He would never admit it if you asked, but Daxton found something relaxing about being chained up in the Red Queen’s dungeon. There was regular, if boring, food, a nice hour of full sunlight every day, and the expectations were amazingly simple: all he had to to was continue to say “no” to the Red Queen, which wasn’t as hard as she’d like to think it was, and the food would keep coming and the bucket-of-tepid-water-baths would keep him from stinking too bad for her royal nose.
It wasn’t an ideal situation, of course, but Daxton had found that there were few situations in life that were ideal. Farmers were at the whim of the weather and the magic storms. Merchants were at the whim of their supply and the demand. Daxton was either at the whim of his Ducal father, or he was at the whim of the Red Queen.
The Red Queen had informed Daxton that his father had hired mercenaries to rescue him, and had then, rather cheerfully, told him every time they failed. Daxton had been Outraged Of Course and secretly a little bit relieved. It was thus with some dismay that he found his early-afternoon sunbath being interrupted by a few very quiet thuds from outside his cell door.
He sat up, because it wouldn’t do to be rescued looking like he wanted to be here, but kept his legs in the sunbeam. The stone walls were cold, and he liked the warmth.
In a surprisingly short time, the door to his cell swung open. A merc – the light leather armor was good-quality but not government-issue and almost hid the fact that she was, under it all, probably a woman – slipped through, closing the door almost all the way behind her.
A woman. Well, that explained one of the things the Red Queen had been joking about. And his father did, after all, have other sons. “I’m very grateful for your rescue-“
A gloved hand slapped over Daxton’s mouth before he could get to the but. “Speeches later. Unchaining and running now.”
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