A/N: Sorry for so long between updates, I've been busy and just haven't found the time. This one's kinda short, I probably should have just tacked it onto the end of the last one. I'll try to get the next one up soon.


Chapter 5: Illusion

Gwen leaned back against the door for a moment trying to figure out what to do next. Inside the castle it was eerily quiet compared to the noise from the battle being waged in the yard just outside. The heavy wooden doors muffled the sound until it was almost inaudible. The sound of her heavy breathing sounded magnified against the silence of the room.

Hide yourself somewhere that you will not be found.

If Edward was right that they would come looking for her, it was almost certain that they would search the castle thoroughly. After all, when they were done with Edward's men outside, they would find little resistance.

Where then could she hide? There were certainly secret passages throughout the castle where she would not be found, but unfortunately they were so secret that Gwen knew nothing of them. All she wanted to do was go up to her room curl up in her bed and have a good cry.

That suddenly gave her an idea.

Gwen darted away from the door and up the stairs heading for her bedroom. When she got there she slipped inside and barred the door. She froze for a moment when she entered the room. The bed was still unmade reminding her that earlier that morning she had been in here with a still breathing Alex.

For a moment she faltered, and wanted nothing more then to get out of the room that reminded her so much of her husband, but she could not risk it. The man who killed Edward had seen her come into the castle. It would not be long before he came looking for her, or sent other men in his stead. She had made her plan, now she had to stick to it.

Forcing herself to put Alex from her mind she took a deep breath and began channeling power from the plants around her room. She concentrated on the far side of the door, on the side that was out of her sight. She remembered the look of the wall around the door, and set up an illusion that disguised the door to look just like the rest of the wall.

It was definitely a good idea in theory. It would make it nearly impossible for anyone to find her, especially if they were unfamiliar with the castle. The only problem was that illusions were easy to perform, but difficult to keep up for any length of time, especially without preparation.

Gwen had done many illusions while practicing her magic, and knew that in order to keep up an illusion you had to keep a continual flow of power and concentration to it. If either failed the illusion would falter.

Her plan could prove risky if she had to keep it up too long, but it seemed like her best chance to remain undetected and so she had to try.

She settled down on the floor, propping her back against the foot of the bed facing the door. She got into a comfortable position while keeping her concentration focused on the door, and prepared to maintain that state for as long as necessary.

The time passing for Gwen seemed both quick, and agonizingly slow. The constant flow of power through her, and her singular focus on the door put her in a trance like state where she blocked out all her other senses, including feeling how tired the effort was making her.

She blocked out the sounds of battle that drifted in through her window, so she did not hear when the fighting finally stopped. She did however hear when men came into her hallway searching. She snapped to attention and focused even harder every time she heard someone come near, but her illusion seemed to stay intact because no one ever entered her room.

The sun arched across the sky behind her, as morning turned to afternoon, and afternoon turned to evening. The square of sunlight on the floor from the window marked the passing of time, but Gwen noticed none of it.

As the sun set, it had been a long time since she had heard anything in the hallway outside her room. Gwen's energy had been completely drained from holding the illusion in place for so long. She was not even aware anymore when she lost consciousness, and crumpled sideways to the floor. With the power and concentration gone, the illusion on her door evaporated and the door reappeared.