An excerpt from…
Ravenwood: Night’s Salvation
Night looked up into the sky; then sun was almost directly overhead. It was just about midday. “Time for a rest old boy,” Night said, patting Dumas’ neck; thought he was reasonably certain that his horse didn’t need a rest as much as he did. Looking around, Night saw a small stream. Trotting over to it, he was pleased there would be water to give Dumas. As his horse drank, Night sat himself beneath the largest, gnarly oak tree he had ever seen. It reminded him of the oak tree from his childhood. The happy memory brought a small, fleeting smile. This oak, as had the one from his childhood, shaded him as he ate his noontime meal. Absently he looked over at Dumas, who was quite happily munching on the lush grass around him. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be a horse? No worries, no title and no marriage to a girl I don’t know. Well duty is what duty is. He got up, took the reins and slipping the apple out of his pocket, gave it to a very appreciative Dumas.
“So be it,” Night said, lightly touching Dumas’ nose. “Marriage and title, neither one wanted, but both a duty.” He hoisted himself back into the saddle and set Dumas to a trot. His mind wandered to his ship and the little boy who had signed on as crew just before he came home. Have I done the right thing by allowing him to stay aboard?
Jones; yes that was his name. He had not yet gotten a posting address for the little imp. Night knew that he would likely see him at the wedding, knowing Damon’s untrusting nature. He would bring the boy with him when he returned for the wedding. I will ask him once again for his posting when they arrive for the ceremony. Marriage! I am only four and twenty, why should I have to wed now? And who is it I’m to marry? Probably some simpering little fool who’s been scared senseless into thinking that sex is strictly to procreate children. Damn Jason’s eyes for dying on me. What right had he to die, leaving me to fulfill his destiny? This isn’t what I wanted. I’m a second son, a nobody, of no account, of no use to anyone. Except now I must be something I’m not, something I never wanted to be. Damnation! Why am I so honorable?
Dumas must have felt Night’s agitation; he started to move erratically, letting his master know he wasn’t pleased. Without warning, he came to a dead stop, throwing Night into a small pond. Shock seeped through Night, just as the water did through his clothes. He looked at his damned horse, who appeared very smug indeed. Instead of cursing him as he started to do, Night laughed. A deep hearty laugh; one that went all the way through him. He sat in the pond, laughing and shaking his head. Finally able to pull himself together, he waded through the pond to the edge, looked Dumas in the eye and proceeded to pat his neck. “I know, I was brooding and you didn’t like it. You certainly put me in my place, now didn’t you?” Night said. As if understanding every word, Dumas whinnied and butted his shoulder.