The Moonstone Heiress Chapter Twelve: Traveled Roads

That first night Carlone cried herself into a stupor. It was not until rationalizing to the point of delusion that she forced herself to believe that the Regent would release her after he began to miss her. A day and a half without food or water began to sober Carlone's senses once more regarding her situation and she understood she was being left to die alone. It was a perfect way to dispose of her; there had been no trial or any formal execution, because she was the hidden woman, one that even the Queen did not want to be known to her own people. Only for a mere second did it pass within her thoughts that Carlone realized that had she fallen pregnant with the Regents child the infant would likely have been taken from her and delivered to the monarchy to continue their charade of a perfect family, while she would either have the same fate to die imprisoned or worse to be kept as breeding stock if her offspring were well-liked by Her Majesty. Concerns of this matter were of no consequence to Carlone once the pain of thirst for water made her wary. Her voice became faint from yelling for the guard to help her. Instead, she gave up, opting to rest until she was either dead or someone had the decency to kill her for her second night in her cell. It was on the early morning of the third day of her incarceration that Carlone lost consciousness whilst feverishly attempting to yank the bars from her cell apart enough for her to slip through. When she came to she was in a sack within a barrel. She was too dazed to know then that she had been recused.

Carlone awoke on a hay mat in a damp cellar on the fourth day after her dismissal. There was a mug of freshwater by her side, which she drank so quickly she nearly vomited from choking on it. Her coughing must have alerted others to her presence because shortly after none other than young Dowson entered. "Got yourself in over your head I heard," Dowson tried to joke as he plopped down on the dirt floor across from Carlone. She responded to his entry with a weak, "How?" Dowson shuffled himself around in his spot as if he were mulling over in his head the simplest explanation to give to her. "I bought myself into a match after you helped me out. I won the prize pouch and all the money I bet on myself. It was enough to pay you back, which I did...well I tried to anyway. You see when I went to the castle to ask for you no one knew where you went. Then Buloke caught up with me at the Tavern later and low and behold, you had been thrown out with the rubbish. They thought