I listened attentively to Nathanial’s plan, nodding occasionally to show that I was still listening. When he paused for breath I cut in – “are you sure this will work Nathaniel, I mean I am sure that if Aiden and Alexandria can find some common ground then they can become closer, but is it really fair to force Alex into something she doesn’t want to do? She is my friend and I am not going to betray her.”
“But don’t you see Courtney , that’s the beauty of the plan, Alexandria wont be pushed into it because she will get chance to know my master and see that he really does care about her and that he is not just marrying her out of duty.” I wasn’t really convinced that it would work; I mean just happening to run into Aiden whilst Aislinn and Alexandria and I were in the middle of the woods having a pleasant ride seemed pretty unlikely.
“Please Courtney for me?” he put on his puppy dog eyes and I couldn’t help but give him a little peck on the cheek before finally submitting and agreeing to help.
“So, you will somehow arrange for the princess to take a ride tomorrow morning” Nathanial said confirming everything.
“That’s the plan” I checked my watch “Look I better go, I want to find Aislinn and Alexandria and it looks like Aiden wants to go” I pointed at Aiden who was mounting his horse outside, he looked miserable.
Nathaniel gave me a quick peak on the cheek before turning on his heal and heading towards Aiden, and his own horse. I turned too and pulling my dress up to stop myself standing on it, climbed up the stairs towards Alexandria’s bedroom.
I tapped softly on the door and said “Its me” the door opened and I entered to see Aislinn and Alexandra sat on the bed, I could see that Alex had been crying, she gave me a timid smile and I instantly walked up to her and hugged her tight. I could feel her shaking in my arms as I hugged her; I could here her sobbing into my shoulder, Aislinn hugged her from behind and rubbed her back trying to calm her down.
When she finally pulled away, she wiped her eyes and said, “Good, I’m glad I have got that out my system” I smiled at her that’s the Alexandria I knew – strong! “Tomorrow, do you fancy going on a horse ride, just us three, it’s been ages since we had a ride out.” “That sounds brilliant, it will be good to get away from here and clear my head” she and Aislinn were both beaming.
The sun shone brightly through the curtains of my bedroom early the next morning, gently stirring me from my slumber and into reality. When I have managed to force myself out of bed, I walked over to the curtains and pulled them open to dazzling sunlight and blue sky. I breathed in the fresh air as I opened the window, “Perfect day for a horse ride” I said happily to myself.
I got dressed quickly and made my way towards the stables – I had arranged to meet Alexandria and Aislinn down by the stables, and sure enough when I arrived there they were ready and waiting for me.
Alexandria was standing by a large a black stallion named Destria which was happily eating the dewy grass. Aislinn was grooming a slightly smaller horse, which was honey coloured with a dark black main which Aislinn had beautifully platted – This horse was called Acapella.
My horse, Alcina was a white stallion, and probably my favorite of the three, but that might be because she was mine. She had been with me for years and was probably my best friend apart from Alexandria and Aislinn of course.
“Morning” greeted Aislinn as I new nearer to the stables, “Hey, lovely day for a ride” I said looking up at the early morning blue sky.
I saddled up Alcina and lead her towards to concrete steps by the stables so that I could climb onto her, “You’ll grow” I heard Alexandria say humorously as she watched me clamber onto Alcina with a little difficulty.”
“We all set?” I asked them both “Yep” was the reply, and at that we all galloped towards the main gate out of the castle grounds. When we reached the gate, we had to wait a few minutes for the gate to open but as soon as it was, it turned into a race to see who could reach the meadow beyond the woods fastest.
The meadow situated beyond the woods and it was a place that Alex, Aislinn and I used to all come as children and play for hours – it was special to the three of us and it was nice to be able to slip away from the castle once in a while and go up to the meadow, and know that no-one else knew where we were – or at least we thought no-one else knew.
Alexandria was by far the best horsewoman out of the three of us, she darted around the trees with ease and was miles ahead of Aislinn and I, who were just as good as each other, so were neck and neck in the race to the meadow.
The warm wind made our hair whip out behind us as we galloped through the woods; it was the best feeling ever, not a care in the world – for now.
Alexandria reached the meadow just seconds before Aislinn and I but there was already someone there which made Alex stop her horse dead in its tracks.
“You?!” was all she could say as Aiden came into view.