"We are concerned for your safety, Your Highness" one of the men interrupted, bowing his head and speaking without looking up. "They have appeared from ... from nowhere, your Highness. They are dressed oddly. We believe they must be spies ... or assassins."

Courtney didn't like the sound of those words. Spies and assassins were probably tortured and killed in the 15th century. Somehow they had to escape.

She looked around the room for a window, a door, but there were too many people. They didn't stand a chance of getting away. Maybe someone would help them but most all the men were nodding their heads, apparently agreeing with the guards.

One man, though, stood very quiet and just watched what was going on. He was taller than the others and dressed in black velvet with gold threads running through the fabric. He was holding an open book and a feather and Courtney could hear him scratching on the paper with what must be an old-fashioned pen.

He wasn't going to help, either. He was too busy staring -- and writing.

"What would you have us do with them, your Highness?" the guard asked.

Courtney looked back at the man on the throne. He was staring at her, at Collin and Morgan, and it didn't look as if he liked what he saw. "I have no time to deal with this. Take them to the dungeons!" he ordered.

Courtney felt her arm being jerked upward as she was dragged away. Dungeon? Dungeon!

She struggled as she was pulled through corridors with high ceilings painted with cherubs and angels and men with beards and long flowing robes. People stared and whispered and laughed. This adventure wasn't any fun at all.

Then they were prodded along by sharply pointed swords pushing against the middle of their backs. Down hallways and stairwells. Horrible odors surrounded them. The air grew cold and damp. Suddenly a door was flung open and they were pushed into a musty smelling stone room lit only by the light coming through a grate high above. The big heavy door slammed behind them and Courtney heard the lock shut with a clang.

They were trapped.

They were going to die. In the dark.

An unexpected crash of thunder echoed through the room and they heard the voice. It won't be long now. You'll be mine. Soon. Very soon.

 
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