This is it!!! This completes my trilogy. I'm so excited, are you?
Sean leaned back against the mast. He rested his head against the cold wood and his eyes found the moons halfway down from their height. They were so still, so quiet. He reached a hand up as if he could touch them, and the sight of his hand reminded him of other things he could do to burn off his restless energy and still his mind.
The boat was too narrow for him to swing his swords unless he could be sure the deck was empty, so he left them in their sheaths. He was just getting into it, just starting to feel the rhythm, when a fierce fire lit up his back, and a moment later he felt ice cold water hit him in the face with stunning force.
Laon had been watching over Sean from the dark shadows of the stairwell leading to the lower deck. Though alert, he could not react before the sailor had launched Sean over the rail, less one money pouch. He snatched the man by the throat before he had the chance to weigh his treasure, and bent him over the rail dangerously far while at the same time looking for some sign of Sean in the dark waters.
Still clutching the man by the throat, Laon sounded the alarm. “Alert, alert!” he roared. “We have to stop! Get up everyone! Get up!” He turned his attention to the man in his grip. “Stop this thing.”
Under Laon’s grip the sailor was unable to speak, he just shook his head, frantically clawing at his grip.
The barge captain was on the deck in seconds. “What going on here?”
Laon was so furious and anxious that he could scarcely speak. “This…” As Laon shook him, the man in his grip clawed at Laon’s wrist, bringing the filched purse up to everyone’s notice. “He pushed the king over the side. We have to stop. We have to find him.”
Even though the sailor had been unable to speak under Laon’s grip, now his eyes bulged. No one had known that Sean was the king and everyone knew what kind of man the king was. No one took the time to consider that Sean and the king they all knew might be two different men.
All the shouting roused the rest of the barges in turn and lights were lit and held over the side in an effort to see something in the water.
The captain cinched the sailor to the mast and Laon promised him that if they couldn’t find Sean, he would send him into the water after him, and the captain promised to help. The purse was given to Laon.
The captain tried to explain to the frantic Laon their handicaps. They couldn’t just stop; if they threw out their anchor, the rest of the barges would run into them and even if they all were able to stop without mishap, any one of those anchors could hit their target, or the rope could catch him and tangle him. They had to look first before they risked trying to stop.
A shout went up from the second barge. Someone had spotted a red stain on a chunk of ice.