The Princess Motive.

Wow! It has been about a month since I posted anything. What a month it has been! My daughter Miss 4 has started primary school so I have been emotionally exhausted. Also in writing news, I am almost finished the second manuscript in my fantasy book! So while no short stories have been produced, at least I am actively writing.

Confession – I also haven’t been reading all of your wonderful blogs. I can’t wait to dive back in.

A short piece for your Wednesday afternoon.

He had heard she was arriving only by accident. His Father and eldest brother were discussing arrangements for her crew. Most of them would stay on the ship, not trusting the people who they had been at war with for centuries. The thin agreement between his Father and hers was only good while their armies stopped slaughtering each other. If something happened to her, then there would be no place safe for any of them.

“Aiden. You’ll be in charge of ensuring no one bothers her. I don’t want someone mouthing off, and she removes their head from their body.”

“Who, Father?” he said, not aware that his Father knew he was listening.

“Princess Cassandra.”

“You want me to follow her around and make sure she doesn’t kill anyone?” He almost laughed out loud.

“Yes. Is that a problem? Should I assign one of the other soldiers?”

“No, Father. I’ll protect her.”

This time his father laughed, then drunk deep from the goblet on his war desk. “I’m not worried about her protection. Protect the men. Half of them will fall over themselves to get to her, the other half want to run her through.”

“Yes, Sir.”

She arrived as the sun was setting. The heavy oak doors to their castle were pushed open by footmen, and she was silhouetted against the burnt orange sky.

“Your Highness.” My Father strode forward, offering his arms. She gripped them and kissed both cheeks.

“Thank you for your hospitality, King Augustus. My Father wishes he could be here in person. But both of you know I am the better Politician.”

His Father threw his head back and bellowed out a laugh. He turned to him and held out his hand. Stepping forward, he bowed his head.

“Your majesty. I will be your guide while you are with us,” he said.

She inclined her head in a small nod. “Prince Aiden. I thank you.”

An aide took her travelling coat, and she revealed the heavy sword strapped to her back and the crossbow strapped to her thigh. The wicked points of the arrows in an arm sheath.

“Forgive the weapons, My Lord. But a woman must protect herself.”

“I pity the man who is stupid enough to try and take advantage of a fierce soldier.”

She took his Father’s arm, and he led her to her quarters. Leaving her with a time to meet for dinner.

She pushed the door open, and he followed her in, taking the coat from the aide he pushed the door shut and locked it. She was already in front of him, her hands at the hem of his shirt, and his fingers already unlacing the heavy braided sheath that held her sword.

“I missed you.” She kissed him, and he fumbled with the laces, perhaps he could just tear it off. No too many questions.

“I too,” he said, “It has been too long my love.”

A knock on the door and they froze.

“Princess?”

She answered sharply. “Yes.”

“I have information from your Father. It is important that I deliver it to you.”

She shoved his shirt into his arms and pushed him behind the door. He held in a chuckle.

She finished unlacing her holster as she opened the door a little. “What is it?”

The aide passed through a scroll, a green wax seal was her Father’s.

“Thank you. Make sure I’m not disturbed for the rest of the afternoon.”

He started unbuckling his belt, and she shut the door.

Much later she read the scroll and gasped. He sat up in her bed, and reached for the parchment, the rough hairs on his arm brushing against the silk of her back.

“What does it say, my love.”

“My Father. He wants me to kill you.”

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Photo by iancook57 via Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons

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