Unbarking believeable, Deryn thought as they scrambled out the door, the emergency alarm threatening to rip her eardrums apart. Alek was right behind her as they jumped off the landing between the compartments. Deryn took off as soon as she hit the ground, paralell with the train. Alek's footsteps were right behind her, but more were coming, she could feel it. There were shouts in German behind them, and Deryn dared a glance over her shoulder. The soldiers were weaving their way through the compartments, some had their guns already in hand.
"Blisters, Alek, they've got guns! Run like hell!" She shouted. She quickly darted to the right and leapt between another two compartments, then across the station landing and out the door. Alek was puffing, coming up next to her. They ran through the station lobby and out the front doors into the street, knocking people out of the way.
There were walkers of all sized bounding up the streets, passengers in tow. Deryn weaved her way through pedestrians and across the street. She waited for Alek before braving the road, taking his hand and jumping in. They darted between carts and walkers, bicycles and people. They nearly got hit many times but eventually made it to a quiet side street, where they used their remaining energy to sprint through a maze of alleys. THey ran for at least ten minutes.
"Deryn I - I can't breathe!" Alek sputtered, slowing himself to a halt.
Deryn skidded and returned to his side. He was breathing heavily, doubled over with his hand on his chest. She didn't hear anyone pursuing them, so she sat him down on a crate. He was gulping for fresh air.
"You alright?" she asked. His handsome face was blotched red, his eyes popping. She fished a sock out of her bag and wiped his forehead of the sweat. She was tired as well, but he was about to drop.
"Y - Yes I'll be fine. Just scared out of my wits, love." he smiled at her, her heart melting.
She had been so furious with him the past two months for deciding to come back here that she had forgotten how much she loved him. He was always so sweet to her, making sure she was okay, and she didn't even bother to thank him. All of her anger melted away as they sat there. Anything could happen now, they could get killed today if those Germans caught up. This was no time to be mad at the man who had thrown away everything to be with her.
Now she was doing the same thing for him, giving up happiness to help him. It was stupid, they were both still so young, too young ot take on an empire. But she knew Alek had to, no matter how daft the idea seemed. He was a prince, no amount of normalcy could erase that fact.
Alek held his breath abruptly, holding his hand over Deryn's mouth. His eyes widened, and she heard it too. Germans.
"Blisters, they can track, can't they?" she swore.
Alek nodded. "Their still a few streets off, but we've left quite a trail of confused people." Alek's hand went to his pocket as it had been the entire trip. Deryn had sewn an extra buttoned and lined pocket in all of his trousers and her own in preparing for this trip. The scroll holding Alek's birthright was more important than anything else, and needed to be protected. It was wrapped in cloth and inside of a plastic bag, in case water was ever to be an issue.
Alek stood, taking Deryn's face in his hands. "If they catch us, don't say a word about anything. We will be more valuable alive than dead, especially if we won't speak."
She nodded and he kissed her, looking into her eyes. She wanted to fall into a million pieces every time he looked at her like that, her skin burning from his touch. But the voices were getting closer, they had to move.
Alek cleared his throat then took off, Deryn in hot pursuit. They kept winding between buildings, trying to throw off their hunters. Soon they had to surface back into the main traffic, having run out of dingy alleyways. Alek hailed a passing taxi walker and they hopped inside of it. The driver didn't seem to recognize them, so Alek asked him to get them to the far side of town. He obliged, and they rumbled off down the road. Alek covered his face with his jacket and Deryn followed suit. They passed many German soldiers, but none of them noticed the two hidden in the taxi.
Soon they were out of the main busy city and into a rural area. Alek knew this place, so he must have known exactly where to go. He signaled for the driver to stop and they departed, Alek throwing him some money. He ushered Deryn down the street towards what looked like a park. There were trees everywhere. Perfect.
Once inside the sanctuary of the trees, Deryn sighed. Sleeping under a tree was much better than running all night.
"My father told me about this place, but he was never able to take me here. We rode past it a few times from our walkers, but I've always wanted to come." Alek reminisced as they walked. "He never told me why this forest was one of his favorite places, but it was. Well, that looks like a perfect place to hide!" Alek snapped out of his reverie and pointed.
There in front of them was a huge tree.
"How do you mean?" Deryn asked him.
"Well, it looks easy to climb. I doubt Germans will be looking up if they are still searching."
Deryn rolled her eyes. "A barking tree, Alek?"
He nodded and ran foward, hoisting himself up onto a branch. She laughed and climbed up herself, then raced him to the top. If she had to sleep in a tree, she was at leas going to beat Alek to the top of it.
"Alright, so you think Volger's still around these parts?" She chewed on a stick of jerky that she had packed for emergencies. They had settled themselves onto a large branch. They had a nice view of the night sky from there.
"Obviously. If there is a guard up, then he's still here in town. Probably sitting his arse on my fathers throne, sleeping in his quarters." Alek spat, kicking at a loose twig. 'But how did he know I'm still alive? It just doesn't add up. I read all the papers the last time we were at the train station. Nothing saying aything about me, at all! Its infuriating!"
Deryn sat up and put a hand on his arm. "I know. It really doesn't make any barking sense. Unless that bum-rag gave old Volger a call as soon as he interviewed you. Do you think that could have happened?"
Alek shook his head. "No, Malone likes a good story, he wouldn't spoil it for himself." Alek shrugged. "I just don't understand."
"Well the sooner you get to the old bloke, the sooner we find out what's causing this mess. How far is your old home from here?"
"If I remember correctly, its just across town, but its set back a ways into a nice quiet spot. Tomorrow we will set out, hopefully those idiots will have stopped searching by then."
Deryn was so confused. Nothing was making any kind of sense. The Germans were in AUstria, and somehow they had been tipped off about Alek being alive. She had to ge to the bottom of it, is was driving her crazy.
She scooted over to lean on Alek. He was so warm, his scent spilling into her senses. She was safe, at least for now. Tomorrow, however, would be a different story.