Knight's End (The Knight Trilogy)

Knight's End (The Knight Trilogy) by Jami Montgomery Read Free Book Online

Book: Knight's End (The Knight Trilogy) by Jami Montgomery Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jami Montgomery
stood as well, Aston pulled the man into another hug. He didn’t know when he would see his friend again.
    “Well, goodnight,” he said, releasing Delgrab and heading to the room Alys had pointed out to him.
    “Aston.” He stopped and turned back to Delgrab. “Stay tonight, okay? We can talk in the morning.”
    Aston faked a smile and nodded. Delgrab knew him too well. He knew Aston intended to leave as soon as he and Alys were sleeping. Aston’s fake reassurance wouldn’t make the man rest any easier, but at least he tried.
    Aston lay down and slept, his internal clock waking him four hours later. He rolled over sleepily and debated whether he should really stay until the morning, get a good night’s rest, and leave early. He knew he couldn’t. As soon as they searched his father’s house, Delgrab’s cabin would be next. King Donn required his soldiers to map every place they frequented, in case a mission ever came up while they were gone. King Donn liked to know where his knights were at all times.
    Aston had to be gone when they came here.
    With a curse, he rolled off the bed, immediately missing its warmth and softness, and forced himself to tug on his boots and head outside. The early morning air was cool on his skin and Aston breathed deeply, loving the pine smell. He would miss this place. It had been his second home for the longest time, and now he feared he would never be able to return.
    Sterling wasn’t pleased being woken in the middle of the night, but the animal cooperated with Aston, and for that he was grateful. He quickly put the horse’s bridle back on before saddling him. He swung his satchel over the saddle and then climbed up himself, riding Sterling out of the stable and into the night. He took one last look at the cabin before looking ahead of him and promising never to look back again.

“When small men begin to cast big shadows,
it means that the sun is about to set.”
- Lyn Yutang –
     

Six
     
    Early the next morning, Aston took a long drink from the stream he’d stopped at and looked up at the sky. The sun was burning hot as fall slowly became winter , the scorching rays singeing his neck as it tried to survive the season’s change. He splashed so me water on his neck to cool its burning before climbing back onto Sterling and taking off again.
    He wasn’t sure where he was going. He knew he had to find a safe place to hide , for a month, at least. He’d planned on staying with Delgrab, but had immediately decided that would bring too much danger to his friend. Instead, he found himself riding through the forest, hoping to come across another cabin. He needed to find someone who rarely visited town, someone like Delgrab, but without the emotional connections. Someone who wouldn’t recognize him and immediately run to turn him in, or know who he was at all. As long as it was a place King Donn’s soldiers would never look, it would suit him just fine.
    Aston stopped Sterling as the bushes next to him rustled. He drew his dagger from his belt and carefully lowered himself from the horse’s back. He c rouched next to the horse, waiting to see what was causing the ruckus. A small rabbit, solid white with red eyes, emerged from the shrubbery, twitching its nose in Aston’s direction. Aston made sure to hold completely still so the animal wouldn’t see him as a threat. When the rabbit inched a little closer, Aston pounced, skillfully skewering the small creature on his dagger. The rabbit barely had time to squeal before the life left his eyes.
    The knight looked away, saying a small prayer for the creature before picking him up by the feet and tying him to Sterling’s saddle. He’d always disliked this part of the job. Aston usually let the other knights travelling with him do the hunting. He didn’t like taking lives, of humans or animals. Why he’d gone into a profession that required him to do both, he wasn’t sure. He liked saving people, but the job almost always came

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