“Come out of the bushes, Teague.” Morven yelled. I knew the name, of course, but had never set eyes on his sister before. She left the cover of the vegetation and looked me up and down. Her gaze landed on my neck and the absence of the distinctive tattoo most Durotriges folk bore. How did he know it was her? If he knew that she was following him, why had he led her straight to me?
There were a few instances that crossed my mind as to why he’d want our families to know about our secret assignations, none of which would turn out in our favour. As much as I wanted to officially bind with him, I knew that it could never happen. We were at the mercy of our kin. Neither of us could choose partners out of love.
As realisation clicked inside Teague’s mind, she gasped. “You’re with a Dumno.” Her voice dropped to a shocked whisper. “I’m telling father.” Her pinched face and intense glower were almost comical. If she was not in a position to make life even harder for us both, I would have suggested that he ignored her threats. As it was, she was reported to be their Chief’s favourite child, and as such, she wielded great power.
“You’ll get banished for this, or worse.” She added, looking mightily pleased with her discovery. “He might barricade you in the sea cave and watch your last breath burst in your lungs.” I could imagine younger siblings using this situation as a whip with which to beat him, but not a full-grown woman. She appeared to be enjoying every moment of him squirming. His mouth gaped open in readiness for a sharp retort, but his wits left him before he could think of anything to say.
This was his dilemma to deal with, not mine. I had my own kin and his men to worry about. Morven’s position was now as dire as my own. I had to rely on his ability to persuade his sister to hold her tongue if we were to avoid punishment from both our Chiefs.
If I could join up with the coastal path further ahead, there was a chance that I could stop Cador before he approached the bay. My reaching him was all that stood between our men and total carnage.