“My son.” Peter looked at the baby boy. He stood over the white ornate crib.
Margrite closed the door quietly behind them. She was still in her dark traveling cloak.
Peter was in a long black coat with a hood. The hood was down, currently and his dark ponytailed hair hung into it.
The room was only lit by two candles. One on the dresser above the infant’s crib and the other on the bedside table.
Renatta snored softly in the bed. Her skin was white as a fresh snow fall. Her eyes, however, were surrounded by dark circles.
Peter whispered to Margrite, “What of her father?”
“He was angry at first, but quickly accepted the situation. He had an agreement with Lord Warren for her to marry, but knowing she is no longer a virgin…”
Peter, eyes still on the infant, nodded. “Is that Wallis?”
“Yes. He was here just after the birth and she entered her coma while he was alone with her.”
The baby giggled and tugged on Peter’s finger.
In spite of his feelings, Peter smiled at his son. “Did Wallis do this to her?”
“I don’t know.”
“Best guess?” He glanced up at Margrite.
“I do not know how, but I think he did something in his anger. Poisoned her, perhaps.”
“His pride was hurt knowing she was not to be his alone, so he hurt her.” Peter left the crib and walked to Renatta’s bedside. He crouched and pushed some brunette locks from her face. He pulled the hunter green blanket up over her shoulders. “Do you trust her physician?”
“No, his hands shake. I also have reason to believe Wallis has him paid for.”
Peter kissed Renatta’s forehead before standing. “In my place, what would you do?”
Margrite bit her lip. “Jordan, on your ship, is a physician, yes?”
Margrite’s eyes went wide and with a slight shrug she answered, “Jordan is a bit forward to me and yet he would still be more trustworthy.”
Peter smiled and folded his arms. “Thank you, Margrite. Will you come with us?”
Margrite took a moment, obviously a question she had not yet considered. “I would need to collect some things from my home, but yes.”
“My plan should allow for that. You take the child and I take Margrite, now. We have enough time to dawn that you can get back for your things. We’ll ask Thoms to come back to help you.” Peter’s eye caught the giggling baby again. “What is my son’s name?”
Margrite shrugged again. “She had yet to name him. I believe she was leaning towards Peter, however.”
Peter chuckled. “No child should be named after me.” He glanced around the room. “We must fly now. Do you require anything from here?”
Margrite opened the dresser and pulled a few blankets out for the child. “No, everything we need I can get from my home.”
Peter walked back to the bed and lightly rolled Renatta so he could wrap the blankets around her. He slipped his right arm around her and pulled her over his shoulder.
“Is there no gentler way?” Margrite asked as she lifted the boy from the crib.
“Of course there are. However, if we run into resistance I need my hands at least somewhat free.”
Twenty minutes later, the couple leaned against the town wall. Peter, with Rentatta over his shoulder, and Margrite, with the baby at her breast, stood quietly trying to catch their breath. They had been able, so far, to escape the palace and wind their way along the dirt alleyways and streets without running into a single awake guard.
The night was crisp giving breath visibility. In addition there was a slight fog drifting over the walls into the town.
The couple started moving north along the seaside wall. The horses were hidden a short distance from the town entrance, an arch with no gate. As the couple approached they could see two guards standing at the centre of the road through the arch.
Peter whispered, “There are four guards around the arch at all times. Each will carry two pistols, so we have eight shots to avoid. Wait here and I will be right back.” He put Renatta on the ground and slipped into the darkness.
Margrite waited with the baby now sleeping against her chest. Her heart pounded with nerves and excitement.
Peter returned after a few moments. He slipped Renatta back onto his shoulder and stood, motionless, at his vantage point.
Margrite whispered her question, “How are we to…”
An explosion ripped through a storefront just down the street from the arch. The building was chosen as it was empty and would make for more fireworks than damage.
All four guards stepped from the arch to see.
Peter lay his left hand on Margrite’s shoulder. “Wait for it.”
The guards all moved towards the explosion. This was a big event for their sleepy town.
Margrite and Peter ran as fast as they could from the shadowed alley. They crossed the street and got to the arch by the count of ten. They were through without hearing anything other than one guard’s voice faintly yelling, “Halt!”
Margrite was out distancing the pirate down the road towards the hiding place where Thoms waited with the horses. She sprinted along the road. Her heart lifted as she rounded the corner and saw Thoms step from the bush ahead. Her heart quickly jumped back to nerves when she noticed his pistol was rising in his right hand and aiming at something behind her.
Thoms had stepped out as soon as he saw Margrite rounding a corner of trees. He had his pistol out in case things went bad. He saw Peter following about 30 paces behind her. The shadows of three others sprinting behind Peter made Thoms realize things were about to go bad.
Margrite passed him and glanced back just as the first shot was heard. In near slow motion, she watched Peter’s head whip forward and his body pitch towards the ground. Renatta’s body was thrown airborne above him.
“NO!” Thoms scramed and pulled the trigger on his first pistol and drew his second.
One guard immediately went down, but two more shots were fired from them.
Margrite watched as Renatta’s left arm snapped forward and then her head showing where both shots had gone. Margrite could not even hear her own scream amidst the fog that she now felt enveloping her.
Thoms took out a second guard with his last shot.
The third guard turned and ran back towards the arch.
Thoms ran to where Peter and Renatta lay. “No,” he whimpered as he crouched over them.
Margrite followed carrying the baby, now awake and not happy with the noise disturbing his sleep. “Graham?”
Thoms’ hand checked for a pulse on both bodies. The pools of blood forming around both of their heads were enough evidence, however. He looked up at Margrite and shook his head. “We must go before the reinforcements come.” He pulled both of Peter’s pistols and a few other things off the body.
Margrite could not move. She was afraid of falling.
Thoms stood and pulled her back to the bush. Crossing through the bushes, they found the three horses they had left tied to the trees. He helped Margrite up on to her horse with the infant. He then climbed on his and took the reigns of the third. They rode quickly through the darkness to where the ship was anchored.
Jordan was standing guard, as usual, when they arrived. Seeing only two return, he sounded his bell three times. Without so much as a greeting, he helped Margrite off her horse and sent her up the ships gangplank.
Thoms dismounted and handed his reigns to Jordan. His glare answered any question Jimmings might have thought to ask.
Within five minutes, the anchor was up and they set sail.