“What are you so happy about?” Tristen snapped towards Duncan as the two young men sat in the front of the wagon as it rolled down the foothill’s and out of the mountains. Duncan grinned back he didn’t feel like ruining the surprise just yet. Tristen truly was a dumb shit all his plotting and scheming and yet he had failed magnificently to spot a massive flaw in his plan and Duncan was going to enjoy watching as his rival’s plan’s landed in a heap at his feet. “I would have thought you more subdued” the young man continued to press “I mean… if you get caught in Grimstead isn’t the King is likely to separate your head from your shoulders?”
“You really think Daniel is still looking for me?” Duncan chuckled, “He assumes me well gone, he certainly isn’t going to be looking for me at the wedding of a farmer in the furthest reaches”
“A guard could spot you?”
“A guard isn’t likely to remember what I look like, I’ve been gone long enough… besides few outside nobility or the knighthood really knew me well”
“A nobleman then”
“It’s Vincents estate remember… “ he replied, rolling his eyes. Tristen had not wanted to go to Faulkes wedding, he and Alice had fought about it constantly for the past two days. At first Duncan had thought the young man had realised the flaw in his plan and was looking to avoid an impossible encounter, however the more than fought the more Duncan had realised that Tristen was so caught up in the political hoohaa of what it would mean for Alice to be seen attending a ‘mages’ wedding, that he had overlooked the obvious flaw in why HE should not attend a mages wedding. Yes today would be a good day Duncan decided, Tristen was screwed he just didn’t realise it yet.
“I’m thinking of asking Alice to marry me” Tristen informed him, clearly trying to rile him. “With luck we’ll be married by the end of the week… I’ll ask at Faulkes feast, two weddings in one day. That would be fine don’t you think?”
Duncan cringed he could not help but feel his bait rise to the thought. “She’s a Christian” he retorted, “So you better find yourself a priest”
“Really?!” the young man baulked clearly the first time he’d even considered the thought “I mean… is Faulkes wedding going to be in a church?”
“I imagine so” Duncan grumbled, “Alice and Faulke where raise by a Christian woman like my mother. I imagine Faulke holds the same beliefs as his sister. Tell me, do you actually know Alice at all?”
“I know all I need too” the older boy replied smugly.
“You know she’s your way up” Duncan growled cooley. Tristen didn’t reply but the look on his face showed no sign of denial, instead he just looked over his shoulder to the rear of the wagon where Alice slept. “Why don’t you just move onto Ailth, she obviously pleases you more and the way things are going Ailiths mother will have full control over the sept before too long”
“You want me to move out of your way” Tristen smirked, “You’d like that wouldn’t you? Do you really think you’d stand a chance?”
Duncan ignored his remark, there was no point raising to his bait. He had in many ways accepted he had missed his chance his Alice, she had changed so much over the past few months he barely recognised her. His mother said she was growing up but it was more than that, something had changed. He didn’t begin to understand what or why but more time went on the further he felt from her. “So why don’t you just take Ailith?” he pressed, unable to fathom the answer. “You want to lead the sept, Ailith is closer to leading it than Alice”
Tristan frowned glancing over his shoulder, clearly concerned his girlfriend would wake. “You can’t control Furies” he reasoned.
“But you can control Alice” Duncan frowned suddenly understanding. Tristen didn’t reply but he smiled his agreement. “You’re a pig” Duncan decided, “She deserves better”
“You covered for me” Tristen reasoned, “And don’t think I don’t appreciate it”
“Just because I haven’t told, doesn’t mean I wont” Duncan reasoned, “Besides it’s not me you have to worry about”
“Does someone else know?”
“Not yet” he replied, but it was this time his turn to look smug.
“You intend to tell your boyfriend?” Tristen chuckled, using the term he often used for Quillen.
“I hadn’t thought on it, I was thinking more about Farid” he replied, he had not really intended to warn him but he could help but bring him down a peg or two. Besides there was no real harm in it, they had been travelling long enough by now that not even a sudden illness would make it easy to turn around.
“Why would you tell him?”
“I won’t … but you will, you dumb piece of shit. Farids a telepath or did you overlook it?”
Now it was the older boys turn to go pale. The two boy’s had never met but Duncan knew Tristan had been told of the goings on between Farid and Alice. “Then I shall have to speak with him” the boy reasoned.
Duncan chuckled. “Good luck with that”
“What do you mean?”
“You haven’t met Farid…. I might not like him, but he cares for Alice. The minute he meets you he’ll know and I’d wager a minute after that Alice will too”