The Lady Enters

It was just him and the guard now.

“Prince Saber I will show you to your chambers.” The guard said, with unmasked contempt.

Saber strode to meet him. Though young, the guard was a little above his own height, well built and using every bit of restraint to keep from striking out against Saber.

“Lead the way.” Saber said coolly.  The guard was unwilling to give him his back so Saber stepped out into the corridor first.  Waiting for him were a dozen more armed guards each holding the same venomous glare.

“Pleasant evening.” Saber remarked politely to the visible annoyance of the men. The guard standing by the door could no longer contain himself.

“My brother was in the battle of Tambov. That was the last time I ever saw him.” His voice quivered with pain and rage. The rest of the guard averted their eyes. Saber knew that look.

Saber glanced down at the guard's hands; one quivered uncontrollably by his side the other hide behind his back no doubt gripping a dagger.

Saber raised an amused eyebrow at the guard.

“His name was Yegor.” Continued the guard.

Saber feigned pensive contemplation.

“I think…I think, I might recall him but to be sure…would you…could you possibly start sniveling and begging for your life, that might help me to remember.”

The guard screamed, lunging and swinging wide, the dagger in his hand arching towards Sabers face. The twelve guards did nothing to stop him.

Saber caught the man’s arm and wrangled the dagger from him easily. This man was no warrior it was obvious. Saber had trained enough farmers in combat to notice the unschooled technique this young man had employed.

“Your brother couldn’t fight worth a damn either.” And with that he drove the blade through the guards neck, though he had no true recollection of this man’s family at all.

The youth’s blood ran warm over his fingers. Saber released the man. He looked the rest of the guards over questioningly. None met his eye, nor did they let their gaze fall upon their fallen comrade.

“Which way was it to my chambers again?” Saber asked nonchalantly. The guards exchanged looks, a mixture of fear and hostility. It gave Saber pleasure to watch this mental struggle between obeying their King and obeying their hearts.  Finally one guard stepped forward, grabbed Saber with a rough ferocity and reluctantly led the way.

They stepped out into the courtyard. The winter air snarled past Saber, its icy fingers raking through the fur of his cloak. Snow crunched underfoot accentuating the tense silence. They made it half way through the courtyard before the guard in front of Saber called for a halt. The rest of the guards formed a corralling circle around Saber. Saber tensed ready for another attack but instead, what he found, was an angel. He watched her glide over the snow, her sliver dress billowing around her like moon light.  His enchanted eyes beheld perfection; from her elegant, trancelike movements, down to her fine finger tips and the way they held her cloak closed just above her chest.

Her long, silky black hair was held loosely in a braid which trailed down her back, interwoven with delicate chains of gold. her face was statuesque, every proportion carefully measured to form an image of impeccable beauty. Her eyes were light brown almost golden amber and they stood out against her pale skin like the stars against the night sky.

Saber felt his breath leave him. He knew he must have her. But her eyes swept over him unseeing as she and her ladies-in-waiting made their way across the courtyard.

He resolved at that moment that she would notice him.

The End

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