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Fright and Flight

didnt get far enough.

Jocelyn swallowed her panic in breathless gulps. Im trapped! Its too late. I With guards chasing her, Jocelyn had two optionsrun or hide. She chose the latter. Now she waited.

ground seeping into her skin. Was it the cold or the fear making her skin rise in angry goose bumps? The relentless pursuit moved closer to her with each shallow breath.

Jocelyn lay flather stomach pressing into the earth and the frost from the

Jocelyn reached her hand to her neck and closed her fist around a broken

locketits jagged face cut into her flesh. Im still alive, the pain reminded her.

She willed herself to remain still, fighting her every screaming instinct toRun!

Run! Run!

The earth throbbed as boots hit the ground in a chaotic cadence.

Theyre going to find me and hes going to kill me for running!


stiffened.

A guard stood with his polished boots inches from Jocelyns nose and she Stupid girl. Making me leave my bed in the middle of the night, the guard

grumbled to himself. He pushed aside the leaves on her dense bush and they

crackled like angry paper. No one runs from the Prince. Stupid, stupid girl.

fought against the fear in her body. She preferred the angerat least anger was productive.

Jocelyn gritted her teeth. Im not a stupid girl. She held onto the anger as it

leaves and dirt tickled her nose. She pinched it willing away a sneeze. Any sign? A guard bellowed. Not yet, Sir, replied the soldier.

The polished boots kicked up hazy clouds of dirt and the smell of decaying

Keep looking. She cant have gone far. her mouth to keep herself quiet.

The earth swelled with the beat of an approaching horse. Jocelyn covered Well, Captain? The deep voice demanded.

him, she prayed to the night. She never imagined he would join the hunt.
gardens, and up and down these trails, but nothing yet. better.

Fear beat out the anger and her heart stopped mid-quiver. No, please not

There is no sign of her Your Highness. We searched the fortress, the You have failed me, the answer dripped with irritation. You will do A breeze ruffled the leaves on Jocelyns bush. Nature betrayed her by

whispering, Look, she is right under your noses. the wind.

What have I ever done to you? Jocelyn bristled. The bush shivered again in
The deep voice jerked and turned in her direction.

As if in compliance to her will, he pulled sharp on the reins and returned to face the way he had come. Captain, the voice said. Look for her here, then try the north road. But, if

Her mind scrambled, but she held still. Please, please, please turn around.

I were you I wouldnt come back empty-handed. Cold confidence punctuated his last words. Yes, Y-Your Highness. The captains voice stumbled.

can hear me, know thisyou cant hide for long. This is a dangerous game youre playing and I dont possess an infinite amount of patience. I will find you. When it comes to gamesI never lose. Jocelyn shuddered then steadied herself. Well see.

Lady Jocelyn!The voice of his Royal Highness Prince Zven boomed, If you

into a gallop.

Well Captain, get on with it. Prince Zven demanded, spurring his horse

Desperate self-preservation colored the poor mans inflection. further down the path away from Jocelyns hiding place. She relaxed.

You heard his Highness men, get on with it! shouted the Captain. The Captain of the Royal Guard and his men sharpened their search

clenched in a desperate attempt to keep her from bolting in terror.

She failed to realize until this moment that all the muscles in her body were

Stick to the plan. You just need to get to Kathryn in Larell.

confidence. For a moment guilt stole her from emotional security. Thoughts of

Jocelyns weak plan to escape could work. She felt a small spark of

those she left behind, like ghosts, haunted her mind. I hope she got away. Stop it. I

cant worry. I have to keep going or everything she did for me will be wasted. I wont let that happen. I am safe, for now. Stick to the plan.
retreating. When her cheek couldnt feel the vibrations, she roseand ran. Jocelyn rested her head in the dirt listening to the sounds of footfalls