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Koharu


They weren't shinobi, that much was clear. It was likely they were just bandits that saw them as an easy target, or they seen the intricately stitched silk robes that Hachiro wore and assumed they'd get a heafty ransom for the boy. It was common knowledge that genin weren't highly trained or deadly. They were still learning to be shinobi after all. Koharu could feel the blood pumping inher veins, hearing it loud in her ears, as she rushed at the men. This was her first encounter like this, and she knew that it wouldn't be the last. In the back if her mind she could hear Osamu scolding her for being scared. Those katana were almost as big as she was, of course she'd be scared.

The weight of her own sword on her hip didn't stand out to her until she remembered her iaido. It had helped her, even what little she knew of it, gain confidence in her movements and how to handle a katana. She didn't practice with a bamboo sword, no it was a real sword she used that had been dulled down. Remembering her training helped rein in her fear. She ducked out of the way of a katana blade and rolled a few feet away, taking a breath before doing a single hand sign and slapping her small hand onto the ground. "Ice Style: Frozen Capturing Field!" Ice bloomed from her palm, extending forward and out to cover the man's feet, trapping him. The girl wasn't as proficient in her ice release as she would have liked but she wasn't helpless. The man was trying to pull his feet from the ice, yelling in frustration when his feet wouldn't budge.

A good thing about using this sort of nature transformation was it was a little different than manipulating preexisting ice. First: it was stronger, second: she had better control of it, and third: she could use it whenever she wanted to and wasn't restricted if she didn't have any preexisting snow. Koharu smirked in triumph that she was getting better with it. When she first learned the jutsu she lacked the proper balance of wind and water so her attempts often turned to slush. Needless to say, Osamu hadn't been happy that she'd ruined three pairs of his shoes. The man still had his katana and she grew amused when he began hacking at the ice with it when he realized that the ice prevented him from slipping put of his shoes. With that man busy she focused on the others.

There were six in all, counting the man in the ice, and they seemed focused now on Kazuhiko and Koharu more than they were Natsuko and Hachiro. She knew the boy was in safe hands. Just because he'd annoyed Natsuko didn't mean she'd offer him up on a silver platter to those men. She could remember Minoru's lessons on sparing lives whenever possible. The man had said that knowing when to spare a life was a true measure of one's heart. Koharu had taken those lessons in and made them her own. She wouldn't kill these men - couldn't kill them - but she'd make sure they wouldn't hurt Natsuko and Hachiro.
Her small size was both a blessing and a curse. She was quicker than the men but they were bigger and could easily over power her so she focused on dodging their attacks and waiting for the opportunity to use her jutsu again. One by one she picked off two other men in a similar fashion, sealing their feet up in ice before delivering a harsh blow to their stomachs with the sheath of her sword.

At the end of the small scuffle, she was left exhausted. Three consecutive uses of her chakra was...well, draining for lack of a better word. Not only was she a genin using a jutsu she was still learning, but she also had to balance two different types of chakra to make a whole new one. Koharu doubled over with her hands on her knees and caught her breath. To her astonishment she noticed that she and Kazuhiko took down the same number of men.

"That's not fair." She grumbled between breaths. "But good job, Kazu-chan." Koharu didn't call him that often, usually preferring to call him by his name.

Minoru


They'd been gone for far longer than he would have liked. Already the guards were preparing dinner, giving Minoru time to check on the kids. He expected them to be playing in the water (well Natsuko and their charge Hachiro at least). The sight that greeted him was anything but expected. Six men, all in various states of consciousness, were strewn about it what obviously was a small skirmish. Hachiro had latched onto both Kazuhiko and Koharu's hands and was crying. Minoru could see the large tears and globs of snot from where he'd broken through the trees.

Koharu was the first to speak, even if her voice was tired and unsteady. "We're fine, Minoru-sensei." She planted a hand on Hachiro's dark hair and smiled at the boy, trying to calm him down.

He was having a hard time wrapping his head around the scene. They were just genin, kids of twelve, and they'd managed to take down six men by themselves and their charge was unharmed. He was impressed. Not many their age, and even older, could accomplish that. "Good job you three. Now quickly return Hachiro to the guards." He'd deal with the men. They could just pack up and find a new spot but the kids looked tired. Hachiro took to leaning against Kazuhiko and Koharu looked about ready to flop onto the ground.

@Dusksong
Koharu


Koharu weakly protested being drug around. Had it not have been for the bone deep ache in her feet she would have happily accepted Natsuko's offer to soak her feet. Koharu could endure training with Osamu, with her teammates and Minoru, but she couldn't handle aching feet. Koharu's face twisted into a brief, uncharacteristic pout when Minoru ignored Kazuhiko's pleading. "Hmph. Picking favorites as always." She said, not really catching the hurt that flashed over the jonin's face. Oh she knew that Minoru-sensei favored Natsuko, not that she could blame him. Koharu and Kazuhiko were far too serious while Natsuko and Minoru were loud and boisterous.

"Have fun you three. Be safe!" There was no harm in letting them go soak their feet. They weren't used to these long trips uet and he didn't see a problem in rewarding them. Perhaps it would put the girls into a better mood.

"Hey wait for me!" Koharu looked back at the little boy and sighed. No doubt he'd want to go just to annoy them. Koharu didn't mind, her sister was about the same age as he was and she didn't get to see her often so this would be like having her around. Koharu looked back at Minoru and found him smiling. It was tense, sure, but he seemed to trust them with Hachiro's safety. That was a big responsibility. No doubt it was a test of sorts. If they could do this mission successfully then they could take more than errands in the village.
"Three feet away from him, Suko-chan. Minoru-sensei won't let us take another mission if you beat him up." Koharu gave a soft smirk, despite the desire to protest.

The river was beautiful, reflecting the colors of the setting sun. It wasn't very wide or deep so it was perfect. Koharu wasn't the tallest around, Hachiro wasn't much taller than she was, so deep water intimidated her a little bit. She rolled her pant legs up and settled on the ground, making sure there was at least three feet between Natsuko and Hachiro. She enjoyed the cold against her skin, and if the small yelp that Hachiro gave when he put his feet in the river too was any indication, then she was likely the only one that would. A soft giggle came from the girl and there was a look of mischief in her eyes. It wasn't often that she showed this side of her but she needed to get payback for the brat's earlier comment about Natsuko. Koharu wasn't bothered by the white hair comment, she learned to tune those out long ago.

With a few moments of concentration she focused her wind chakra out through her still submerged feet, causing the water to get colder than it already was. Ah, that was better! Hachiro was screeching, holding onto his cold feet in ab attempt to warm them up. Please, it wasn't as if his feet were going to fall off. "Hey Kazuhiko, how does a bit of friendly competition sound?" She asked the boy. They weren't rivals, well she didn't see him as a rival (she couldn't say how Kazuhiko viewed her). Often, though, she liked training with him because they had about equal skill. She felt he was more skilled at her in many areas, but that was her opinion and every time Minoru was asked who was better he'd never give them an answer.

Minoru


He chuckled as they walked into the trees. The guards wouldn't be happy about letting their young master out of his sight but as far as Minoru was concerned the boy was safe. They were all close enough to jump into action if any of the kids yelled, and he thought of his team as being strong. Even Natsuko, if she'd ever believe in her abilities. Minoru couldn't help but to think back to Koharu's statement about favorites. Had he really been that transparent or was the girl just good at picking up on thongs like that? Minoru didn't have time to dwell on the quesion when the guards came back, the sound of clattering wood announcing their arrival.

"Relax, he's safe with my students. They will not let anything happen to him. They are fully cap--"

"They are genin!" The guard captain, who'd gone to relieve himself in the bushes, interrupted him. Minoru sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose.

"The boy is of the Taketori clan, the auburn haired girl is of the Rinha, and the white haired one is of the Wakahisa." The weight their clan names carried clearly didn't end at the Land of Fire boarders. The guard captain didn't seem so certain but another guard, this one at least a decade younger with a fresh scar on his face, looked up wide eyed. Minoru felt a flash of pride in his students. If just their clan names could make someone look like that them he couldn't wait for the day when their own names would provoke such a reaction.

@Dusksong
Koharu


She smiled at Natsuko's enthusiasm. Koharu couldn't deny that having the other girl around was a good thing. She could remind Koharu that they were just twelve year old girls, not adults. At home Koharu was talked to as an adult. She attended the meetings Osamu had with his advisors and she even trained with him. Everything in her life was centered around her status as heir to the clan. She was not a child. She was their future. This sort of stuff, being with her team and being treated like a kid, made it all bearable. If only she wasn't so awkward at trying to be informal. (Hey she could have been as bad as Kazuhiko.)

Koharu was also thankful that Natsuko seemed assured that she and Kazuhiko could keep her safe. So much was piled onto her shoulders, and his. So much was riding on them to be perfect for their clans. It was nice that they had someone around that only expected them to be safe havens rather than cold perfection.

"Why's your hair white?" The question didn't catch her off guard. No, the speaker had caught her off guard. She looked at the little boy and gave a small smile. It wasn't uncommon for people, especially children, to ask about her hair. She was aware that it wasn't exactly common in Konoha and many of her classmates had made fun of her for it. She couldn't ever remember a time when Natsuko or Kazuhiko had made fun of her hair. She'd been about to explain that it was common back in the Land of Snow, and that it was the only good thing she had to remember her father bye, but he'd moved onto Natsuko.

Koharu's snorting laughter was quickly drowned out by her hand as she attempted to smother away the sounds. She had to be dignified and there was nothing noble about snorting. This little boy surely wasn't winning any points with Natsuko. Koharu moved closer to her teammate and put a comforting hand on her shoulder. "It's okay, Suko-chan. He isn't winning any beauty contests either." Koharu paused at her awkward wording and quickly withdrew her hand to bow deeply towards Natsuko, muttering out a soft apology. Koharu was used to impassive adults as cold as the ice she could wield, not pretty girls who were insulted.

Minoru


He'd thanked the guard captain and gave assurances that this would go smoothly but when he turned around and seen the wide smile on Natsuko's face and Koharu bowing while apologies streamed from her mouth made him rethink what he'd told the captain. With a defeated sigh he moved closer to his team and put a hand on Natsuko's head and told Koharu that she didn't have to bow anymore.

"I see you've already met our charge. He is Hachiro, the son of the Daimyo of the Land of Lightning." He motioned for his students to follow him as the carriage began moving. The journey would take three days, and that was without any interruptions or mishaps. He had a good team and they'd done good on their other missions and their training. This was their chance for some real world experience. The Land of Fire and the Land of Lightning were on...tense grounds with each other. While they would likely jave a run of the mill escort mission it wouldn't hurt to teach them just how this world really worked. From what he understood and had learned about his students was that Natsuko was saddled with the least burden by her family but the other two were the exact opposite and likey all they knew about the world was how their clans fit into it.

"Are you alright?" Minoru asked as he fell in line with Koharu.

"Yes sir." She kept her gaze on everything but the village gates they'd barely just passed through.

When the Wakahisa clan had been brought to Konoha there were a great many people who didn't care if a new clan would live within the village walls but some of the older and bigger clans had raused concerns, namely the fact that the Wakahisa clan didn't tell anyone, possibly beyond the Hokage and his advisors, shy they'd been exiled from Yukigakure. The people of Konoha were welcoming but could be suspicious. Not that he blamed them, he'd been suspicious at first to but once the shinobi from Yukigakure had shown their talent and desire to protect their new homes people began to change their minds.

"You might want to check on Natsuko. That blow to her ego is hurting her more than she wants to show."

Koharu

Dusk//Land of Fire border


When they finally stopped for the night she could feel a deep ache in her feet and once Minoru gave the word that they were stopping for lunch Koharu stripped her shoes off and tossed them into a small pile. To hell with being dignified when her feet hurt! The day had been largely uneventful aside from Natsuko teasing them and Minoru trying to impart wisdom as they walked.
The guards set the carriage down and Minoru was in the process of already making a fire, showing off his use of fire jutsu to the sppiled brat Daimyo's son.
So far the mission was fun. Being so far from her family was a little odd and it made her nervous but ultimately she was enjoying it. This was their first real mission after all. Maybe in a little while she'd practice her iaido.

@Dusksong
Koharu


At first Natsuko used to bother her. She wasn't used to people being so...open around her. Koharu may have spent a majority of life in Konoha but she was still an outsider, even with the village headband secured around her left arm. Now though she was getting used to the other girl and her antics. Koharu would even work up the courage to play along at times. But why did she always insist that Koharu and Kazuhiko would be anything beyond teammates? Sure she respected him and his dedication to his training but that didn't amount to anything more than just reapect. She watched the other girl curiously before sparing a glance ahead at the boy. Hm, "I don't know...they might make a cute couple." Koharu's usually neutral face cracked into an easy grin. It wasn't often she'd smile around anyone but her mother and younger sister. She was too 'important' to be above such things. Koharu wouldn't admit but she did like the rare times that Natsuko's teasing would cause the boy to blush.

Surely if Osamu could see her now he'd have a heart attack. She was raised to be poised and prideful, even if she was just a little kid. Koharu had once heard her mother and Osamu talking about her. Her mother was against the idea that Koharu was essentially acting like a mini version of her adootive father. Osamu had argued back that Koharu was his child now and he'd raise her how he seen fit. She knew her mother and had a fantastic relationship with her younger sister but most of her memories were of Osamu and his sons. The grin was gone just as quick as it came and she adjusted the grip on her traveling backpack.
Ahead of them she could see Minoru trying to talk to Kazuhiko and she didn't think the man was going to get very far.

"Hey Suko-chan...are you nervous to be going so far away from home?"

She didn't remember the long journey across land and sea to get to Konoha. Her family had been powerful in Yukigakure and, fortunately for them, had made many allies in various countries. Koharu had been four when the massacre of Kazahana Castle happened. A four year old wouldn't remember much. What she lacked in memories she made up for in knowledge. She knew that the Wakahisa clan had settled temporarily in the Land of Lightning until housing arrangements could be made in Konoha.

Minoru


The man could hear the girls behind them and he couldn't help but smirk just a little bit at Natsuko's teasing. It seemed that she had an idea to break their shells, even if it was a little over ths top. That's what he liked about the girl: she didn't just do missions with her team, she tried to ve their friend. While it was common for genin to form strong friendships with their teams occasionally you'd get a genin that kept everyone at arm's length. One of his own teammates had been that way. Minoru hoped that none of his students would end up that way. If anything having to quiet kids paired up with loud Natsuko would do them good. Minoru laughed deeply when Koharu joined in on the teasing. Oh boy was Kazuhiko going to have his hands full if Koharu's shell ever broke.

"Go easy on him girls." At least this journey wasn't going to be dull. Minoru looked back down at the boy next to him as they walked. "So Kazuhiko...how's training?" There wasn't much that he seemed to be able to teach Kazuhiko or Koharu. Both took their training seriously and he didn't doubt that they didn't train at home. He knew that Koharu did. He'd met her adoptive father once and it had been a...different type of meeting. He'd informed Minoru that it was expected that Koharu would practice better on her own than with a team. It took a while for him to understand it but after seeing the sword strapped to the girl's side he understood.
Kazuhiko seemed to be leaps and bounds beyond others his age. There wasn't much use in Minoru beating a dead horse by going over the basics with the boy.

Natsuko seemed to be the only one he actually had to teach. Minoru contemplated getting Kazuhiko or Koharu to help the girl. Maybe they vould get through to her. The journey to the west gate was relatively short and he could see their guest surrounded by a few guards. Great. This one better not be spoiled.

@Dusksong
Minoru


He hoped that his studentswere excited for this mission. He...well, he was, but he was also a little nervous. They'd been a fantastic team so far, despite a few setbacks. They were growing as shinobi and he knew their families were proud. That didn't stop him from worrying though. Oddly enough this was the first time since they'd been assigned to him that he was actually on time. Along the way he'd met up with Koharu, a tiny but serious faced girl that no doubt would grow to be a wonderful woman. He towered over the girl and often he had to look down to make sure he hadn't lost her in the crowds. Theur walk had been quiet, as most walks with her were. It wasn't an uncomfortable silence. He knew that she was quiet, did quiet things and generally went about her business without a fuss. She was...different than he'd expected. Hearing you were training an heir to a clan wasn't the best news. Most were spoiled and expected for this whole experience to go by as easily as their lives did. But this one, and Kazuhiko, were different. They strived to be the best, to take all of their challenges head on.

"Are you excited, Koharu?"

He glanced down at the small girl agian as they approached te other two genin that were already waiting for them. He didn't miss the way her lips quirked up at the corners as she watched her teammates. The focus was returned to Minoru and she nodded. "Yes. Mother thinks I'm too young but Osamu-san says I need a real mission." She spoke so formally that Minoru gave a small defeated sigh. Well hopefully having Natsuko around would break that shell of hers. And the one around Kazuhiko.
He felt his own lips twitch into a smile and he gave a soft laugh.

"Go easy on them, Natsuko. It's still quite early." Indeed it was early. A good portion of the village wasn't even awake yet. That was fine though, they had a long journey to the Land of Lightning. No doubt his two serious, sticks in the mud would find this to be an adequate challenge. D-rank missions could only hold their interests for so long. No one wanted to be stuck finding lost dogs or delivering packages throughout the village for a year.

Koharu


There was always a bubble of nervousness that welled up in her stomach, settling heavily in the base of her throat, when she had to greet her teammates. During training she could distract herself with sparring or something. There was no buffer during a time like this though. Koharu nodded at each of her teammates briefly before looking at their sensei. She liked Mimoru so far. He'd neen welcoming of her, even after her rough introduction into his group, and she enjoyed that he didn't pester her with questions about why her clan had immigrated. She could no longer remember the land of her birth beyond the cold and snow, and while she knew why they had left in the first place, she didn't know the fine details. Or why so many were suspicious of the Wakahisa clan. They weren't spies. When the question was presented to Minoru, she looked up at him curiously with an obvious desire to start their mission soon.

"I'm having doubts now, Kazuhiko. I think we should head home."

"But sensei! You said that we were ready. Have you ever spent a year doing kiddie missions? They get dull. Fast." Koharu felt a little embarrassed at her minor outburst. Minoru omly smiled at her and reached out and put a large hand on her hair.

"I was joking. We'll leave soon. I promise. We need to stop at an estate close to the border. We should get there by noon."

Koharu scowled up at the mam and batted his hand away from her head. He laughed quite loudly at that. Such a tiny thing with such an impressive amount of courage. Most would have been disappointed and returned home.

@Dusksong




She had been surprised that he agreed that she go with Garrett. Even the blond was surprised. He had expected William to get angry, to lash out at him. A few hours had passed since then . Garret had given the couple some time to themselves while he played with Rose Anne in the garden. There were things those two had to talk about in private. When they finally did come out of the house, Keziah was wiping her cheeks. No doubt she had been crying.
"I’ll make sure they're all safe. If you have any sort of idea of where you're going to be…well…I can try to send word when the child is born. You deserve to know." Garrett wasn't a bad man, only worried about his friend.

When they finally did leave hours later, Keziah was holding as sleeping Rose Anne as the carriage started to move. It would have been easier on foot of horseback but Keziah's belly and Rose Anne presented a problem. Garrett lived on the edge of Lexington in a simple home. He was unmarried but kept a well maintained home. After he had helped Keziah and Rose Anne from the carriage, the man went about taking some of their belongings inside. "You and your daughter go ahead and rest. I'm going to ask around...see if anyone had the desire to tell where William was at.

((Forgive the post. I'm very tired.))
Garrett looked skeptical. How could he tell that Keziah would bear a little boy. He glanced at the woman and found that under the blush that now stained her cheeks that she too was wondering why William had said they were going to have a son. The man had a sour look onhis face as he regarded the man. "I understand that hey are your family but why come here when we've already had Redcoats looking for you?" The news of Benedict Arnold's assassination had reached Lexington long before William and Garrett knew that there were some that would turn him in rather quickly now that they knew he was here.

"All I'm doing is looking out for Keziah..." He glanced at the woman again. He held no fancy for her. There might have been a time when they were younger and had toyed with he possibility of marrying each other but those days were long gone.
He had come to learn, just as she had, that he would much rather call her a friend, a sister, rather han a wife. He knew that some people mistook the looks he gave her.

"And that's okay, Garrett. But..." Keziah didn't want hdr family to be in danger, she didn't want to see her husband be captured and given a traitor's death. But at the same time she hadn't seen her husband for so long. Rose Anne hadn't seen her father for so long. She paused her thoughts when Rose Anne walked her way to Garrett. The big man smiled briefly and picked her up, holding her carefully. He had mourned Samuel's passing too. It was rather sad to thk that the man who'd helped Garrett with making a little stick musket was gone.

He sighed softly. "Keziah you know that I'm just looking out for you. I can take you and Rose Anne to safety, give you a safe place to live until you birh your child..." This was her call. He wouldn't, couldn't force her to go with him, just like her husband couldn't force her to stay. "And after the child is born...then...I will help you find your husband again. If he isn't captured first." It sounded harsh, and it was, but Garrett made it clear that if William got caught then there wasn't much he could do. He wasn't willing to risk his life for something that would have no gain.

Keziah looked down at her belly then up at Rose Anne. She needed to do right by them. They were her priority now. She looked back at her husband and sighed. She wasn't sure what to do. She wanted to stay with im, be a family again, but if he was going on the run then she and Rose Anne couldn't go. "William..." would he be upset if she asked to go with Garrett? "I don't know what to do..." she said weakly.
Keziah carded her fingers through his hair. She was crying but not as heavily as he was. Rose Anne was crying now too, simply because her parents were crying. Keziah did her best to hush the girl while attempting to comfort her husband. She didn't know how long they'd stayed like that; Keziah holding a still crying Rose Anne and William on his knees with his face pressed to her belly and her hand in his hair. A sudden knock made the woman jump and she unlatched his arms from around her before passing Rose Anne off to William. She hurried to the door, wiping her cheeks before opening it.

On the other side stood her first husband's brother. He was a tall man with thick reddish blond hairand the same blue eyes as his brother. He was also Gabriel's maternal uncle. "Where is he?" The man demanded, looking at Keziah with a serious glare. The little woman was dwarfed by this man but she held her ground, returning his glare with one of her own.

"What do you want, Garrett?" Keziah put a hand on her belly, more as a means of protecting her baby if it came down to if. She didn't thinkthat Garrett would strike her but he was quite angry and sometimes angry men did things they'd regret. When it became clear that neither would budge, Keziah relented and allowed him in. "If you fight in front of our daughter I will not hesitate to boot you out." She hissed, closing the door behind Garrett.
The man sized William up, eyeing him carefully. So this was the man she'd replaced his brother with. Garrett had grown up with Keziah, justlike his big brother Charlie had. By no means was he jealous of their union, Keziah was very much like a sister to him. She had been closer to Garrett than most others. It was after the death of his brother that their friendship had become even more strained than it already was. See, having a female friend had been tolerable until she bled for the first time and he had become a man. Things grew strained between them then.

"Why?" He asked in an icy voice, glaring at William. Men had come through Lexington asking for him but none had breathed a sord of where the farm was. Edward Black had been a well respected man and was a pretty damn good shot with a musket so most tended to take his threats seriously. But it hadn'ttaken a genius to put two and two together. Gabriel had even voiced that it was odd for a man coming back to see his family would stumble out of the forest rather than running down the road, as imperfect as they were. "Why come back to Lexington at all if you're just going to put them in danger?" Garrett should just take Keziah and Rose Anne to safety. She had been someone close to him, family even. He'd promised his brother that he'd make sure Keziah stayed safe. All Charlie wanted for his wife was a happy life. He hadn't been able to give her that life and so as he was on his death bed, growing sicker by the day, he had asked his brother to help his wife in any way he could. Garrett was going to keep that promise.
She paused midway through wrapping a wound on his forearm when he began telling her of how he assassinated Benedict Arnold and how that made him a traitor. For a long time she didn't know what to say, or even think. She just sat there on that over turned bucket quietly as Rose Anne waddled over to her and pat her knees to try and get her attention. "Ama!" The little girl said, throwing her arms in the air. Keziah moved almost robotically, picking up the little girl and settling her in her lap. She buried her face into Rose Anne's soft silvery locks and took a deep breath before looking up at her husband. "He might not have turned out a traitor." She said quietly, resuming her task of bandaging him up. She was upset and it showed. Her lips were set into a firm line and she worked quietly and quickly.

"And because of your actions you've put your family in danger. They know where our farm is, William. They will not hesitate to string you up…or even…" Tears welled in her eyes and she tried to blink them away. The thought of her husband being strung up was enough to make her cry but the thought that somehow they'd lump her and Rose Anne into the category of traitor…of what they could do to her babies…that's what broke her heart. She'd already lost so many people, she didn't want to lose anymore. Keziah finished tying the final bandage in place before she got up with Rose Anne in hand. "Where do you suggest we go? If you can't clearly tell, I am in no condition to be travelling." She gestured down to her belly. Honestly she didn't know how far she really was. For all she knew the baby could come any week now.

"And Rose Anne…she's but a babe. We cannot leave her with someone while we run. I refuse to give my children up!" All sorts of possibilities flashed in her head, each worse than the last. It hit her that this was the first fight she'd had with any of her spouses. "And what shall we do if they come here? Hide in the forest and hope that they don't find us or give up and come out with a white flag?"

She wiped her face and the child in her arms looked at her with a concerned face before grabbing her nose. Keziah gave the girl a watery smile before looking at her husband with a harsh glare. Maybe Keziah should just take her daughter and go find a friend in Lexington to live with for a while. The possibility that they'd use her to get to William was in her mind though. What could a pregnant woman do against a bunch of soldiers?
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