He growled and grabbed at the arrow protruding out of his shoulder. The shock wore off and the sudden urge to do something overcame me.
“Keigan! Get Koda! Hurry!”
Keigan hesitated with plenty of doubt in his eyes.
“NOW!” I ground out, kneeling beside my brother and grabbing the arrow to support it so that it didn’t cause any more damage. My guilt complex took over and a roaring sound pounded in my ears. This was my doing. Just like everything else. It was my fault that he was a Kingsman and now it was my fault that he was hurt. How ironic that as a result of my failures early in life, my brother paid the double price. Did he even know it was me?
“Just let me die.” He groaned, his face, though still angry, was now turning a shade paler.
“Naegel, it’s me. Don’t you know me?”
His eyes were hazy and I could tell that he was loosing consciousness. I wished Koda would hurry up.
Koda was the camp doctor and would be sure to patch up my brother if I asked him. But my brother didn’t seem all that willing to be patched up in the first place.
“Let me die. I’ve dishonored my king and I will not live with that shame.” His words came out with a choke. The arrow must have injured his lung.
“You listen to me. Shame or no shame, I am not going too let you die.” I had my hands tight around his collar. I swallowed hard. This was not the ending I had expected for my family. I had thought that I had enough guilt to live with, but now with my brother, whom I thought perfectly safe dying in my arms, the guilt washed over me in waves.
Koda pulled up beside me and skidded to his knees next to Naegel. My brothers name felt strange, even in my own head. It had been a long time since I had let myself think of him.
When father had died, I had been the protector, the man of the house. But I had ruined that responsibility by leaving them in the heat of the moment to disgrace. Even though it was not me that had killed the guardsman, there had been no disputing the fact that it looked like I did it. For my mother, my sisters Nakia, Melina and my brother Naegel’s safety, I had left them before I could be taken in to be hung. I was good at hiding. Always had been since I was a young and could beat every village child at the game of hide and seek.
I had let them think that I had killed the guardsman, it would be easier for them to lose a guilty son and brother than it would be to lose an innocent one.
Living alone in the woods, fleeing deeper and deeper into the forest as civilization grew closer, that is how Robin and his gang of do-gooder law-breakers had found me. They knew my story to be a true one since they had ears everywhere. I was proud to be a Hoodsman, but I had always known that I would never go back to my family.
But now, my family had come to me.
I will try to wrap this up with one more week. LOL! I’m trying you guys!
By God’s Grace,