Continued from February 8, 2018
“Let the messenger pass!” The guard called up the wall before turning back to face David and Annabelle confused, “I apologize, messenger, I was not aware the Prince was in the castle today.”
David nodded, but wasn’t truly listening to the guard. His eyes were locked on the Prince who smiled at them with all the charm and warmth that he brought to the court. The guard moved back to his station as Annabelle nudged Aida forward to stand beside Gailstorm.
“What should we do?” Annabelle asked with a whisper as the sound of the gate mechanism grew louder, “You said that Harvey has Father Alden, right?”
“I assumed as much,” David replied, looking to Annabelle when the Prince disappeared from view, “but I need to ask something of you.”
“I need you to put your arms around me when we dismount in the courtyard.” David said looking her right in the eyes.
“Why?” She asked as the port cullis began to rise.
“I can’t let the Prince, or his men, get their hands on my message. I can hide it on you, so when I am searched they don’t find it.” David replied. “I wouldn’t ask this of you unless it were important.”
Annabelle nodded as the Prince came back into view.
“Welcome to my family’s castle!” Prince Harvey said as he walked under the port cullis. “Please, dismount so we may go inside.”
David dropped on the right side of his horse, followed by Annabelle who, rather than embracing him, had feigned half falling from the horse into his arms. David caught her, and with the view blocked by the horses, pulled the folded letter from his satchel and quickly slid it in the back of Annabelle’s shirt.
“Is everything okay?” The Prince asked when they emerged from between the horses.
“Yes, sire.” David replied with a bow.
“Just a clumsy dismount, my Prince.” Annabelle added as she curtsied.
“Ah yes, that does happen sometimes. Please, let us go into the castle where we can speak in more hospitable conditions. Follow me.” The Prince said.
David and Annabelle followed the Prince under the port cullis and into the castle. It wasn’t the first time that David had been in this castle, but it was the first time he had ever been personally led by royalty through the front door. It took all his willpower not to turn and run from the presence of the Prince.
Harvey led them through a number of halls, each lavishly decorated as one might expect of a King’s castle. They arrived finally in a large study that had an enormous, expertly carved, dark wood desk sitting in the center of it. The fire in the room crackled happily and provided much-needed heat so deep in the stone building.
“So how was your journey? It was not too taxing I trust.” Harvey asked as he sat at the desk. His face was set like stone. The smile had vanished.