Peino’s hand was slapped away, and the intruder dashed out the bedroom door quick as a rabbit.
Just as quick, Peino snatched the dagger from under his pillow (put there out of a habit for luck) and jumped from his bed to give chase. He almost forgot to yank the bell-pull by the headboard to summon help. Three sharp tugs, and before the guard bell was faintly heard ringing in another part of the building, the prince was in the hall, blade in hand, dressed only in his plain britches.
“A light, a light!” he shouted. “Intruder in the house!”
He could see nothing in the unlit hallway, but he heard a man running and felt the wind and smelled the ocean rain through an open window, so he ran that way, too.
Within seconds, doors began to open and voices rose as Peino’s shouts brought the embassy guards in with lanterns and brought Jeneyeru Nightwise out of his meditations, carrying a candle.
The half-light revealed the black-swathed figure mad-bent for the window and the tanned, blond selkie after him. Reacting on reflex, the Shadow Master Jeneyeru traced a gesture in the air and spoke the spell to invoke the Dire Lady’s Fortress of Darkness. But even as the shadows in the apartment began to solidify into hard walls over the windows it seemed as if it might be too late.