Philip looked at him askance; Brent’s gaze on the other hand merely betrayed concern. Sebastian and Adrian seemed to wonder what they were doing here. But once it was established their sister had been captured, their intensity matched Philip’s.
Jeremiah shrugged. When Lyle had come with the news of where Teddy was held, it had taken everything not to rush there and do something irrevocable. Only he couldn’t. He’d given his word he would tell Philip when he found out where his sister was and he would keep his promise. Besides men like the Glendales were useful in a fight: Phil may have been the only one of them on a battlefield but he knew that someone protecting their family were enemies to be reckoned with.
“Because the place belongs to Thornhill’s estates.”
“What?” A string of curses flew out of Phil’s mouth before he eventually asked. “Why…” Jeremiah could almost hear the words ‘why shouldn’t we believe you did that?’ but it wasn’t what his former friend said. “Why do they hate you so much?”
“Reiner? Thornhill what the hell? The man was supposed to be dead in Grenada.”
“Well he didn’t die there but he sure as hell believes I’m responsible for his disgrace. Which I am. That traitor. And you…”
“Oh God.” It was Brent. “What if they knew Teddy is Phil’s sister?”
“How do you know?”
Jeremiah’s teeth gnashed with the effort of not swearing in turn. Lyle’s news had put him on edge but he had to share the information.
“Because she still hasn’t given them her name.”
The words were ashes in his mouth. Teddy’s strength might help her but she had no idea what kind of man Reiner was; her gift was in making people surrender. So was his. But where her methods might be ludic although of a sexual nature, Reiner’s were sadistic. He relished pain. Breaking people’s will was something he enjoyed. That was how he’d convinced many to betray their country in Grenada. Not because it was right or because he was a charismatic leader; because he threatened and tortured. Even though Jeremiah knew Teddy was the only woman who could face Reiner on an almost equal footing, it didn’t mean he wasn’t afraid for her. Hell he was terrified and being here, trying to set up a plan was fraying his nerves.
It was Adrian’s laughter that broke his dark trail of thoughts.
“That’s our Teddy, she will test the man’s resolve at every turn.”
“She doesn’t know Reiner.” Phil’s tone was cold and precise. “The man’s a monster. And he always… always finds people’s weakness.”
“So does she.” Sebastian replied in an even tone.
Could it be that the younger twins had an idea of what their sister did in her spare time? No, it was impossible. They would have stopped Theodora just like Phil intended to do.
“But unlike Reiner, Teddy has a soul. How do we access that place Thornhill?”
“Phil don’t be rude, the Commander is helping.” Brent chided.
“As he should, since it’s his fault Teddy was abducted in the first place.”
Nobody could miss the venom in Philip’s tone. His brothers looked between the two of them for a moment and shrugged.
“Philip, you can’t control Theodora’s heart anymore than this Reiner. If she’s finally found someone worthy of her affection, it’s not our place to deny her.”
“She hasn’t. She refused his proposal.”
Jeremiah stood angrily. His temper was fraying again; he knew he couldn’t let it. But it was complicated. He hadn’t found any release for his anger and frustration and fear. As Lady Thea, Theodora had granted him that. But he hadn’t visited the Club since her abduction. He loved her. Truly. And he would do anything to protect her. Even if it meant staying away from her. He took a deep breath.
“So she has.” Brent said before he could utter a word. “But she might not if it were offered a second time.”
Phil threw a murderous look at his older brother.
“Commander Thornhill, would you let us know how to save our sister? We might have to leave Phil behind since he’s being such a pain.”
“Brent….” His brother lifted one finger and silenced him.
“Phil, shut up or you won’t come. Father left me in charge of this.”
“Wonder why, I’m the military man.”
“Right now, you’re being a hindrance,” Sebastian retorted.
“Father knew you’d be too worried about Teddy to think clearly.”
Adrian added. He seemed to be the one who would bring peace to the exchange. How different each of these men were.
So Jeremiah told them about the priory. They would need lanterns because they hadn’t used the place in almost a quarter of a century. They also hadn’t set it up for electricity. They had to expect darkness. And they’d need birdseeds.
“Why?” Sebastian asked.
“Well, last I heard from the manager, it’s become a favourite of crows in the surrounding area. They’ll make better guards than men. I’m afraid we’ll be heard no matter how cautious we are. They’ll know we’re coming. If we can avoid being attacked by the damned birds, that’ll be better.”
“If they know we’re here, won’t they hurt Teddy?” Sebastian inquired.
“No.” It was Phil who answered. “Reiner will wait for the Commander to be in the room. He’ll want him to know exactly what he did to Teddy. If he’s touched her, I’ll castrate him before I kill him.”
Jeremiah could entirely empathize with Philip’s feelings. He would be doing more than that to the man. Except…
“We can’t kill him Philip. He has to stand trial for what he did here and in Grenada. You know the Prince…”
“You warned the Prince?”
“What was I to do? You told me not to get my men involved. I didn’t. But we’ll need all the help we can get. I told you they’d hear us coming. Of course I put all chances on our side. I want Theodora safe. They don’t know who’s been abducted.”
“They’ll know when they see us.”
“And even if they do, the Prince will find it logical. He knows the part you played in Grenada and in undoing Reiner’s plans. Your sister on my estates? It would be perfect for Reiner.”
“He’s right Phil.”
“Can we go save our sister already?” Sebastian asked again.
So I went back in time with this one. But it’s still Jeremiah and Theodora’s story 😉
In response to Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie’s Wordle prompt #133
1. Gnash 2. Lantern 3. Edelweiss (A small composite plant, Leontopodium alpinum, having white woolly leaves and flowers, growing in the high altitudes of the Alps. A liqueur made in Italy, flavored with the extracts of alpine flowers.) 4. Birdseed 5. Capture 6. Heart 7. Askance 8. Descendent 9. Irrevocable 10. Ludic (Adjective- Playful in an aimless way) 11. Ashes 12. Curse
Use at least 10 of the words to create a story or poem
The words can appear in an alternate form
Use the words in any order that you like.