Were you ever going to tell me?
“Well? Lucy scowled as yanked the chains that docked the rowboat to the port. “Were you?”
Travis tried to curb his frustration. “I don’t know. Probably.”
Her eyes darkened and she shuddered. “So, what? You were just going to up and leave in the middle of the night?” She tossed her measly bag into the boat before climbing into the hull.
“I don’t know.” The boat started to drift and Travis frowned. “You can’t be serious. You find out that I have a secret and you are just going to leave me here?”
Lucy’s face was like a storm when looked at him. Her voice chilled him to the core. “Get in the damn boat.”
It wasn’t until they were at the midway point of their journey before Lucy spoke to him again. This time, her voice was more tempered. “Why didn’t you tell me? Did you really think I would care that you were a royal?”
Travis swallowed. “Ever since we’ve known each other, the only thing I hear you whine about is your hatred for royal blood.” He gave a rueful laugh. “I couldn’t have you hate me, Lucy.”
“The only thing I know of royals is that they use people, including me, to get their own way.” Her eyes brewed again. “Is that why you’re here?”
“Are you sure?”
“Of course I am sure.” Travis clenched his fists. “I never knew who you were, I just knew that you and your people could help me disappear. But then it turned into more, Lucy.” He paused and his lungs filled with the odor of salty damp weeds. His heart took an upswing. “I discovered how much I really needed you.”
“What do you mean?” Lucy looked heavenward as the wind picked up and the air began to blur. In the next moment, a boat appeared drifting beside them. Lucy gasped when she noticed a cloaked spirit of a man standing in the middle of the boat.
“He means that you are the key to the lock he has long since searched for. Oh, locksmith’s daughter.” The spirit man said.
“What Lock?” Lucy ignored the twist in her stomach.
“The only lock that can save the Kingdom,” Travis said. He looked at the spirit. “What do we have to do?” he asked.
The spirit man pointed toward to the east. “Travel to the red sea, find the fork in the path, and take the path the girl deems right. Failure to choose will mean the end of your Kingdom.” His image began to fade but his voice lingered in the fog. “Time is not on your side. The journey is perilous and friendless. Caution to the weary. Strength will be given to those with a pure heart and good intentions.”
Lucy and Travis looked at each other before Travis broke the eerie silence.
“I told you I needed you, he said quietly.
Lucy looked away. “We need a ship. This rowboat isn’t going to get us to the red sea.”
“Does that mean, you are going to help me?”
“I am going to help the kingdom,” Lucy said. “If that means I have to work with you in order to do it, then so be it.”
Travis sighed. He knew that was the best he was going to get from her but it would have to do for now. His heart hurt when he spoke next. “I have an idea about the boat.”