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datatime: 2022-11-26 23:30:26 Author:JjRyfBwK

And I want to be of account to him, she thought intently.

Geoffrey Shafer.

She sat by the creek, half-hidden in lush grasses. Carefully she twined purple summer flowers into her single dark brown braid, and dabbled bare feet in the rushing water. Stems and crushed blooms littered the coarse yellow gown she wore and damp earth stained the garment, but she paid it no mind. She was purpose-fully intent on her work, for if she allowed her thoughts to range freely she would be overtaken by the knowledge and the hope that he still might come.

I did not think you would come, she said, pitching her voice to carry over the noisy horse.

Lousy slid down the muddy bank into the water again. His rider,

Geoffrey Shafer.

A songbird called from the forest behind and she glanced up, smiling at the delicate melody. Then her attention was caught by an approaching rider, and she let fall the flowered braid from limp fingers.

She drew her knees up and clasped her arms around them, resting her chin on their tops. She felt the familiar leap of excitement, anticipation and wonder within her breast, and quickly tried to dismiss it. If she allowed him to see it she would be no different from anyone else to him, and therefore of no account.

She sat by the creek, half-hidden in lush grasses. Carefully she twined purple summer flowers into her single dark brown braid, and dabbled bare feet in the rushing water. Stems and crushed blooms littered the coarse yellow gown she wore and damp earth stained the garment, but she paid it no mind. She was purpose-fully intent on her work, for if she allowed her thoughts to range freely she would be overtaken by the knowledge and the hope that he still might come.

I did not say you presented an unattractive sight, Alix. He grinned- More like a wood nymph, I would say.

She tried to draw her hands from his large weapon-callused ones. My lord...

By the gods, she whispered within her mind, he is prince of this land and comes to see me

equally startled, reined the animal in with a curse and shot a glare over his shoulder. When he saw her his face cleared.

He plunged sideways, halfway out of die creek, men unceremonious

No, my lord, she responded promptly, very solemn and

Geoffrey Shafer.

I did not think you would come, she said, pitching her voice to carry over the noisy horse.

I did not say you presented an unattractive sight, Alix. He grinned- More like a wood nymph, I would say.

He plunged sideways, halfway out of die creek, men unceremonious

I did not think you would come, she said, pitching her voice to carry over the noisy horse.

And I want to be of account to him, she thought intently.

Sunlight glittered off the gold of his mount's trappings and painted the chestnut warhorse bright red. She heard the jingle of bit and bridle and the heavy snort of the big stallion. His rider, who had yet to see her, rode unconcernedly through the meadowlands.

The warriors splashed into the creek, splattering her liberally. She grinned in devious anticipation and straightened in the deep grass, wiping water from her sun-browned skin.

equally startled, reined the animal in with a curse and shot a glare over his shoulder. When he saw her his face cleared.

His tawny-dark head was bent as he rode blue eyes on the shedding of his gloves. He wore black hunting leathers, she saw, and had thrown a thin green woolen mantle back from broad shoulders. A flash of green and gold glittering at his left shoulder caught her eye: the emerald cloak-brooch he favored. At his heavy belt was hung a massive two-handed broadsword.

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