Keara urged her horse onward. Next to her rode Tully. She wanted to talk, but every time she got ready to, the words would disappear. The silence between them was deafening although throughout the ride one could hear the birds chirping and the leaves crunching as they fell from the trees.
"Do you think Conor's worried about us yet?" Keara asked. "We've been awhile and all we have to show is a sack."
Tully shrugged. "Who knows?" he said. "Hopefully he knows I'll keep you safe in case the Romans come for you."
Keara smiled. "That's sweet," she admitted. "If I were a better fighter, I'd promise to watch your back as well."
"No need," he declared, "I think I can watch your back and mine just fine." He wore a cocky grin on his face.
"Confidence is a good thing," Keara retaliated. "Being cocky is an altogether different story."
Longinus stepped in front of the horses and startled them. They bucked their unsuspecting riders off.
"What do you want, prophet?" Tully angrily asked as he stood up.
Brushing her back off, Keara, too, stood. She gave Longinus an evil look. "I told you to stay away," Keara blurted out. "Is that why you ordered Gavin dead?"
Longinus cautiously stepped towards the pair. "I swear to you I had nothing to do with it," he replied. "I'm as upset as you are about all this, sweet child." He reached out to touch her face.
Keara swatted his hand away. "You could never be as upset as I am over the passing of Gavin," she shouted, "He was the only family I had other than my children for two long years. No words of yours can make up for the fact that he's now dead."
"Let me explain," Longinus begged. "I had nothing to do with your friend's death."
"But you know who did," Keara retorted, "and you won't tell me the name of his murderer."
"It's not worth your time to seek revenge," Longinus said.
"Come on, Tully," Keara declared as she mounted her horse. "The others are waiting."
Tully dutifully mounted his horse and glared down at Longinus. "Don't bother Keara again," he menacingly announced before riding off.
Longinus watched the pair ride off. "It was Diana," he whispered to himself, "Diana ordered Gavin's death in revenge, sweet child."
Conor stood outside by the waterfalls. The waiting was slowly killing him inside and he couldn't think of anything but Keara and her safety. Conor decided that a little fresh air would help and went outside only to realize it wasn't doing him any good. He paced the area and waited. Keara and Tully soon rode up.
Keara dismounted and walked the horse over. "Been waiting long?" she asked. Behind her was Tully. He took the reigns of her horse and led both horses away leaving Keara and Conor alone.
Conor waited until Tully was out of earshot. "Don't you ever scare me like that again," he said. "I was worried sick about you."
Keara started laughing at Conor. "I was with Tully the entire time, silly," she said. "He wouldn't let anything happen to me."
"I still worried," pouted Conor. "I have that right."
Keara wrapped her arms around Conor's neck. "Oh," she cooed, "so you do care about me, sweet Prince."
Slightly surprised, Conor rested his hands on Keara's hips. "Give me time," he replied, "and someday I might be able to say that to your face."
"You just did," joked Keara. "Indirectly, of course."
"Of course," he rejoined. Conor wrapped his arms around her waist now and held her tightly.
"Someday I might want to hear you say you care about me -- as more than a friend," Keara expressed, "but not today."
Conor cocked his head. "Why not?" he asked in confusion.
Keara pulled Conor's head closer to her face and gently kissed his lips before backing away. "Gavin's dead," she solemnly replied. "I need time to mourn." Keara slipped out of Conor's grasp. "I have a feeling, however, that it won't be long before my life returns to its natural state again -- with the help of all my new friends."
"That's what we're here for," Conor affirmed with a nod and a slight smile on his lips.
Keara bit her lower lip to hide her own smile. "Fergus says I need to take care of you, Conor," she declared. "He says you don't smile enough. I'll make you a deal. If you take care of me and keep me happy, I'll do the same for you."
Conor took Keara's hand in his. "I'll do my best," he replied.
"Then I'll do my best as well," Keara said. "Let's get inside. Gavin deserves a proper burial."
"Yes, he does," Conor added. "Let's give it to him then."
Special notes: As promised, here are the translations for the Gaelic terms. Go raibh maith agat means thank you in loose translation. I don't remember the literal translation, but it's used to say thank you. Da and ma should be obvious. They more or less mean dad and mom. Ni afhios agam means I don't know. I believe that's it, but if you run across anymore words in Gaelic, email me to let me know. Thanks for reading this!