1) The Alliance
“Do we all know what we are doing?” Devlin asked looking around at the faces of his friends and co-conspirators. On the steps leading to Guineviva’s home were three other men, Nick, Benedict and Ragnar. All members of the Unther Cabal and all men who signed the petition to have Ana put on trial. They nodded their agreement and pulled out the weapons. They were prepared to turn on Ana if she were to have another psychotic break. Tybalt and Kim stayed back at the manor with Noralie. If the worst should happen Devlin wanted Noralie as far away as possible after Anaxandra’s psychotic break the day before everyone was apprehensive about confronting her. The plan was to ask her to leave and if she refused, they would use force to get her out of Unther. Whether or not anyone believed her about being the Nenavysta Hradi was still unclear but she threatened to murder again. No one wanted the weight of a life on his conscience.
Devlin opened the door to the house and stepped into an empty front room. A stout woman who shockingly resembled Guineviva stepped from around the counter and looked from man to man slowly and uneasily.
“We are closed today, if you want to buy some bread come back tomorrow.” Devlin pulled a gun out of his coat pocket, just enough so that the woman covered her mouth to stifle a gasp.
“Where is Ana,” Devlin asked.
“I don’t know who you people are but I want you to get out of my sister’s house now,” she said in stern voice she mastered after twenty years of watching over the three most spoiled children in all of Existence.
“Who are you?” asked Devlin.
“My name is Sonja and Guineviva is my sister. I want you four to leave immediately,” she said firmly.
“Sonja I don’t think you understand the situation, Anaxandra Tanner is armed and dangerous it is our job to remove her from Unther now before she hurts someone else,” piped up Nick who was more Tybalt’s friend than Devlin’s. He was an oaf and completely devoted to Tybalt, more so than Ragnar was to Devlin. He did not even try to hide his gun he held it at his side pointing it just high enough that he could shoot someone in the shins if he were not careful.
“I highly doubt it. Who are you people?”
“Well, look who it is.” Sonja and the men turned to see Ana leaning against the doorframe leading to the kitchen. Her hair was a mess of tangles on top of her head sticking out in every direction, eyes only half open and clothing still damp and sticking to her skin. “My big brother and the cavalry so what have I done wrong now?”
“Ana go upstairs,” Sonja ordered her but Ana ignored her. Sonja could see it in the girl’s eyes that she was intoxicated. She hiccupped and stumbled to the stairwell for support. She looked around but her eyes were glazed over and Sonja wasn’t sure what Ana thought she saw before her
“I fell asleep, I think, a few hours ago, and I woke up a few minutes ago,” tears were rolling down her cheeks. “What could she have possible done in that time to warrant this, Devlin?”
Devlin had planned in his mind what he would say to Ana when he got there. He’d planned to tell her to leave, that she was a danger to herself and to other people, and that they didn’t want her around. He planned to make a clean cut. They would pay for her train ticket out of Unther and he would not leave her out of his sight until she was safely on the train and it was pulling out of the station. If she was going to get upset, he had expected to see anger or violence. The crying caught him completely off guard.
“Ana go upstairs now,” Sonja snapped.
“What happened? Is Tybalt dead yet? Did she go back to finish him off? I’m surprised he’s lasted this long. Or is it something else she’s done?” Ana’s words were slurred and hard to make out. Ragnar couldn’t help but compare her to a baby bird that some cat had caught and the left to suffer, he also didn’t feel comfortable thinking they might be the cat.
“Anaxandra Tanner, you are being exiled from Unther. You are to get onto a train going in where ever you would like to go, but you are not allowed to come back.”
She laughed through her drunken tears, “Don’t bother I’m leaving tomorrow anyway since you hate me why should it matter if everyone else in Existence does. I mean Nenavysta wants to drag all of you into her shit so consider it a favour. Accessory to murder does not look well on a résumé.”
“What are you talking about?” Ragnar asked.
“Ana, do as I say and go upstairs,” Sonja said feeling the colour drain from her face. She was too scared of what else Ana might say while intoxicated.
“Nenavysta Hradi wants your help murdering Prince Kaspar. She doesn’t trust Cyril to provide trustworthy associates for her so she was hoping you’d be up for the job. All you have to do is drive the getaway vehicle and help man a boat until we are a few kilometres out at sea then we dump the sad suck and go home. I don’t care either way I mean Cyril thinks he loves me but if his soldiers kill me at least that’s one problem dealt with.”
For a moment, everyone just stood there gaping at Ana.
“Why?” Sonja whispered.
“Why do you think, Cyril wants a revolution Nenavysta just sort of figured you guys wanted one too so she wanted me to ask nicely.”