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A full night had passed since we left Brett and Ashley. They walked most of the night to get away from the guard patrols. The sun was starting to rise and Mary-Kate’s condition was getting worse.

Marc-Andre was always by her side. He took a moist towel and put it on her forehead to cool her fever down. Annick walked up behind him.

“Have you been awake all night?” Annick asked him while rubbing her eye.

“I couldn’t sleep.” He said.

“Marc-Andre?” Mary-Kate said weakly.

“What is it Mary-Kate? How are you feeling?” He asked her as he took her hand.

“Is Brett back yet?” She asked.

“Not yet,” He told her, “But, he should be any day now.”

Mary-Kate looked out the window. As she did, her eyes slowly closed as she went back to sleep.

Later that morning, Marc-Andre and Annick went on their day away from everything. A walk in the forest around the kingdom, a picnic, a boat ride on the river and watching the sun set on the top of a hill.

Marc-Andre’s thoughts returned to Mary-kate’s condition often, but he still greatly enjoyed his time with Annick.

“I needed this more than I thought.” He said as he looked into her eyes after a gentle kiss.

“I’m glad you enjoyed yourself.” Annick smiled.

Just after the sun had gone down, a guard came running up to Marc-Andre and Annick. Marc-Andre stood up, wondering what the guard wanted.

The guard took a few seconds to catch his breath. “Sir,” he said to Marc-Andre, “your majesty,” he said to Annick, “Brett and your sister have returned.” He informed Marc-Andre.

“Ashley?” He said to himself. “Ashley is with him?” He asked the guard as he grabbed both the guard’s arms.

“Yes, sir.” The guard answered nervously.

“Where are they now?” Marc-Andre asked frantically.

“At the gates, sir.” He said, looking quickly over to Annick. Marc-Andre’s actions were starting to scare him. “They are resting after their long quest.”

Marc-Andre took off running towards the gates. Annick thanked the guard and ran off after her boyfriend.

Annick and Marc-Andre found Brett and Ashley tired and out of breath. They were given tall glasses of water and sat down in the soft grass. Marc-Andre ran over to Ashley and gave her the biggest hug she ever had.

“Oh Ashley, I was so worried about you.” Marc-Andre said.

“I’m fine too, thanks.” Brett said, a little insulted.

“Good to have you back too, Brett.” Marc-Andre quickly said. He returned his attention to Ashley. “Are you hurt? What did they do to you? Who took you?”

Ashley didn’t know what to answer. Should she tell her brother that she initially didn’t want to come back, that she was going to betray her kingdom by marrying the king of the Tiberians?

“The Tiberians kidnapped her. If it wasn’t for Ashley’s good thinking, we never would have gotten out alive.” Brett explained. Ashley looked at him with a ‘thank you’ look.

“I’m just glad your back with us.” Marc-Andre said as he hugged Ashley.

Brett cleared his throat.

Marc-Andre laughed. “You, too, Brett.” Marc-Andre slapped his forehead with his hand. “I almost forgot! Brett, you need to go see Mary-Kate. She’s very sick.”

“What?!” Brett said loudly. “What’s wrong with her?”

Annick put her hand on Brett’s shoulder. “Don’t worry, my friend. She was just so worried about you that she’s worried herself sick. I’m sure when you go see and spend time with her again, she’ll be just fine.”

Brett breathed a sigh of relief. “Now, If you’ll all excuse me, I’ve got an angel to see.” He smiled as he ran off towards the castle.

He silently opened Mary-Kate’s door. She was sleeping quietly in her bed. Brett walked over to her bed and sat down in the chair Marc-Andre had been sitting in the night before. Brett gave her a kiss on her forehead. Mary-Kate slowly opened her eyes.

“Hey there Bright Eyes.” Brett said softly.

“Brett?” Mary-Kate said, “Is that you?”

“Yes. I’ve come back to you, just as I promised.” He said.

Mary-Kate sat up and gave Brett a tender kiss. He sat there holding her in the glow of the fire burning in the small fireplace. Brett noticed Ashley peeking in through he doorway.

“I have a surprise for you.” Brett said to Mary-Kate.

Mary-Kate looked up at him with a curious look.

“I got Ashley back.” He said looking towards the doorway.

“Ashley!” Mary-Kate yelled.

Brett got up and let Ashley take his place. He gave Mary-Kate a kiss before letting Ashley take over. He went and joined Marc-Andre in the hall.

“Anything interesting happen while I was gone?” Brett asked Marc-Andre as they walked off.

Chapter 27
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