After a while, she felt him touch her shoulder, and she jerked away. She could not help it. He had hurt her more in the past few days than anyone else ever had, and though she knew he had not wanted to do it, she could not forget that it was he who had wielded the hot iron.
Even so, when she saw how her reaction stung him, she relented and reached out and took his hand. He gave her fingers a gentle squeeze, then put his arm around her shoulders and drew her close. She resisted for a moment, then relaxed into his embrace and laid her head on his chest as she continued to cry, her quiet sobs echoing in the bare stone room.
Some minutes later, she felt him move beneath her as he said, “I’ll find a way to free you, I swear. It’s too late for Thorn and me. But not for you […].”
[…] As he was about to leave, she said, “Murtagh.”
He paused and turned to regard her.
She hesitated for a moment, then mustered her courage and said, “Why?” She tought he understood her meaning: Why her? Why save her, and now why try to rescue her? She had guessed at the answer, but she wanted to rear him say it.
He stared at her for the longest while, and then, in a low, hard voice, he said, “You know why.