Heart pounding, Estell led Evane down the empty hall. His laboured breath sounded like a roaring wind in the cold silence, "not far now brother, soon you will be free of this cursed place". Estell did not know if she whispered these words to comfort her brother or herself, or simply to drive away the fear of what would happen if their cousin discovered them now. This would be the only chance to get Evane out of the palace and city, if anything went wrong tonight, months of careful planning and secrecy would be ruined. Slilently Estell thanked whoever had equipped Evane with such a sharp mind and swift smooth tongue. It had saved them on countles occasions. There it was, just as the book had said. The silver door stood out like a beacon in the night, excitement and hope gripped Estell like a physical thing. Reaching behind her she grasped Evane's hand and together they began to slip toward the door. "Almost there, almost there" came Evanes hoarse whisper. Suddenly Estell stopped short "wait" she whispered "someone is coming"!