As Jacqueline rode alongside D'Artagnan that night, she couldn't help thinking of all of their friends back at the garrison. It would be about supper time right now. Ramon would probably be standing on a table, reciting his latest work; Siroc would be at the far corner at that same table, nose buried in his notebook; and the rest of their comrades would be scattered amongst the tables, chatting and listening to the musicians in the corner of the cafe. Suddenly, Jacqueline shivered; the Cardinal's guards would be there too, watching, waiting for something to happen so they could stir up even more trouble for Duval. But she knew Duval and she knew that, no matter what happened, he would be there for his men. There was nothing to worry about with him in charge. He was the whole reason she was in the forest right now rather than in some cold cell. He had helped her escape, putting both his job and his own life in danger for one of his own.

That just made everything seem worse. Knowing what lengths her friends would go to for her, all the while keeping a secret from them that would cost all of them a lot more than any sentence Mazarin could come up with alone. She knew it was best to keep them in the dark. It was the only way to keep them safe from the Cardinal. And yet, for months it had been eating away at her. At least she had D'Artagnan. No matter how mad she was at him just then, she would never be able to express how wonderful and relieving it was to know she had someone to share her secret with.

She looked over at him and smiled inwardly at the expression on his face. Still wearing that I-can-conquer-anything smile, he looked every bit the cocky nobleman he was trying to portray. She glanced down at herself and the lavender silk dress she was wearing. She had to admit, they both looked the part: he the young nobleman just home from his honeymoon and she his blushing new bride. For what had to be the millionth time that night, Jacqueline found herself once again imagining what it would be like if the pair truly were married. But, once again, she quickly shook the thought from her head. There was no use dwelling on what could never be. And that was true now more than ever. As soon as they reached their destination, D'Artagnan would leave her and return to Paris. She would never see him again, no matter how much he tried to convince her otherwise. Mazarin was a very powerful man. There was no way they would be able to clear her name. She was, and forever would be, a fugitive.