She looked at herself in the mirror. The dress showed off enough cleavage that she might be distracting. Gazing at the reflection she reached up and let down her hair. Yes, that was better. She wanted to look tempting this evening; her mission was not going to be an easy one.
She walked down the stairs from her humble apartment and prepared the food and drink. She knew he liked his ale, and so she put extra potion into it, and then added a bit to the top of some sticky buns. The sweetness would mask the sleeping potion. A few weeks ago, she would have relished the thought of the priest rotting in a jail cell, and now she was going to aid in his escape. She had received word from the Tudor Queen that the priest was vital to her plans and his escape from prison must be accomplished.
As she rode to North March, she was ever vigilant of being seen. Dom, the Smith concerned her the most. She had to get by the smith in order to make her way up to the castle. By the grace of the Goddess, the smith was not around and she rode into the town square undetected. She tied her horse at the stable. Drago would fetch it for her later. She walked up into the castle.
“Who is there?” demanded Gregor.
“It is me, Lady Desire” she replied. “I have some food for you Sir.”
“Lady, there are to be no visitors,” he called out in a gruff voice.
“Gregor,” she said tenderly, “I know what you must be going through, the exhaustion you must feel, and I’ll bet you have not eaten. Open the door. I have some food and drink for you.” She waited for his reply and for a few moments received nothing but silence.
“Leave the food and step away from the door.”
She placed the basket of food on the floor and moved back against the far wall. He opened the door wide enough to take the basket, and only briefly looked up at her.
“Thank you Lady,” he said. “Now leave at once.” With that he closed the door.
“So much for all of this preparation,” she fumed to herself. She headed down the stairs, making a point of making enough noise to wake the dead. At the bottom she paused and then tiptoed back up the stairs. She waited, standing silently outside the door. It took a while. The potion was made to be slow acting so no one would be suspicious.
“What the…” she heard, and then a thud on the floor. Recognizing that as her queue, she opened the door ever so slightly, peering in. Gregor was passed out on the floor, the bottle of ale on the floor where he dropped it, and the food half eaten. She walked over to him and nudged him with her foot. She knelt down to make sure he was still breathing.
“He is going to have a terrible headache in the morning,” she thought. She opened his sporran and removed the keys. She smiled, resisting a wicked urge to lift his kilt and peek. She looked at the priest and tossed him the keys.
Barnard opened the cell and dragged Gregor into it, locking the door. “I am sorry Gregor you do not deserve this,” he said as he left.
Desire looked at the priest’s bloody bandages on his hands. There was no time for that now. They had to get out of here. Desire called upon the elements and cast a shroud of invisibility around herself. They went separate ways, Desire entering the castle and down the stairs to the dungeon, and then into the caves below. Barnard climbed down the wall with the rope that Ercila had placed there and ran to the bakery, opening the trap door which Drago had unlocked into the caves. There they met again and found Drago waiting with their horses.
“What took you so long woman?” Barnard asked. Desire ignored it, mounted her horse, and the three rode out of the caves beneath the town square together. They rode through the Debatable Lands to South March. Falcon had left clothing at the inn for the priest. Desire was exhausted and just wanted to cry, but held a brave front. She wanted food, ale, and a bath and did not care in what order.
At the inn, Desire unwrapped the dirty bandages from Barnard’s hands. They were deep. She did her best to clean them and sent Drago out to find the old man to come and heal them. As she was washing the blood from her hands, she choked back her tears, not wanting anyone to see them.