Behind him, there was the slow, easing creak of a bowstring dragged back. Donnel’s shoulders slumped a little, and he spoke without turning around. “You know, just once, I wish I could show up here without you threatening my life.”
“You know, just once, I wish you’d show up here with a bag full of gold and my very own pony. I guess we’ll both be disappointed.” Her voice echoed through the rafters, so he couldn’t be sure exactly where she was making her stance. “What are you here for today?”
“Dad sent me,” he sighed, “People are talking war again, and he says we need to provide a united family front so people will think twice. He wants you to come to the talks today.”
He waited in silence a little while longer, before he heard a sigh. “How long are they supposed to go?”
“All day. But you know me. I made sure that it was really important before I would let him send me to get you. Things are getting bad, Mar, and I really don’t want to go to war.”
Donnel didn’t turn around until he hear the soft touch down of shoes on the ground, until he was sure that Mar had swung down from her hiding spot and that he wouldn’t be privy to her best kept secret. For a woman that he knew had just been climbing around in the rafters of the barn that she liked to call home, Donnel was always impressed on how elegant his sister still looked in her gown, always with her hair down. She had inherited all the royal grace, and their father’s uncanny ability to look regal, even if they were shoveling manure. On the other hand, if Donnel even thought about going for a walk in a garden, then dirt and wrinkles would magically appear on his clothes. He was in a constant battle to not look like someone they just plucked off the street to play at prince. Mar, for all her living in a barn, playing archer in the rafters and utter disdain for sitting in on court talks, would make a far better heir apparent. Too bad Donnel had been born first.
“Come on, big brother,” Mar sighed easily, “Let’s go prevent a war.”