A warm wind blew across the balcony. Arland leaned forward on the sturdy banister, unafraid of falling. The wind ruffled his hair and for once in a long time he actually looked happy and at piece. His eyes seemed tog low as he looked at brilliant sunrise. The sun was a red orange glow far off on the horizon. The sky was streaked with the most amazing colors. Arland leaned so far over that his feet left the ground and it was only the strength of his arms and his balance that kept him from falling. His eyes were closed as he enjoyed the contrast of cool morning breeze and the warmth of the rising sun. His eyes flew open when he heard a shout from below, he shifted lowering his feet to the ground and frowned down to the gardener shouting to a guard and pointing frantically up at him. He just blinked and looked down seven stories to see a guard run to the kitchen entrance. Arland backed- up from the balcony blinking. Then his eyes widened. They thought he was going to jump? Stupid. He wasn't that desperate. He didn't like his situation but he was alive. And as long as he lived there was some hope for change… no matter how slim they were. He had just wanted to get away from the palace… well as far as he could anyway. He lifted a hand to finger his collar. A nervous habit he had developed to replace the old habit of rubbing the talisman he had used to wear so long ago. His eyes closed in pain for a minute. Not because of the loss of the talisman but because of all the freedom's he had lost since then. And because the thought of how much he had lost hurt like a fresh wound. He tried to even his breathing and force the calm that he had been taught as a child. A calm he had never lost until the Sultan… no! He wouldn't think of it now either… those thoughts might be enough to make him jump. He sighed and stepped back out onto the balcony enjoying the feel of air on his skin so he was freed from the smothering atmosphere of the castle.
He looked back into the room over his shoulder scowling at what he saw. Silk, satins and marble… he had once thought of them as beautiful… but now they seemed do sterile so cold… especially the marble. A reminder of his captivity. A reminder of his past master and his current ones. Cold, unyielding like marble. He often felt like a captured jinn. A captured soul, dressed up to look powerful and marvelous but really was just a slave in a pretty bottle. Glass… something precious… just seemed like another marble to him. He smiled, imagining his old friend's reaction to hearing that he preferred cotton and wool to satin and silk. A small wooden cabin to a large marble castle. Sam would think he went mad. More pain. Another loss.
It was amazing… so much forgotten, so much left behind and lost and it was Sam that he missed the most… and yet he was glad that Sam wasn't with him. That Sam was far away… and somewhere safe. He nodded and looked into the sunrise. Yes. Since this was the way it was he would be happy never to see Sam again… at least then Sam would be safe.
Sam ran panting around the corner. His long hair blowing across his face as he ran. A wild smirk on his lips as he ran. He shot a quick look over his shoulder. It had been a while since he had had this much fun. There was no way those fatsoes would catch him. He looked over his shoulder to see to rather large guards chasing him. He frowned as he continued to run. They shouldn't have even gotten this close. Hmm… they must not have believed Cullen. He winced. I hope Cullen is all right. Here we go. He hurtled a barrel and dodged a backer carrying a tray full of bread. And looked over his shoulder to see three of the five guards not be so lucky. One tripped over the barrel and knocked the man behind him into a rather angry looking drunk and another had ran onto the baker who was now loudly demanding to be paid for the bread. So now there are two. He saw an escape a head. A passageway hidden under a carpet at the Carpet dealers. The purple one and it wasn't that far away. He looked back. Yep, the two remaining guards were far behind enough and winded enough not to notice. Quickly he leapt to the other side of stall the carpet dealer cocked and eyebrow and winked at him and continued to shout in a loud voice, "wares for sale! Wares for sales!"
Sam ran up the narrow staircase that led to a roof and looked down below to see two rather red-faced guards panting below. The larger of the two was panting with his head between his knees. Sam rose an eyebrow. They were looking around but when the smaller of the two which probably weighed close to three hundred pounds and had sweat running down his face got close to the purple carpet the carpet salesman hoped in front of it. "Want to buy this… no it no good. Check out this one over here. So much better. He dragged the guard away." Then lipped over his shoulder, now go kid. Sam smirked and took off running to go see it Briac had another job for him.