Chapter 20

Matt was going out of his mind, he looked at the tower through the trees and started pacing again. Addi was in that tower with that stupid idiot Daire and he couldn't do a thing about it. The tower was heavily guarded and he currently didn't have the forces to overrun it. He was going to have to wait for reinforcements, or hope that Addi somehow figured out how to get away. He looked over at the locator spell still active on a tree stump and saw that it was still pointed towards the tower. From the corner of his eye he saw Tavis coming up to him.

"Am I as calm as I look?" He asked Tavis.

Tavis chuckled, "You look as calm as I feel. I wish we could do something other than wait, though."

"I am worried that Daire may retaliate by hurting Addi, if we attacked now with not enough force." Matt said.

"I know, I still wish we could do something. I hate waiting." Tavis replied.

Matt saw some movement around the tower, he squinted trying to figure out what was happening, "Look, Tavis. There are a bunch of guards running around. What do you think happened?"

Tavis looked at the tower and answered, "I don't know, but if I know my sister she probably caused it."

Matt turned around and started to head back to camp, "Let's take a team and see if we can get closer and see what is the matter." He said as he walked back.

As Matt snuck down to the tree line, he heard Tavis and Justin quietly coming after him. As he crouched down he watched the guards doing search patrols outside.

"They are searching for something." Justin whispered.

"Or someone." Tavis corrected.

They watched a riding group prepare and then leave camp. Matt leaned over to Tavis and asked, "Doesn't it look like they are riding toward our camp?"

"It does but I can't imagine what a small group would be heading to our camp. It couldn't be an attack, could it?" Tavis answered.

Matt shrugged his shoulders and motioned for them to head back to the horses, "Let's go see." He had just reached his horse when Justin motioned for him to look. He looked to where Justin was looking to see a lone rider racing towards the forest with a pursuing group following fast.

"That's Addi!" Tavis exclaimed, "I know that riding anywhere. We have to get to her first before Daire does."

Matt jumped on his horse and was off in the direction of the riders before he could even think his own name. He could hear the others following him but he only paid attention to where the lone rider had disappeared in the forest. He heard a loud whistle and urged his horse to go faster.

They approached a ring of riders, Matt looked around and saw Daire trying to lift a struggling Addi on his horse. Daire looked over at him and sneered before putting Addi on the ground keeping one arm tightly around his waist. Matt watched Addi, but she kept her head down, before calling out, "Daire let her go. And I believe I might let you live."

Addi's head jerked up in surprise and she exclaimed, "Matt!" before Daire pulled a knife and held it to her throat. He glared at Daire as Daire said, "She is mine, and not even a prince will get her from me."

Matt dismounted and held up his hands to show that he came in peace, "You don't want to hurt her, if you love her, you don't want to do her any harm." He stopped walking when Daire shouted for him to stay where he was, and tried to hold how his fear and anger when Daire proclaimed that he would hurt her if she couldn't be his. Matt backed up as Addi pleaded with Daire to let her go.

"Daire, Calm down, let us talk about this. We can find another way." Matt tried to reason.

Matt watched helplessly as Daire started to force Addi back with him to his horse. He was watching Addi's face when her face changed from fear to determination. He knew she was going to try something and started to walk forward as she pushed Daire back knocking him off balance and tried to free herself from Daire's grip. Matt was now running toward them as Daire yelled, "You idiot girl." And hit her on the head with the hilt from his knife. Addi dropped to the ground as Matt grabbed for the knife in Daire's hands. Matt felt as if his anger had made him stronger as the two of them wrestled with the knife. He finally claimed control of the knife and backed away.

Matt backed a few steps and told Daire to stand down and allow himself to be arrested for crimes against the Crown. Daire just sneered at him and yelled, "I will not allow you to have her." Daire then turned around and drew another knife from his belt and took a step towards Addi.

Matt didn't think he just acted. He didn't even realize that he had thrown the knife in his hand until he saw it in Daire's back. He stood numbly and watched Daire fall to the ground. Matt couldn't believe that he had killed somebody, he stood there looking at the body trying to wrap his mind around what just happened. He looked around unfocused until he saw Addi on the ground. He stumbled his way over to her and gently turned her over. Her head was bleeding where the knife hilt had hit her but she was still breathing which was a good sign. He pulled out a handkerchief from his pocket and held it against her wound.

Matt looked up and saw that Justin was talking with a few of Daire's men and that Tavis was heading over to him. "What happened?" Matt asked Tavis as he drew near.

"They realized what a delusional idiot they were working for after he hit Addi with the knife. They didn't even try to save him when you were fighting him. Justin is talking with them about how the Crown will punish them for following him."

Matt just nodded, and looked back over at Daire's body. "I can't believe I killed him. I didn't want to."

Tavis nodded, "I understand, you tried everything to end it peacefully but Daire didn't want it that way. You did what you had to do in order to keep Addi safe. Speaking of my sister, we need to get her to a healer to look at that head wound of hers."

Matt nodded and carefully picked her up and headed to his horse. He looked over at Justin and said, "I trust you can take care of this here."

With Justin's nod, Matt followed Tavis.

They quickly rode up to the town Glas and headed for the healer's office immediately. The healer quickly saw to her and proclaimed with a good rest she should be fine. During the time the healer was examining her, Justin arrived with Daire's body. Matt met him outside the healer's room.

"I am going to talk his body to his parents." Matt abruptly told Justin.

"Why?" Justin asked, "He doesn't deserve anything that nice."

Matt looked over to the room where Addi was, "I know but I need to do it. I need to do this so I can let my conscious be at peace." He looked back over at Justin and asked, "Can I put you in charge of Addi? Once she is well enough take her to the castle. I'll meet up with you there."

Justin nodded, "I can do that. Please go and be at peace, you did what you had to in order to save her life."

Matt half-heartedly nodded and walked out of the building.

The ride to Duke Samuel and Duchess Alia's place was a long ride. Matt kept going over in his head what he would say to them and he wasn't sure how they would react. After the two day long ride his group of riders finally arrived at their destination. He wasn't surprised when Duke Samuel and Duchess Alia met him outside, He walked solemnly up to them and said, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to kill him, he just wouldn't leave us alone. I am so sor-." He was stopped by Duchess Alia coming up to him and giving him a big hug.

"I understand. While I am sad that he is gone, my son hasn't been himself for many years, in a way we lost him years ago." She told him as she released him from the hug. "Please come in and tell us what happened. I hope Adilyn is alright." She motioned toward the door.

"She is recovering at the moment." Matt started as they walked inside.

After explaining what happened and having dinner, Matt left for the castle. He wasn't quite sure what was worse, the fact that they were completely understanding on what happened or the fact that he was beginning to see it the way everybody was telling him to see it, that he had no choice but to kill Daire. He began to look forward to getting home. It would take three days to get there, and hopefully by then Addi would be there.

When Matt arrived at the castle he learned that Addi wouldn't be there for another day, he tried to go and meet her early but his father forced him to come to several council meetings. His logic was that Matt had missed too much while he had been out roaming around chasing after girls. Matt argued back that he had been chasing after one girl and now that she was on her way here, he would finally be marrying someone and providing the kingdom with a Queen. And everyone should be just happy with that.

Matt wasn't quite sure how his father had won the argument but he had and Matt was stuck in meetings waiting for Addi to arrive. After one especially long meeting Matt was greeted by Tana who told him that Addi had arrived and was most likely waiting for him in his workroom. He quickly thanked her and rushed over to his workroom. He opened the door and was greeted with silence. She wasn't there. He was about to turn around and try somewhere else when he was almost run over by somebody from behind. Matt turned around and saw Addi stammering apologizes and scooped her up in a bear hug.

He whispered in her ear, "I am so glad you are finally here."

He smiled as she whispered back, "So am I. It is hard to believe we are back here in this room after all that has happened."

Matt finally pulled away and gently stroked her cheek with his hand, "I wanted to come and get you, but Father insisted that I needed to take care of a few things here."

He felt her lean into his hand and felt his heart jump when she smiled up at him, "I am here now without anything to run away from either, so you're stuck with me."

Matt couldn't hold himself back anymore and he closed the gap between them and kissed her. He finally let her go and shivered as he felt her quick breathe against his neck. He led her over to the couch and sat down, just happy to be so close to her. "How much have you been told what happened?" Matt asked.

Addi shrugged, "Not much, they told me that was for you to tell. Which I have to say was very aggravating."

Matt felt his happy mood fading away, and replied, "I had to kill him, Daire would have always been a danger to you as long as he lived. Even though I hate him for what he did to you and there was no other way, I still feel bad that I did it. His parents didn't even blame me for his death even though it was my sword that killed him."

He was stopped by Addi touching his face, "Don't blame yourself for what happened. Daire didn't give you a choice, he would have killed me. I am sure of it. You are my hero and the love of my life." She finished with a quick kiss, which Matt leaned him and deepened.

When they finally broke away, Matt quickly stood up and helped her up, "I almost forgot, my mother has requested that you come see her, so you can start the wedding preparations. Mother is very excited, I wish you good luck."

He smiled as Addi made a face, "I am going to need all the luck I can get."

Matt laughed and encouraged, "Compared to what you have just been through, it should be a breeze."

She rolled her eyes and said, "I hope your right. I hope your right."

Author's note- I know I know, I can't believe I didn't finish this story for so long. But I am beginning to discover I hate writing endings. So I am now at the end of another story, I hoped you enjoyed it. I have a jumble of another story in my head, but I can't seem to straighten it out and get a good outline going. We'll see how long it takes me to get to going. Thanks for reading.