Author's Note: Hi to anyone who's reading this. I know this isn't a very popular book so thanks for reading anyone (Cal-Kitty). Anyways, the chapters are short. I like it that way for this type of story. I like them short and to the point. Anyways, please enjoy and leave a review for me. Thanks again. :)


- - Letters - -

"Nobody's getting hanged!" Came a yell from behind them.

They all turned together. Kate gasped a sigh of relief. It was Abraham.

Scurrying over to Stephen and Michael, Abraham jerked the noose from Stephen's hands and glared at him. Stephen glared right back.

"Thank you." Michael whispered, his voice sounding quite hoarse and his face a ghostly white.

Abraham nodded solemnly and gave a quick smile, but when he turned back to the crowd of children he began scowling.

"All of you should be ashamed of yourselves. Now would you take a seat please?"

The children's eyes grew huge and they all stumbled over one another to find a seat on one of the many beds in the dormitory, or more like, prison.

Kate glanced around nervously. All the children were sitting except for Stephen. He was standing, leaning against the metal bars on the window. His arms were crossed, his eyes blazing.

Kate looked over at Emma who was looking rather fiercely at Michael now.

"I have letters." Was all Abraham had to say for the children's faces to beam with happiness and hope again.

There were some gasps and some hungry looks from the youngsters as Abraham pulled a large stack of envelopes from his coat pocket. He hobbled over to each child, carefully shifting through the envelopes until he found the right one. The little ones who received them handled them carefully, as if they were made of the most precious jewels.

Emma and Kate busied themselves with Michael, Kate holding his hands and crying, Emma threatening him with her life.

No one noticed. No one noticed that the number of letters was dwindling. Dwindling until there was none left, dwindling until there was none left and one left with nothing to receive.

Abraham cleared his throat. "I'm sorry Stephen." He said quietly and patted the boy's shoulder thoughtfully.

Stephen just stood there, blinking back tears and nodding, his arms still folded across his chest.

Stephen had gotten letters before. The letters were from the children's mothers. Stephen used to get letters, back when his mother was still alive.

When he was taken from his village his mother had been sick. The letters he got from her came less and less often until he eventually got a letter from his neighbor explaining that his mother had passed away and of course the children's fathers weren't able to send letters since the Countess had them under close watch.

Stephen had a very hard time coping with his mother's death. He felt it was his fault since he wasn't there to take care of her, though it wasn't his fault at all. Even now, every time Abraham brought the letters he felt horrible inside.

He made himself a promise. He would bring down the Countess and free his father no matter what it took. That's why he was so angry at Michael. He sure hoped these new kids wouldn't louse things up even more for his plan.