Chapter 3: Bullets, Baubles, and Breeches

"Marvelous, Your Highness!" Major Swift called out from behind Zora. "Your accuracy is becoming quite impressive." He took a few steps closer and placed one hand on her shoulder to make a minor adjustment to her posture. With his other, he steadied her arm. "There, now. Mind your form, Zoraline," he added. His voice was rich and deep and full of warmth, and as he spoke, his breath stirred the soft wisps of hair that had escaped from her messy bun.

Zora felt the back of her neck turn to gooseflesh and suppressed a shiver. She thanked the Light that she was facing away from him. The last thing she needed was for him to catch her blushing over him. This kind of distraction will certainly prove challenging, she thought. I guess that's good for training, too. Releasing a slow, steady breath, she closed one eye, focused down the barrel of her pistol, and fired a bullet directly into her mark: a lemon which sat precariously atop the ledge in the back of the castle gardens.

"Hah!" she shouted. She was surprised, herself. She had not felt this alive in some time. It had been nearly a month since her fight with Elliot, and he hadn't made any efforts to speak to her since. The only thing that had hurt more than the feeling of rejection was not knowing whether or not he'd moved on without her.

"Splendid!" the Major cheered. "I don't believe I could have done much better, myself."

Zora turned to face him, beaming with pride. She'd never before hit such a small target at such a distance, and she was ecstatic to have done so in front of her mentor. Major Swift was the finest marksman she'd ever seen, and throughout their time training together, he'd also become her friend—a friend she deeply admired and looked up to. "Can I try a grape next?"

Not far away, Seraphine smiled into the flask of water she had brought to her lips. She knelt deep in the shade of an ancient, sprawling yew, carefully sorting through the glass lenses she had brought with her to the makeshift shooting range. A wolf pup's snowy head rested on her right knee, and she gave her a gentle pat. Valor had grown rapidly under the light of her new owner's affection, but she was still rather undersized. Sera had expected her to cavort in the sunshine today; unlike most animals, she didn't seem to mind the thunderclap of gunfire, at all. But there she was, snoozing in the shade, her little face the picture of contentment. Since her rescue, she rarely left Sera's side. The twins had had to lie to Jasper about her-she was a husky, they insisted!-but they both more than suspected that the old valet knew better and had chosen to keep their secret, anyway.

Zora was in fine form today, Sera saw. She was ready to prove herself, and her affection for the Major could not possibly have been more obvious. Zora shivered a little whenever he touched her, and Sera could have sworn she saw her dark, beautiful sister's nostrils flare whenever he drew near, as though she were taking in his scent, a sweet tobacco smell that Sera had begun to detect in her sister's hair more and more often, lately-not that the gentleman soldier would ever take advantage of her affection, of course.

She picked up a small circle of convex glass and held it to her eye, gazing up at the branches swaying high above her head. She watched a line of ants in parade along the trunk and realized that one of them was missing a leg.

Now that is good craftsmanship, she thought admiringly. Professor Faraday knew his business.

"You know, that'd serve its purpose much better if it was attached."

Seraphine turned and froze with the lens over her eye as her world turned red and gold.

The little circle of glass magnified the figure of an approaching man. He wore a crimson soldier's uniform with an officer's insignia on his shoulders and moved with an easy gait, as though he had never had reason to hurry in his life. Blonde stubble caught the sunlight in the refracted image, and a thick shock of hair fell over one of his deep blue eyes. He was smiling at her. The lens slipped through her fingers and landed in her lap. Valor woke with a snuffle and immediately began nosing around for food.

"Ah, Captain Finn, at last. Jolly good." Major Swift crossed the field and gave the other man's hand a firm shake, clapping him on the back. "I see you haven't died, after all. We were beginning to worry!"

"Died? Me? Swifty, I'm hurt." He placed a hand over his heart and gave Swift a brave, wounded look. "Sorry to disappoint you, Major, but you're going to have to put up with me just a bit longer."

"A burden I shall carry for many, many years to come, I'm sure. Right then, let's not waste daylight." Swift turned to the girls and clasped the captain's shoulder. "I don't have to remind you how to salute, Mr. Finn, do I? Your Highnesses, permit me to introduce Captain Benjamin Finn, the finest crackshot I've seen in my entire career. He has agreed to assist me with your training for as long as he can be spared. And, as he is currently drowning in unused rest and recreation hours, I've decided that he can be spared until Your Highnesses command otherwise. Captain, this is Princess Zoraline—" he nodded to Zora, who looked mildly annoyed, Sera thought, "—and Crown Princess Seraphine."

"Ladies," Captain Finn said smoothly, snapping a playful salute and giving them his smile again. His eyes were bright and merry, and Sera had a feeling they had probably gotten him into trouble more than a few times.

"G-good afternoon, Captain," she said, much more softly than she'd meant to. She seemed to have temporarily lost her voice. It was very odd. She brought a hand to the hollow of her throat and swallowed hard, willing herself not to blush with every fiber of her being. Her alabaster skin always told the tales her heart tried to keep to itself. No amount of makeup could change that.

"Captain." Zora nodded. "It's an absolute pleasure to meet the 'finest crackshot' around, although I will give you a run for your coin on that title soon," she teased, returning a playful grin of her own.

"That is no idle threat," Swift warned him, pulling a tobacco pouch from his jacket pocket and setting about the task of filling his pipe. "I daresay the Princess was born to do this." He paused to smile and tip a wink in Zora's direction, then drew on the pipe with a satisfied nod. "Some simply have the gift."

"While others bust their arses to achieve perfection," Ben countered. In one fluid movement, he retrieved the rifle from his back, lined up his sights on a slender tree in the distance, and fired. Sera felt its percussive boom deep inside her chest. Gun smoking, he darted across the clearing and bent low to pluck something from the grass below the tree. When he returned, he shot a cheeky grin at the twins and opened his hand to reveal a cherry he'd pitted with the precise placement of his bullet. He placed this literal fruit of his labor in his mouth, biting it from its stem. "Why don't you try th—phwow!" His jaw fell open slightly as he sucked in a sudden burst of air.

Sera leaned against the yew with her partially-assembled rifle in her lap, shaking with laughter. Some of the loose lenses rolled into the grass and Valor immediately gave chase with a loud bark. Zora gave her sister a bewildered look over one shoulder while Swift chuckled quietly into his pipe.

"What's funny?" Ben asked, spreading his hands and then exaggeratedly examining them, as if for stains. Zora snorted and rolled her eyes. She was impatient to give that rifle of his a go and show him what a real crackshot looked like. For a moment, she actually considered taking it from him, but her sister's peals of laughter wiped the thought from her mind. Seraphine never laughed like that. Not with anyone but Zora.

"Hot enough for you, Captain?" Sera asked, dabbing at her eyes with one sleeve.

Ben grinned. "Hot enough, Your Highness."

Zora exchanged a mystified glance with Major Swift, who simply shrugged. "I haven't the faintest idea," he murmured.

"The cherry," Sera explained. She was positively beaming, now. "When one object passes through another that fast, the friction produces heat. In this case, a lot of it, apparently."

Zora had learned that lesson the hard way—by burning herself with the muzzle of her own gun when she'd first begun training. One corner of her mouth lifted in a half-smile as she watched Ben Finn kneel beside her sister. He immediately began filling Sera's hands with lost lenses.

"You won't want these beauties getting scratched," he told her, holding one up to the light and peering through it. "This is some bloody good work. Who made these?"

"We did," Zora said, walking toward him and sliding her pistol into its holster. She flexed and opened her right hand, stretching her sore fingers as far as they would go. "Sera designed them, and we made them together." With a little help from a sweet old man and some petty larceny, she added silently, suppressing a smirk.

"I, um, call it a farsight rifle," Sera said embarrassedly. Zora couldn't help arching an eyebrow at her. What was wrong with her?

"Princess Seraphine is a student of science, Mr. Finn. I understand she's co-writing a thesis with Professor Faraday on Hughes' theories of Optics," Swift explained. "Something you would do well to look into, as I've said before. Old knowledge is the best knowledge, as they say."

"No one says that," Zora giggled.

The major didn't miss a beat. "I say it."

"Afraid I'm going to have to agree with the Princess, sir. No one says that."

"Your talent for avoiding the point of an issue continues to astonish me. Truly."

Ben carefully handed the last of the lenses to Sera. "Oh come on, Swifty, don't blame me—blame the chain of command! And I mean absolutely no offense by this, but Hughes is the finest set of bedtime reading I've ever owned. I can't make head or tail of a single word."

This time it was Zora's turn to laugh. "At last, we agree on something, Captain."

"Dreadful, isn't it?" Swift sighed. "I do wish that someone would write a more modern version. When I speak the name 'Hughes' all of my riflemen seem to become suddenly, temporarily, and utterly deaf."

Sera fitted several of the lenses to the sighting mechanism mounted on her experimental gun. They slid into place with soft clicks, one by one. "Tell me what they say about him once they've seen this."

Then, to Zora's astonishment, she slung the finished rifle across her back and began climbing the yew tree. "Sera? Oh, you've got to be bloody kidding me—be careful!" she shouted as her sister disappeared into the foliage.

Zora, Swift, and Ben stared up into the branches of the yew for exactly three seconds before Zora rounded on the men and held up her arms. "Don't be looking up her dress, you two!"

Ben Finn bit his lip to keep from grinning and stared at the ground. Major Swift rolled his eyes at her. "I promise you, my lady, I shan't peek. I must track your sister's progress so that I can catch her if she falls out of that blasted tree. I had no idea she was so nimble."

"Oh, it's not really dexterity, Major. It's sheer muscle power. Sera doesn't look it, but she is very, very strong," Zora said, not without a note of pride. "Seraphine, dear," she called, jerking Ben Finn's chin back down when he tried to look up again. "Since you're up there, how much longer do we have before it rains?"

The answer came from high, high above, along with a brief shower of leaves. "An hour, I think, if the wind doesn't change. I can see the barracks from here! It looks deserted. Has something happened?"

"With King Logan's Royal Guard at sea, the rest of us have stepped in to fill their places, my lady," Swift said. "The barracks are not terribly full just now."

He leaned close to Zora, murmured, "If you will permit me," and caught a few strands of her black hair between his fingers. Her heart nearly jumped from her chest. She felt a delightful tingling sensation at her hairline as the Major gently coaxed a small red leaf from the long wisps. When he was done, she let out a breath she hadn't realized she'd been holding. "Th-thank you, Major." She flushed and stumbled over the words. Ancestral spirits, keep me from acting like a bumbling fool in front of this man and I will never doubt your existence again, she thought.

"Wait a tick. You can see how understaffed we are from up there? That's pretty damn impressive!"

Before either the Major or the blushing Princess could react, Captain Finn was clamoring up the trunk of the yew, his boots scraping off chips of pale bark as he climbed. Sera might not have been extraordinarily nimble, but Ben was, and he reached her in moments, moving like a cat through the limbs of the tree. He had clearly done this many times before.

Sera stretched the full length of her body along a thick branch. She heard a growing rustling and the snapping of small branches behind her and peered back over her shoulder. It was Ben Finn. She put her eye to the empty rifle's scope once more, peering at the barracks training yard and trying to keep her breaths steady as the handsome captain approached. The mud of the yard was scored with a frenzied tangle of boot prints from sword fighting and battle formations. Someone had lost a button from his jacket. It glinted in the sun far, far in the distance.

"Ever fired one of these before, Princess?"

Ben Finn shimmied toward her, gripping a branch between his thighs. He was upside down. When he reached her, he let himself hang there for a few moments, his arms crossed over his chest. Sera clutched at her own branch for dear life and tried to focus on anything but the way the cold breeze ruffled his golden hair. If he made her laugh now, she might well fall out of the tree. The storm was moving faster. It would be upon them in no time.

She smiled back at him, then looked swiftly away again. "No. You have, though, haven't you?"

"It just so happens that I have," he replied, swinging himself upright once more. He moved closer. "Can't say I've seen a rifle quite like this, though."

Sera cocked an eyebrow at him. "Yet you've fired one?"

He grinned. "It's all very mysterious, isn't it? I can share a few pointers if you'd like, Your Highness. I have a bit of experience with this sort of thing."

"By all means, Captain," Sera answered with another, broader smile. Somehow, he had banished some of her timidness. She had never before met someone so utterly disarming. "I can use all the help I can get. What should I do first?"

The young captain pulled himself onto the branch beside hers, wrapping his legs around it to steady himself. With a few gentle touches, he coaxed her into the proper firing position, with her forefinger resting safely outside the trigger guard. She bit her lower lip, struggling to stifle the butterflies that seemed to have taken up permanent residence in her belly.

Focus. He isn't here to sweep you off your feet, he's here to train you, she told herself. Focus. Remember why you're here.

"Right," he said, oblivious to her discomfort. "The most important thing is to be patient. With a beauty like this, you've got all the time in the world. Track your target, no matter how long it takes, and don't fire unless you know you're going to hit. One man, one bullet. You'll need to stay on the move, too, because once they find you, they'll try to burn you out if they can't get at you with their weapons. So you can't ever let them find you. All good longshots carry a sidearm in case of trouble, too. You might want to think about doing the same, Princess."

He had a point. It would be all too easy for an enemy to sneak up on her and dispatch her while her attention was focused elsewhere. She had to be able to react instantly—with finality.

"Now," he went on, "you're obviously a very well-read young lady, and I salute you for it. But you need more than book smarts to win a battle. You have to feel your way to victory, always ready to change up your tactics as needed. Use your intuition. Also, you'll be tempted to close one of your eyes when you aim, but you can't do that, not with this. If you're going to be a longshot, you have to become a bloody surgeon with that thing. Precision, that's the goal. Slow and steady does the trick. Keep your eyes open, aim, exhale slowly... and squeeze the trigger."

Sera loaded the rifle and carefully adjusted its sights. She forced herself to open her other eye and let out a long, slow breath. Ben was very still beside her. It felt a little strange, considering how animated he had been only moments earlier.

She slipped her forefinger over the trigger and squeezed.

A great boom split the air like a thunderclap, and the rifle jumped in her hands, taking her by surprise. Its stock socked painfully into her shoulder, the impact radiating all the way to her fingertips. She felt as though she had been kicked by a small horse.

A plume of dirt rose lazily into the air. Missed. Sera cursed silently, rubbing at her shoulder.

"What are you aiming for?" Ben asked. "Mind if I take a look?"

She handed the rifle to him and did her best to help him change the lenses to match his own visual needs as closely as possible. It wasn't easy; they were all custom-made for her. "There's a button on the ground in the empty training yard. See?"

"No... Wait. Yes! I see it. This is amazing…." He lifted his head and gave her a kind look that made his blue eyes softer. "I hate to say it, Princess, but your target is a bit beyond your level just now. Give it a little time and practice, and one day you'll make that button wish it had never been born. Or, you know, manufactured." He handed the rifle back to her and pointed to the cherry tree across the clearing. "Why don't you try something a bit bigger? And closer."

Sera peered down the scope at the cherries. They hung in heavy bunches, ripe, red, and wonderfully tempting. She was very conscious of Ben's warm body beside hers, and felt a deep flush creep from her breast to the roots of her hair.

Oh no no! Not in front of him!

Too late.

Far below them, Zora reached into a satchel that hung on the fence post and pulled out a small handful of bullets. Holding her pistol firmly in the other hand, she flicked her wrist and the barrel sprang open. "I'd love to try a few more trick shots before we finish today," she said, eagerly reloading her weapon.

Swift chuckled and shook his head in wonder. "If my recruits had even a tenth of your enthusiasm, I daresay Albion would rule the world." He gave her shoulder a soft, reassuring squeeze. "Zoraline, you are a rare woman."

Zora's jaw dropped a little and her mouth turned dry as a few bullets slipped through her fingers. Hearing a man of his stature refer to her as a woman had caught her by surprise. "Shit," she muttered, crouching to pick up the ammunition. So much for my ancestors saving me from utter mortification, she thought.

The Major knelt beside her and helped her pick through the grass. If he'd heard her cursing, he was far too gentlemanly to let on. "You know," he said, gently rearranging the bullets in her hand, "if you place them all just so, you won't even have to look when reloading."

She looked down into her hand, trying hard not to let on that at that very moment, the feeling of his fingertips grazing her palm sent shivers of excitement up her spine. Unfortunately, the delightful feeling was abruptly cut short by the sound of someone clearing their throat behind her.

"Ex—cuse me, Zora," Elliot said, with a great deal of hesitation. "I…" His eyes darted over to the Major before settling back on her, his face reddening slightly. "We need to talk."

Of all the times he could have come to speak with her, he picked the very moment she'd finally begun to feel over him.

Zora stood up and continued loading her gun, her eyes burning her resentment into him, silently hoping this intimidation would send him packing. When that did not happen, she finally answered him. "All right, Elliot. Talk."

Once again, Elliot glanced over at Swift, who remained at her side, much to his disappointment. "Zora, please," the boy begged under his breath.

Zora heaved a great sigh. She had been patient with him all this time, and now that he was ready to come around, he found it acceptable to simply barge back into her life—which, until this moment, had finally begun to go on without him. She flicked her wrist to snap the barrel of the loaded pistol closed and holstered it roughly. She did not want to lose her composure in front of Major Swift, but it was being tested to its very limit.

Elliot sensed that her fuse was running short and began speaking with an almost condescending softness. "How about a nice walk, then?"

"How about you just tell me why you're here?" she snipped. Why was he here? To add insult to injury, or to save face?

After a reluctant pause, Elliot reached into his left breast pocket and pulled out an intricately carved, ornamental box. His thumbs traced the outline of the box nervously as he gazed down at it. "This is not how I imagined myself giving you this, but," he said, "I need you to know the depth of my affection for you."

Zora's heart plummeted into her stomach. Please don't let this be a ring...

He opened the box, revealing a large, yellow diamond pendant.

Oh, thank the Light, Zora thought, finally able to breathe again. The pendant was attached to a thick gold chain. As he removed it from the box, she tried hard to repress her disgust. What ever made him believe that he could buy her forgiveness? "What's this for?" she asked him as he placed the gift into her hands.

"I'm so sorry for treating you the way I did. You are truly my one and only love. No one could ever replace you." Elliot appeared genuinely moved by his own words, but Zora could not forget the cruel man who had thrown her away like rubbish when last she saw him.

"Elliot, I…" She was not sure what to say. She wanted to believe him, but her heart still held so much doubt and pain. Looking down at the garish gemstone in her hands, she thought of just how many mouths it could feed, and how if he truly thought she could be won over by extravagance, he did not know her at all. "This is too much."

"I insist, sweetheart. Please. Wear it as a token of my love."

A silent pause fell between them and she remembered that their exchange was taking place in front of everyone else. "Thank you for the gift, Elliot," she said briskly, clearing her throat as she pushed the necklace into her pocket. "And for the apology." Insincere as it was, she thought.

Elliot frowned a bit. "You aren't going to wear it, my love?"

Zora looked at him. She chewed on her lip a moment, fumbling for the right thing to say in this situation.

"Pardon me, but I am afraid it is my fault," Major Swift interrupted, stepping in. "The Princesses cannot wear anything quite so breakable during their training. I am sorry."

Zora felt an immediate sense of relief. She could have kissed him.

Elliot nodded. "Oh, I see. Well, all right then," he conceded reluctantly to the Major, who clearly intimidated him to his core. "Perhaps later, then," he told Zora.

"Perhaps," she replied, a smile tugging the corners of her mouth.

"Well…" Elliot looked longingly into her eyes before glancing at the Major. "I suppose I should be going, then." He bent forward, took her hand, and planted a knightly kiss on her knuckles. "Good day to you, milady."

"Goodbye, Elliot." She smiled at him, almost giggling now. She found his charade hysterical, in spite of her hurt. He'd bedded her and cast her off, and now he wanted to act the noble lover?

A deafening crack pierced the air, and Zora had to bite her lip as hard as she could to keep from laughing as Elliot uttered a little scream and jumped. He looked nervously around, then continued walking as nonchalantly as he could, as if it had never happened. But it had, and Zora wanted to pick her sister up and swing her around for it.

"Nice shot, Sera!" Zora commended her.

"I was shooting at the cherry tree, waaay over there in the complete opposite direction," Seraphine chuckled from overhead. "He had nothing to fear from the likes of me."

She saw the toes of Sera's low-heeled shoes peeking from the bottom of the foliage for a moment, and then her sister landed lightly on her feet in the grass. Ben Finn followed, a look of surprised admiration on his handsome face. "I tried to be good, Zora, truly I did," she said breathlessly. Her cheeks were flushed with more than exertion, Zora noticed. "But I just couldn't help myself. Did you see the way he jumped?"

"If he didn't shit himself, I'm a general," Ben said solemnly, and Sera dissolved into another fit of laughter. He grinned at her, looking very pleased with himself.

Swift's pipe had gone out. He lit it again and spoke around the stem. "You're no general, Mr. Finn, that's certain, so I suppose we have no recourse."

"I suppose we ought to have a moment of silence for his breeches." Zora snorted.

"Would anyone like to say a few words?" Sera asked, holding herself about the middle as she shook with laughter. "On behalf of the befouled?"

"Be them split or be them shit, we condemn them not, and consign these breeches to their eternal resting place the same," Zora added, feigning an over-dramatic mournful tone.

Sera drew herself up and bowed her fair head. When she began to speak, it was in the dry, solemn voice of a vicar. "I remember when the breeches were only shortpants," she said grandly. Even Valor was quiet. "They could have run and played among the wildflowers, worn by a lucky child. But alas, there is no stopping the relentless march of time, and they grew to become menswear. Noble menswear. They endured dyeing, being taken in at the crotch often and always under cover of night, being let out at the waist after large dinners, and all manner of unspeakable things, and they never complained. They were courageous breeches. They were Albion's breeches. They will be remembered. Often. At dinner parties."

"They are at peace now." Zora barely got the words out before bursting into uncontrollable laughter. As she fought to catch her breath, her expression fell and she felt a few warm tears rolling down her cheeks, not from sadness, but utter release.

Major Swift felt around in his jacket, drew out a clean, pressed and folded handkerchief, and handed it to Zora with a small smile. "My lady. Princess Seraphine, that was a beautiful sermon. If they did it half so well among the clergy, the churches would be full to bursting." He turned back to Zora and surprised her by placing a hand on her shoulder. "All levity aside, are you quite all right, Zoraline?" he asked gently. "You look a bit pale."

Zora dabbed at her face, sniffing as she smiled. "Yes, thank you," she replied, passing the cloth back to him.

Swift shook his head and raised a hand. "Please keep it, my Princess. If I make my guess correctly, though I certainly hope I do not, you may need it again before long." He paused, and for a moment, he looked younger. Even hesitant. "If he should bother you again…"

"I think what the Major is trying to say is that if that boy had the balls to join the Army, he'd give him ten lashes just for looking at you crossways," Ben finished for him. "Is that about the size of it, sir?"

The older man nodded. "I suppose that's as good a summary as any. But I believe 25 lashes and a month's hard labor would be better suited to this particular offense."

Zora felt her heart skip when she heard Swift rise to her defense. She looked down at the handkerchief, sweeping her thumb over the monogrammed 'L.S.' as she folded it. "Lionel Swift," she whispered to herself, before looking up and smiling at the man.

For a moment, his eyelids seemed to grow heavy as he looked at her, and then he cleared his throat and gathered himself. Beside him, Ben was watching the two of them with a faintly curious tilt of his head. Sera saw it all and grinned into her hand.

"So, what do you reckon, Zora-love?" She nodded to the pocket that held the yellow pendant. "It's not as nice as the lemon, but at least it's a color you're used to shooting at."

Zora's hand dropped to cover her pocket and as she felt the outline of the huge bauble within it, she grew irritated that it was even there in the first place. "Perhaps I should shoot at it."

"I'd love to see that," Sera said, "but I think it would serve the poor in Bowerstone far better. Don't you agree?"

"I'd say that that is the perfect idea. Shame Elliot didn't think of it first or it may have saved him a trip," Zora replied. "...and a pair of pants."

They all chuckled at that.

Ben Finn gave Sera an approving nod and said, "That surprise shot was a masterstroke, Princess. The poor bloke must have leapt a yard into the air. I wouldn't have figured a soft, noble lad like him for a jumper. You even hit the cherry! I think we can agree that we have two deadshots in the making here, don't we, Major?"

"Indeed!" Agreed Swift. "And a good thing, too. Perhaps Princess Seraphine can inspire my troops to read Hughes, at last."

A splash of color caught Sera's eye before she could reply, completely wiping her embarrassment away. Purple. Royal purple. A royal sailing ship was docking in the Old Quarter. She raised her empty rifle and swung the barrel of the gun toward the castle, peering through the lenses. Everyone was in an uproar, maids, manservants, and soldiers alike. They were rushing inside. She slung the rifle back over her shoulder and felt bitter fingers of ice grip her heart.


"Oh, Zora!" Sera cried, turning. She swept Valor into her arms. "Logan's back, but something's wrong. We have to go to him!"

Zora watched her sister's long, white hair fan out behind her as she ran, and a sense of horror fell over her like a shroud.

The storm had arrived.

Notes from the Authors:

BishouNoMarina: Thank you all so much for taking the time to read and review this chapter: Bullets, Baubles, and Breeches! It's been a long time since we've been able to write together, due to health, family, and work issues, but we're back! As we post this, we're working on the next chapter, which we hope you will enjoy! It's time now to meet Logan, who has just returned from Aurora. Please join us again soon. :)

Indiegarona: This chapter was insanely fun to write! We hope you are enjoying the story so far, and welcome all reviews and feedback! Also, feel free to check us out on Twitch as we often play Fable 3 co op together: TTV/indiegarona & TTV/heartfistbrain - go follow us! We'd love to see you in the chat rooms!