Poster: Nick Douglas
Post # 37
with the characters of
((and may God have mercy on my soul!))
should give it up Nichols and come clean." Of course the man had
NEVER listened to reason.
Brandy was ambling
along, lost in her thoughts and not paying any attention to where she
was going. Devil could have been leading her deeper into the woods or
leading her out. "Michael will be alright, has my locket you know.
My mother will keep him safe. You don't suppose Teri and Kimber waited
for me do you? No, perhaps not." Was she really carrying on a
conversation with Devil? It certainly seemed so.
Kimber knew she was in trouble, serious trouble, but she also knew Terri
needed them all.
Finally outside and at a relative distance, Thomas let go of her arm,
pacing back and forth. "What is hades are you doing here
lass? Don't you know how dangerous it was to come here?..." His
voice was still calm, and that wasn't a good sign.
Kimber loosened those
curled fingers, now to fumble with her gown, oh he was mad, and she did
not know how to answer him.
A guard yelled into the room hearing noises, but lucky for Keifer he
was behind a door, and sent the guard to hell by a simple slit of his
blade to the guards throat.
"It would seem,
My Queen, that what is happening is I've many an uninvited guest into my
home." His gaze swept over Nick first, then to the guard who
had not answered to his command and stood near the once monk-now queen.
Malcolm saw to the guarding of the door so as not to allow any of
Nichols real guards in.
As it was, they were
only talking...voices lowered in threat...but still..only talking.
He was in a pickle now,
he could not return without Kimber with him and he refused to bring her
back. All he could do now was remain outside. He would be able to
surprise any guards from behind when the others made their way out.
By this time Mike
had arrived and was surveying the area waiting on his brother and
"Thomas you go, I shall climb that tree?" She motioned
to the tall tree with a cant of her head.
"No, it is too
late for that now. Just stick close to me alright?"
That familiar nod of
her blonde head was given, it was best she listened to him from now on
Martin had slipped down
the secret passage, meaning to make an entrance into the salon through
the opening behind the tapestry, but when voices were heard, he
lingered, a low growl growing as he realized that the Douglas men had
managed to gain entry, even with Nichols' and his own guards on duty to
guard the place. He took a step back, then turned, remounting those
stairs to the room where he had left the only means to his escape,
Danielle Douglas. If he could manage to get her out, he could
possible even gain a few more coins in ransom. With this plan forming,
he made haste up those dark stairs behind the walls and toward that
room. There was another way out through the walls which lead
directly to the carriage house.
Nichols, you have the nerve to say your sovereign is unwelcome in your
She finally noticed
they'd been walking and they were no closer to the opening from what
they were before.
Nothing upstairs as Keifer walked slowly towards the staircase,
making sure not a sign was given as he began his way down each step.
Brandy could see, it
was dark of course so that was of no help to her at all.
"Devil, I hope we'll be gone from here soon"
Trev had seen to the
loosening of Teri's binding as she now had access to her dagger which
they had not found to remove.
Thomas kept his gaze
trained on the doors for any exits, with Kimber safe now he motioned for
her to move further back into the woods.
Kimber needed not
another glance to know what he wanted, letting her steps guide her way
he had indicated.
Barkley bowed again,
though his gaze had returned to Nick. "No, My Gracious Lady,
by no means did I mean you...but this one...and that..." Almost the
sound of a spoiled child as he indicated Nick and Malcolm with the nod
of head. At least with the Queen amongst them, neither of the
Douglas lads would attempt anything...lethal.
The scrape of metal
against metal as Nick pulled his sword free of scabbard.
"Father...has his Lordship by chance told you a story...which took
place some...ten or so years ago?" His sword was lifted
slowly and the point directed toward Barkley's throat. Just far
enough away that no contact was made, just the threat of the
One final step off the stairway, he heard voices and moved further
along, making sure none heard him.
Malcolm removed his helm then as it was now obvious who he was as the
helm was tossed aside and his sword ready to be drawn.
The waiting was grating
on his nerves, if only he knew what was going on inside. Everything
still appeared to be quiet, there were no guards rushing - no sounds of
Kimber knew there she
was in trouble by Thomas, as she stood still not uttering one word.
Hooves thundered in
the distance drawing closer by the minute, behind them were another
fifty men who had soon taken up the gauntlet in wake of the others as
word did spread in Ballicastle.
She heard that! The
sound of what sounded like an army moving towards them, Devil was
leading her out! She kept silent, letting him lead the way. She'd only
get them lost, it was well known she had a difficult time finding her
own bedroom at Heathfield.
speaking of old times, Nick...back before the war. What story is
this now?" He looked from his son to Barkley's back.
Mike watched and
drew his sword as he gave a sharp heel to his steed sending him out at a
gallop to meet up with his brother. He had not found Thomas yet but had
noticed the holding had been invaded by the Douglas men.
Looking back to Kimber
he forced a smile for her, motioning her once again to keep moving, the
further away she was the better.
Oh Kimber knew that was
not a sincere smile, but not a word was uttered as she continued her
steps further into the woods.
Father. His father was in there, he could hear his voice as his
fingers curled about the sheath of his own sword.
despite the predicament he found himself in. "A boy's dream
world, Your Grace, I'm sure" That smile he had presented to the
Duke when he turned, changed to a scowl as he faced the brothers again.
But then, the fool man had not realized the Queen would see the change
Malcolm secured the door closed as he stepped up just off to the side of
his brother, ready, his hand grasped to the handle, would only take a
moment to unsheathed the sword.
Damn! He could not get in as he turned the knob and shoved
against it with the side of one arm.
"Kimber?" Devil had in fact
led her straight to her friend, laughing softly, she hugged her tightly,
oblivious to Thomas' presence. "You're alright, I knew you
She held onto Brandy
with dear life, not able to let go, she had made just a mess of things.
What in Hades?! Damn
there was another of those nosy creatures, he lifted a hand
calling for silence, it was bad enough the guards knew Kimber was out
here but should they learn another lass was out here there would be
nothing that would stop them from wanting to join in the supposed
Darks quickly darted to
Thomas, what would they do? Now Brandy was here, and before she
let her dearest friend get hurt, she would fight like any man.
That didn't stop her
from talking, she only lowered her voice and grinned. "Did
you have an adventure? Where is Teri? Let's find her, now that you saved
Thomas." Flashing a smile to Thomas. "I'm so glad you're
Brandy." The words were whispered so softly, as darks glanced
quickly where her and Thomas had just come from.
"I cant afford the
two of you being captured so stay close but by gods cease with the
Shut up she did, oh she
was in trouble when they returned home, might as well be a good girl
Well that stilled her
lips, but she made a mental note to yell at Thomas later. After all the
danger they'd put themselves in just to find him.
She couldn't help it,
she had to whisper this to Brandy. "Where is Michael?"
Nick took a step
closer, the sword now more of a threat as it touched the thin layer of
skin where Nichols' pulse throbbed. "Tell of this 'boy's
dream' then, Nichols...let's see if it matches up."
Then Keifer knocked on the door, the secret code of the Douglas'
brothers as young boys.
Nick pulled his gaze
from Nichols with that knock on the door, though only for that quick
moment, then his attention was back on the man. With his father
close to Teri, Mal by the Queen, Nick could concentrate on Nichols.
A brow lifted in surprise as he heard that knock of old and stepped
back, never turning his back as he lifted the latch to let Keifer in.
Keifer walked in, feeling like he owned the place, but he remained
silent, keeping his fingers curled about the sheath, ready for anything.
"I must say, I
know not of what you speak." There was a crack in his voice, that
sword was just...too close.
The tip of blade
pressed against the skin, denting yet not penetrating. "Then
allow me...The young wife and mother, Tara Douglas, flees her castle
with her youngest children when the threat of battle progressed closer
to Tyremoor. A power hungry young Lord had sent out a watch on the
castle. After all, if the Duke lost his sanity, he'd lose his
holding and all that belonged with it." Nick's elbow lifted
as if the strike would soon come, just a push and that blade would slide
cleanly through the man's throat. "So...this power hungry
bastard planned to take that which would have the Duke loved and
thereby...go insane with grief. His wife...his children...possibly
even see his sons on the battlefield disposed of?" Nick
actually grinned to the man, though the expression void of the amusement
which should be seen. "How am I doing so far, Nichols?"
Storm blues darkened as the memories of his lovely mother's death hit
him like a rock.
Brows so knotted in hatred at this point as the glare on Nichols could
kill him alone.
A guard then slipped out to check the progress of Thomas and the lass,
as he moved closer Thomas inched back a few steps, placing his hand on
Brandy's head he shoved her down, then quickly snagged Kimber, pressing
her tightly to him as he kissed her lips.
Her nose scrunched up,
she'd been about to yell. It was a fine time for Thomas to decide to
kiss Kimber, she thought. Her yell died in her throat when she heard the
The guard let out a
chuckle. "Feisty wench I see, you have yet to lay her in the
Thomas' gaze averted
from the guard since he didn't wish the man to see his face.
"What can I say? I like to take my time...."
It took all she had not
to grab him and kiss him again, but she played her part and wiped at her
mouth with the back of one palm. "You disgust me." God
she hated doing this. How she longed to tell him this was what she
wanted, to feel him kiss her, to know he was alive, but she had to play
the part, so she began to punch at him, trying to move out of his reach.
With a shake of his
head and another laugh the guard moved on.
"I shall take that
as a compliment..." He flashed a dashing grin, the guard was
out of sight now and turning to Brandy he frowned, women!
"Forgive me, but it had to be done."
Oh lord she could not
find her tongue, she shook that blonde head trying to clear her senses.
Brandy rose, brushing leaves and wood from
her breeches. Grinning to Thomas. "You're forgiven, forgive you too
for not thanking us for saving ye" And she was once more
hugging Kimber. "I haven't seen Michael yet, I'm going to
find him. I heard horses pass by, thought it might be him and he'd
gotten an army." She started for the clearing, looking back over
her shoulder, whispering. "You coming?"
Ok, Kimber at least had
the sense to keep quiet, perhaps it was Brandy that deserved the beating
and not Kimber. "Would you hush, or is it your intention to see me
ran through? You are not going anywhere, Brandy."
"Brandy, you must
stay here please" She could not bare to lose yet another friend, so
much to tell her.
Well this was just
fine, Thomas was going to be surly! She was quite tempted to torment
him, but would save it for later. Turning back to them, she nodded. Only
agreeing because Kimber had been through enough.
Good, she was going to
behave, he would have hated to tie her to a tree though the thought did
bring a smile to his face.
Whispering to Kimber,
her voice lowered enough so Thomas wouldn't hear her. "What
do you think he's thinking? I don't think I like that smile at all, his
scowl was much nicer."
"Brandy, I am in
so much trouble." She whispered that quickly, but she seem to have
a twinkle in those darks.
Thomas moved back a few
steps till he reached the women. "Brandy, is your horse
Yes! Beast could fight his way out of anything!
Brandy pointed past his
shoulder, the beast was nibbling on some grass, ignoring them all.
As Nick spoke, Barkley just lifted his chin, his breath held in an
attempt not to move against that pressing point of blade.
It was taking all he had not to strike a blow himself, but he stood and
listened to all.
Soon the arrows were
flying keeping the guards on watch along the walls, cowering for
protection as rope ladders were brought up with other arrows. The troops
worked fast climbing, some falling to their deaths as more came.
The Duke dropped his
hand from where it had come to rest on Teri's arm to move closer to his
son and the man he once called friend. "Nick...where did you
Teri passed her
dagger to Trev at that point.
Mike was by Chad's
side as they awaited their men to have the doors opened so they could
storm in with the rest of the troops.
Nick's gaze and that
sword's point remained on Nichols while he spoke to his father.
"From many a dying man, Your Grace, and ... your very own children.
Keifer?" For Keifer had been in the carriage when it had taken that
deadly plunge down the ravine.
The nudge of the dagger
was felt, and the Duke allowed it to slip into his palm, his gaze
switching to Keifer then as his fingers closed around the weapon.
"All is true." Words hissed between clenched teeth.
A nod from Nick.
"He meant to see Mother, Keifer, Quintan and Danielle all done away
with that one accident. Is that not correct, M'Lord?"
Douglas blues narrowed on the man, the title fairly hissed from tightly
Blues looked to the man, daring him to deny it now.
The outer heavy doors
were opened that led into the courtyard as the clashing of swords was
heard in battle as more of Nichols' men were running now to protect
their holding. The commotion did grow loud and shouts could be heard
along with the cries of the dying.
The man laughed, though more of a chuckle considering any louder may
have seen that blade drawing blood. "Your Grace, it seems
your sons have done their research...Lord Nicholas even going so far as
to kill many a man he thought involved. Yet...I am still
alive...if he thought me the one responsible, why would he not kill me
first?" His hand lifted and he attempted to swat aside the
sword, the side of the blade only bit into his hand, the wide gash
across his knuckles nearly severed the fingers from his hand.
The commotion was heard, but he wanted to see this man die.
Mary did keep her eye
on Trev, not knowing how he would respond. She did know of the love
between him and his wife as strong as the bond that had been between her
and Chadrick senior.
He could not help it, that grin came as he watched the blood from
Barkley's very own fingers.
"You know you are a dead man Nichols." It was all he said
through his own gritted teeth.
"And that slight,
Lord Nichols, is about to be remedied." Nick pulled back the
sword, Queen present or not, and prepared to make that final blow to end