Lys: No...

For Aithne it all happened in slow motion. She'd scoffed at the idea in the past, when warriors told stories of their close shaves, but now she understood. In the seconds of actual time, she had thoughts enough to fill months.

The rider bearing down on her.

The disbelief that he would shoot a woman.

The realization that he would.

Telling herself to move before he did.

Then feeling a jolt as she was knocked out of the way, her breath forced from her. She heard a whistle as it happened- the arrow had been loosed. She rolled into the shadows, and the warrior seemed to think it not worth his time to hunt her down. She looked back, back to where the boy had shoved her. He should've come back by now.

She looked back and she muffled a scream. He lay with the arrow protruding from his chest. He'd taken the arrow for her.

And he wasn't moving.

Tears streaming, not caring whether there was another rider coming, she ran out to him, crouching down in a puff of skirts. "Boy... Lad... wake up... come on, Imp, don't do this to me..."

But he would not respond.

With one last look around the clearing, she gathered him up and fled back to the atrium, re-entering at full tilt.

"Someone help me! He- he's..." She laid him on the table and looked up into Jason's face, pleading with him to tell her that her fears were unfounded.

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