The handmaid, stormy grey eyes, fair untamed locks that had escaped their bun falling in her face, turned from the cutting board and sliced veggies toward the gentle, commanding voice that had called her name. “The princess requests your presence.”
Aryess nodded, curtsied, and walked past the young, dark haired butler to the servant’s staircase. She exchanged a glance with him, a momentary flicker of reassurance in his deep ashy eyes before she entered the dim lit stairwell. Aryess blamed the musty, oppressing air and the steep climb as the উৎস of the persperation accumulating on her brow, rather than her jumping nerves. The handmaid emerged into the chamber and was momentarily blinded দ্বারা the rays of sun filtering in through the lancet windows. When the spots in her vision cleared, she beheld the view of the dazzling princess.
The young lady stood before her full length mirror, examining her immaculate semblance. The red-rose dyed dress hugged her form; the v-neck back was looped together in a zig-zag of string. Her midnight black hair was piled into a tight bun; powder paled her features and highlighted her blood red lips.
Aryess cleared her throat, causing the queen-to-be to spin around.
“M’lady, আপনি requested my assistance?”
Princess Helena nodded and turned back to her reflection. “I cannot manage the clasp of
Aryess stepped অগ্রবর্তী quickly. Her nimble fingers easily undid the golden clasp of the
ruby necklace. She rested the glimmering jewelry into her course hand, momentarily mesmerized দ্বারা the sparkling jewels.
“As my loyal handmaid, I am entrusting আপনি with my family heirloom,” Helena ব্যক্ত without turning from her image in the glass. “Have it put into the খিলান immediately. “
“Yes, m’lady,” the girl answered quietly.
“You may go.”
Aryess curtsied and exited the chamber, silent as the wind.
The muscles beneath the black stallion's কোট rippled with each long stride it took. It panted hard, striving to go faster, nearly pulling the reins from it's rider's hands. The horse leapt over a log, a decaying বৃক্ষ fallen long ago, landed gracefully, and continued it's quick flight through the forest.
An অনুষ্ঠান- অ্যারো passed right beside the stallion and embedded in a rotting tree. The rider glanced over his shoulder. He made out several figures on horseback through the trees' reaching branches. He had listened to their growing hoof beats since they had caught his scent at the river. Just as he had hoped.
Yells echoed through the trees as the
king's men gained on the weary stallion. The hooded rider caught snip-its of, "Faster!", "Shoot him!", and "Get the thief!". ব্যক্ত thief faced অগ্রবর্তী and leaned over his steed's mane, willing the tiring beast to run faster. The jewels in their pouch bumped against his leg in rhythm with the thud, thud, thuds of the hoof beats. Another অনুষ্ঠান- অ্যারো flew by, so close he heard the whizz of it's flight. The rush of water reached his ears. Squinting, through the thick বৃক্ষ branches, a wooden bridge became visible. The thief took a deep breath and prepared himself for his stunt.
The guards galloped through the darkening forest. The bridge came into sight and they slowed slightly and galloped across one দ্বারা one. The last of the five suddenly cried out in surprise as a dark figure dropped from the বৃক্ষ above onto him.
The guard fell from his horse dead, throat cut. The thief tried to control the startled stallion, but to no avail, for he soon হারিয়ে গেছে his grip on the reins of the rearing ঘোড়া and found himself on his back as the horse ran off.
The four other guards surrounded him. Their captain demounted from his ঘোড়া and stomped over the hard earth to the fallen thief, sword drawn and gleaming in the few rays of sunlight that managed to penetrate the thick tangle of branches.
"We have আপনি know, আপনি dirty, rotten, thieving..." the captain used the tip of his sword to flip back the ঘোমটা of the thief. "... Female?"
The girl glared up at the heavy built man standing over her. Her hair splayed out around her head like a light golden halo. A thin trail of blood spilled from a cut in her skull from where she had hit it in the fall. Smudges of dirt contorted the beautiful features of a young, innocent girl into a hard working woman.
“Are আপনি just going to stand there gapping at me like some over-grown cat fish, অথবা are আপনি going to arrest me?” Her voice was almost criticizing, as if unafraid of her current predicament.
One of the other guards cleared his throat, and the captain blinked twice, pulled from his haze of shock. He pointed the blade in his hand at the unfazed hooded girl.
“On your feet,” he ordered. Before the words had fully escaped his mouth, the three guards on horse back fell from their steeds, the head of an অনুষ্ঠান- অ্যারো sprouting from each ones chest. The captain whirled around to face their ghost attacker. The girl sprang to her feet and buried her রান্নাঘর ছুরি in his back. The king’s man fell with a dead thud.
A hooded rider on his black stallion rode across the bridge and stopped beside the fallen captain. His gloved fingers clenched the mahogany bow and a quiver of arrows were slung across his back. His dark hair fell into his ashy grey eyes as they scanned the fallen men and trailed to the lone woman.
“Aryess, my love” he greeted.
“Bentley,” the handmaid ব্যক্ত to the young butler with a smile. She accepted his stretched hand and was pulled up onto the back of the stallion.