Dustin tosses the apple in the air a couple of times, letting it break up more before he laughed and threw it. Ivy shrieks and ducks, falling on top of me only to hear him gasp, and Peter burst out laughing, holding his tummy, and pointing behind us.
Turning my head, I look behind us to see Clarice covered in the rotted mush. We both tense, waiting for the scolding as she steps closer, examining her soiled apron.
She looks back up, and her eyes go to us on the ground where we are and both of us point to Dustin standing by the apple tree with Peter. We look in their direction to find Dustin pointing the blame at Peter.
Clarice glared, and we all froze in place as the old woman stalked toward us before ripping her apron off.
“Apple war it is then,” she huffs, a look of wild excitement on her face. Then she runs over and scoops up some apples. I giggle before jumping up and joining the fray.