Maddy was elated. She was carefully slinking in-between trees, taking the back way to the training temple…and against all odds, Caleb Davion was slinking along behind her.
“So, have I proven myself worthy enough to know what’s actually going on?” Caleb asked quietly.
“Oh, yes, of course. Sorry. We’re all running away to an old cabin that Beth’s family owns. My family thinks I’m out with Jon’s family for the court vacation, and vice versa. We are going to stay in the cabin as long as possible, or until we find a way to break Liam’s curse. Lucy and Liam will run into town to get us what we need when we need it, but the rest of the time we will be in isolation,” Maddy filled in.
“Very cool.” Caleb answered, “Assuming we don’t get caught as runaway heirs, this will be great. Why are we going to see Master, though?”
“We are going to ask him if he has any last words of wisdom for us. You know, just in case we do something really stupid, maybe he’ll be able to advise us.”
“Speaking of doing something really stupid…” Maddy felt Caleb close his hand around her upper arm, and she turned back to face him. For a brief terrifying moment, Maddy thought Caleb was going to turn them in after all, but then he pulled Maddy in closer and kissed her properly for the first time. Maddy’s brain exploded into completely incomprehensible thoughts of happiness. When they pulled apart, Caleb had a goofy smile on his face, and Maddy was sure she looked equally ridiculous. “Madison Danielle Markson, would you care to commit high treason with me?”
“What are you talking about?”
Caleb shook his head like he was laughing at a joke he had with himself. “What I’m trying to ask in my own little messed up way is, Maddy, do you want to marry me?”
“Want to? Oh, God yes.” Maddy said softly, “But, Jon, and Annemarie?”
“If we are successful with the run away, I will probably never see Annemarie again. And can you tell me that you and Jon are honestly in love? Or were you just getting married because it’s what people in your position do?”
Maddy knew that Jon loved Lucy. Jon knew she loved Caleb. Without ever discussing it, without really meaning to, they had resigned themselves to a friendly, but loveless marriage, because it was easier than raising a fuss.
Slowly, it dawned on her that she didn’t have to marry Jon if they were running away. She was sure that ridiculous grin was starting to bloom on her face again. “Caleb Hayden Davion, I would love to commit High Treason with you. Where can we get married before we have to go into hiding?”
“Master Isoc can marry people, can’t he?” Caleb said, as they began their slip back through the trees towards the temple again.
“Yes, I suppose he can, can’t he? Okay. You ask to speak to Master Isoc privately, and I’ll speak to Jon. I think that I should tell him personally that I’m breaking off the engagement. I mean, I know I’m not going to break his heart, but as his friend…”
“No, I understand entirely.” Caleb said and eased Maddy’s mind.