Chäpter Sëventëen

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Evangeline's P.O.V

"There's only one horse m'lady! And we won't both fit on that one, he's much too small!" Faith's squeaky whisper pulled my attention from Apollo's saddle and the knots I was tying in the ropes.

I turned to face her and tried to call my own heartbeat as I did so. I couldn't take trying to reassure her when I could barely control my own anxiety. I was running from my only home! My only family! And while I didn't necessarily feel badly about my decision, I couldn't get past the fear of being found out before we could get far enough away.

I took in Apollo's size and sighed softly. She was right, we wouldn't both be able to fit on Apollo along with the bag and still move quickly. We would need to horses.

I did a full turn in the stables, my eyes scanning the stalls for a spare horse, but to no avail. There were none other than Apollo. Apollo and... Uneasiness crept into my chest at my new plan, but we didn't have any other choice if we both wanted to get out of here. And Faith undoubtedly did, she practically begged me to let her tag along.

"Go, mount Apollo. Wait for me in the stable yard, but stay beneath the oak tree, there's a bright moon out tonight and I don't need anyone to see you." I spoke in a quiet whisper before handing Faith the burlap sack and running down the expanse of the stall; I just hoped Faith could ride.

I was breathing heavily when I reached the end of the stalls, all of them open except for the last one, just as I had remembered.

Arion stared back at me with eyes as black as his coat, his nostrils flaring as I neared him with my hands held out. He watched me closely and carefully, his dark eyes taking in every movement I made, just like his master.

For some reason a sharp stab of pain pushed into my chest and then in my lower abdomen when I thought of Cayden, his bright blue eyes and dark hair along with his perfect physique...

A low whinny snapped me from my day dream and back to the present. To reality. The reality where I was running.

I looked back up towards Arion, who continued to watch me, almost as if he was impatient and wished for me to hurry.

I swallowed and obliged by pulling open the gate and absentmindedly grabbing the horses reigns, slowly pulling him from his stall.

When I managed to maneuver him next to me, I felt my jaw drop slightly when I came to a conclusion that I should've thought of earlier:
There was no way I could ride him. He was much to tall for me to even consider trying to reach the stirrups and almost to wide for me to get my legs around him.

But I didn't have a choice. We had come much too far for me to simply give in now. No, I wouldn't give in.

With a determined sigh and raised brows, I lifted my left leg as high as I could manage, but was barely able to slide my foot into the metal stirrup. I grimaced at the stretch before wrapping my hands around Arions thick neck for support.

He chortled low on his throat, almost like a chuckle as I hoisted myself up and over his back. My thigh ached painfully at the push, but I pulled with my arms to help me fully mount him.

When I felt myself finally sitting upright, I nearly growled in annoyance. The dress that Faith had put me in was pulled tight against my calves and thighs, the fabric pulled painfully tight against my skin.

This was why I wore boys clothes...

I grabbed the fabric and ripped it from the hem, just high enough that it wouldnt interfere with my riding and slid my right foot into the opposite stirrup. I took a moment to try and balance myself atop the monstrous creature before slowly grabbing the reigns. He was just like any other horse... Just about three times the size that is..

When I refused to move, Arion pranced restlessly, the muscles along his back bunching beneath my thighs. "Oh gods, please don't let me die." I whispered before digging my heels into his sides. I rode him stiffly to the yard before I finally relaxed at the familiar feeling of riding. He wasn't that bad. Just needed a little bit of practice.

I saw Faith's fiery red hair across the grass, Apollo standing quietly beneath the large oak across the way. She looked slightly uncomfortable, like I was, but her dress was also ripped to her knees in preparation for the ride.

I slowly looked left and right across the stall yard before nudging Arion forward. He moved powerfully and swiftly until we stood beside Faith and Apollo. His head came up to where my foot rested in the stirrup of the saddle.

Faith turned quickly at the sound of steps, but calmed as soon as she saw that it was me. I watched as her shoulders relaxed and her hands loosend over the reigns. "Where are we to go m'lady?" she asked, her voice echoing softly through the night air. I turned to look at the expanse of trees and felt a small sadness curl in my chest. As much as I hated the prison that I had grown in, it was still all I knew.

"I know not. Just away from here, where we won't be found. We will figure something out on the road."

She nodded and follewed my gaze across the trees. "I'll miss it to you know... But we really must be going Princess." she said this sadly with an almost caring demeanor, her eyes soft and her lips slightly lifted in a sad smile.

I nodded and wiped at the stray tear that ran down my face before turning to look at her with a smile of my own. "Of course. Let us go, and follow me closely." I pushed confidence into my voice even though all I felt was insecurity. Insecurity and fear.

She watched me for a few more moments, her smooth skin glowing white in the moonlight and her eyes watching me closely. Like she was trying to see through me. But I couldn't let her. No one could be this close to me. It only ensured danger for them.

I forced the smile from my face and turned forward, my shoulders straightening. I adjusted myself on Arions back before nudging him strongly with my heels. He sprang from his still stance and into a full sprint incredibly quickly, the ground soaring beneath us. I leaned forward and nudged him again, trying to urge him quicker. Quicker to get away from my past. Away from what was supposed to be my future.

I heard Apollo right behind us as we flew through the trees, the cool wind blowing my cloak out behind me along with my hair that had fallen from  its previous braids. I pushed back anymore tears that threatened to fall and had to brace myself as heat began to erupt within me again the farther away we rode. I should've stopped with Della before I fled to see what was wrong with me, but we didn't have the time. We still didn't. So I would have to endure the dull pain and just find a doctor wherever we decided to settle.

Arions hooves thudded against the forest floor along with my hearts beats and my minds thoughts. But even past all the noise, I was almost sure I had heard a loud and piercing howl break through the night like a haunting cry.

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