Deanna went through her room for stuff that she thought might come in handy at some point, stuffing the items into a saddlebag she'd found.
There was a knock at her door and she jumped. She hid the saddlebag under some pillows on a chair and opened the door.
* * *
They followed him down the halls, past the prisoners reaching through their cell bars, grabbing at them, crying out for help and some crying out for blood.
Cayle walked next to Cadman in the lead and, after several minutes of searching and finding nothing, finally broke the long silence.
"Are you sure you know where this is?" He asked. The moment the words left his lips, he wished he'd never spoken them.
"Of course not! You think I'm a bloody bat that can see in the dark?" Came the reply. "All these hallways look the same! How am I supposed to know which way is which?"
"Um, gentlemen." Bart said.
"Well why didn't you leave a trail for yourself?" Cayle demanded, his temper flaring.
"GENTLEMEN!" Bart yelled, startling the arguing men into silence. "Thank you; now if you're done arguing, I believe Finn has just found our way out."
Cayle and Cadman shared a look before following Bart's gaze to where Finn was kneeling next to a hole in the bricks. He was wearing his pride on his face as clear as day.
Cayle knelt down beside Finn and looked out through the bricks. It was a tunnel. He glanced at Finn, who was still grinning.
"Oh shut up." He said.
Cadman knelt next to them and peered into the darkened tunnel a moment before reaching behind him and taking the lantern from Bart and crawling into the tunnel.
"You go next, Finn, then Bart, then you, Alroy; I'll go last." Cayle said. Finn nodded and followed Cadman inside, followed by Bart and Alroy.
Cayle took a look around him at the barren dungeon, the criminals roaring at each other through their bars. How had he not heard all of this racket when he was in his own cell? He shook his head and crawled after the others through the tunnel.
* * *
A guard greeted her when she opened the door.
"My Lady," He said respectfully, bowing his head slightly. "The Duke requests your presence."
"Alright." She said, stepping out into the hall and closing the door behind her. "Lead the way."
He bowed and turned on his heel and lead her down the long halls until they reached the first room she ever saw in this castle.
The Duke was sitting on the throne, just like the last time she'd seen him. But what held her attention was what was in front of him, or rather who.
The maid who had shown her the dungeons was kneeling in front of the throne, head down and shoulders shaking as she sobbed, pleads escaped her lips between her trying to catch her breath.
The Duke, who looked like he was enjoying the sound of the maids sobs, looked up when she approached the throne. He smiled at her.
"Welcome, Lady Deanna." He said.
"What's going on?" She asked.
"Oh nothing, just the norm inside the castle." He said and snapped his fingers and two guards approached the sobbing woman and half carried, half dragged her out of the room.
Deanna saw one of the men whisper to her when he was out of the Dukes sight. He was comforting her.
She returned her gaze to the Duke, who was still smiling at her.
"How are you enjoying your stay here?" He asked.
"It's fine." Deanna responded.
"Everything is satisfactory?" He pressed.
"I suppose." She responded, her suspicions being roused.
"Good." He said.
"Why?" She asked. The smile was becoming unnerving.
"I was hoping you would consider extending your stay." He said.
"Thank you, but no thank you." She said. "If that's all, I think I'd like to leave now; thank you for your hospitality, but I really must be off."
His smile slipped. "I don't think you understand,"
"It wasn't a request."
Her eyes widened and she stared at him before turning on her heel and making a run for the door. Two guards stepped in her way, blocking the door, she spun again and found that there were now guards on every exit.
She looked around a moment longer before turning her eyes back to the Duke, who was smiling again.
"How could I refuse?" She said.