I had decided I was going to take the princess out today, but when I got down to the kitchens my plans were foiled.
"Savana!" The cook yelled, throwing a pot in my direction. "Where have you been you useless girl!?"
"That is none of your business." I said, grabbing an apple from the side and taking a bite out of it.
"Don't you get high and mighty with me." The cook said without getting too close, as she had seen what I could do with a knife and was terrified. "I need you to stay here and wait for a delivery we're getting."
"I have other things to do." I sniffed, turning away. A rough hand grabbed me.
"You will wait for the delivery or suffer the consequences." A guard had arrived in the kitchen and taken charge. I pulled a face but unwillingly went to sit on the back step to wait.
If it hadn't been for my promise to the princess I wouldn't have minded coming to wait for the delivery. It was peaceful out here; no shouting, no clanging of pots and pans, no people yelling at you to do a job. It was just the wind blowing in the trees and the occassional sound drifting up from the village.
After around ten minutes I spotted a horse and carriage winding its way up the track that lead from the village directly to the kitchens, for easy access of deliveries. It was getting dark, and I could hear it easier than I could see it.
I decided to climb the nearby tree to watch the cart get closer, and so swung myself, monkey-like, up in to the branches. From the thick bough I watched as the horse made the last turn on the hill and headed straight for me.
Two men were stood on the sides of the carriage, while another two sat in the seat. The man who held the reigns pulled at them and the horse slowed, right underneath me.
"I would have thought someone would have been here to meet us," laughed the man who had held the reigns. He was muscly and rather tall, with blonde hair and a crooked smile. There was something about that smile...
"What do we do?" One of them men whispered. I spotted a bow in the carriage where he had shifted the curtain when he moved, and froze. I'd never seen anyone carrying a bow come here before. I glanced carefully at the rest of the group; they seemed unarmed but the blonde man had a knife on his belt. I could see it glint in the moonlight. I would have to be careful climbing down in case they thought they were being attacked.
I slipped gently down the tree without making a sound, and lowered myself steadily to the ground. My knife was in my boot, and I wiggled my leg a little to check.
Then I let out a little cough, and the men sprang to face me.