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They managed to make their way back to her chambers without being noticed by anyone which was a relief because she certainly couldn’t deal with her father right now. If he found out where she had been she would be in a world of trouble and she had no doubt that he would see to the stable hand to ensure the he couldn’t work in the grounds anymore and she didn’t want to be the cause of Lucas’ unemployment. Back in her chambers Isabella helped the woman undress, unable to untie the back of it herself because it was so intricate.
[i “Your Majesty. Will you return tomorrow?”]
[b “I’m unsure Isabella. He is...fascinating and his offer to ride with him is more than tempting but I do not want to cause the poor man to lose his job just because I wanted to ride a horse!”]
[i “No one has to know Princess.”]
[b “And what if we are caught? Someone with see my dress and know instantly who I am without looking upon my face.”]
[i “He didn’t know.”]
[b “Curious isn’t it? Refreshing also.”] Isabella helped her dress to the floor and pulled a night dress over her head and then started to brush her hair. [b “I wonder dear Isabella. Would you have something I could borrow?”] She looked towards her and saw the playful smirk upon her face.
[i “I’ll come by in the morning with something that might disguise you.”] The woman finished brushing her hair and then kissed her cheek before retiring to her own room, leaving Alexandria with a lot to think about throughout the night.
As promised Isabella returned the next day with clothes for her and she was grateful for the help. When she was dressed she moved to start putting her hair up with pins. [i “Do not dress your hair. Those styles are for nobles. Leave your hair down as it will help you blend in. You still look beautiful! I don’t know how you do it.”] She smiled sweetly towards her before helping her through the castle corridors and out towards the stables, again without being seen. [i “Enjoy your stable air Princess.”] Both if them chuckled before Isabella took her leave. Alexandria then moved inside the stable and looked to the horses with a smile.
Lucas felt like he'd been kicked in the face by a horse. The air escaped from his chest, and his eyes revealed a bewilderment that was normally never an emotion that he showed. He'd known that this woman was of nobility, but she was [i the] princess? The one and only? Bringing one hand up to rub his chin and run a hand through his hair, Lucas said nothing. He opened his mouth to try and utter a word, but it was like nothing was coming. His words wouldn't... work. If they had any chance of returning before, they were completely erased when she admitted that she enjoyed their speaking and that she would try to return the next day if possible.
Lucas admittedly thought she was gorgeous the instant he laid eyes on her, especially watching her calming his horse like no one else could. It was part of the reason that he approached her. Would he have done the same knowing her titles? Probably not. When the other woman, a handmaiden by the name Isabella, pronounced that the King would not be back for the most part of the day, Lucas both wanted to thank her and tell her some excuse. Again, his attention went back to the princess mysteriously claimed that she would 'perhaps return,' giving him a look. Lucas finally let that charming grin play on his face again as she continued looking back towards him as she walked off. As soon as she was out of sight, Lucas pumped his fist in the air, doing some kind of dance before falling backwards into a hay bale that was bound next to the horses.
Laughing, Lucas stood and brushed off the strands of hay on his body. Yes, it was risky. Yes, it was forbidden. But Lucas only found himself more and more willing to see her if she chose to return. It was the risk and forbidden ideas that made her all the more attractive to him. The way she moved in her dress didn't go unnoticed to him. He slept well that night, waking up early to do his first chores in the stable. Lucas was the first to arrive and the last to leave. There wouldn't be anyone else in for a while, giving him time to feed each horse, groom them, and water them. Instead of focusing completely on his work though, Lucas found his eyes drifting to the same spot he'd first seen Alexandria. Would she sneak out just to see him as she spoke? Why was he even excited to see a noble? Weren't they all the same? Only time would tell.
Alexandria could see the look pass over Lucas’ face as the realisation began to set in. A part of her wished that the handmaiden had not come to find her so that she could have a little more time with someone who didn’t treat her differently because of who she was. Isabella was also clearly amused by their interaction but she knew that she could be trusted to make sure that nothing was reported, especially since it would be him who would get into trouble with her father and in actuality they were simply chatting and enjoying each other’s company. So many people would refuse to look at her or even speak to her with a tone that made her feel different. All she wanted was to be treated the same as everyone else because in her eyes she was no one special, yet the realm didn’t agree.
[b “Lucas, there will be no punishment for simply conversing with a woman who was admiring your horse. It was rather refreshing to spend a small amount of time with someone who did not know my titles. I am often treated with coldness because people feel as though they cannot get close to me because of who I am. I might fine myself to be devastated if you were to change how you see me. I will still try to return tomorrow, so long as you are happy to accommodate or if I can sneak away.”]
[i Your Majesty, perhaps you do not remember but your father is riding through town tomorrow and he will be gone for some time after sunrise.”] It was now her who sported and mischievous smile as she glanced towards Lucas as if trying to set up some time for them.
[b “You are right. Perhaps I might be able to return then. For now I must go and make it seem as though I could have been found in my room all along.”] She smiled once more before she turned away from him, glancing back a couple of times before she was completely out of sight from the stables.
[i “A stable boy Your Majesty?”]
[b “What is wrong with conversing with a stable boy?”]
[i “Nothing if you are a woman of my status but you are royalty. Do you not wish to associate with men of your own class?”]
[b “I certainly do not. Men of my class bore me.”] With that they both giggled and disappeared within the confines of the palace, carefully making their way back to her room.
Lucas had never once in his life ever seen anyone quite like Alexandria. Sure, there were a fair number of pale-skinned, blonde nobles that passed by the stables to retrieve horses or gossip. Then, there were the small folk women that were of the same title as he. A few of them would stop by and watch him and the stable boys go about working, hoping to peek at their built and if the sun beat down too hard to cause excessive sweating. Nonetheless, Lucas had never seen anyone like [i this] woman. Her features held some kind of grace yet uncertainty in them. Lucas was rather observant. He had to be to hold any kind of position in the king’s stable. More than once, Lucas had to run off robbers or even get into the occasional skirmish over thieves. He wasn’t against it really, but he tried to avoid conflict by actively watching others that passed through the stables that looked suspicious. In this manner, the Harlaw stable boy knew he would have seen this woman before and recognized her. He couldn’t place it though, and she continued to deny him a return.
Before Lucas could continue, a handmaiden rushed forward going on about ‘your majesty’ and ‘princess’ all at once. At first, he didn’t even comprehend it. Lucas took a look behind his shoulder as if she were speaking to someone behind him. However, there wasn’t another woman in sight. Finally, Alexandria spoke in regard to the woman, and Lucas finally put two and two together.
[i She was a Princess. No... THE princess.]
Blinking, Lucas felt like his whole body went numb a moment. Before he even realized he was leaning too heavily on the stable gate, the door swung inward, and he stumbled forward. Catching himself and righting they gate, Lucas finally came to after embarrassing himself and flirting with someone of polar opposite status than him. What had he done? Of course he recognized her before. Lucas stayed silent a moment, not really sure what to say. The charm was lost, and he just stood there appalled.
As soon as Alexandria smiled, Lucas began to fear for his job. What if someone reported his flirting with the princess to her father? What if he could never work in the kingdom again? He needed this job for his family and himself. He couldn’t lose it... But that one smile and thank you calmed his nerves. She was thanking him rather than chastising him, even after the near fall.
With a respectfully deep bow, Lucas spoke, [b “Forgive me, your majesty. I should have known of your titles and acted properly. I will accept any punishment you deem worthy. I ask that you do not view my speaking with you impolite or evil in manner. If you do not wish to return, I will make arrangements with your handmaiden here for you to ride my horse without my presence.”]
Gritting his teeth before he knew it, Lucas relived how he felt about nobles. She was the most noblest of them all. What was he to do? Why had he been so interested in her? Maybe it was just that. His whole perception changed Arnold once. He was at her mercy to do with as she pleased, even if she pledged kindness. Lucas had known more than one noble to not keep their word. Was she the same? Most likely... Did he even trust her with his prized horse? He did not, but he felt as though he did not have much choice. Alexandria would have to assure a few more things before he returned to his charismatic self if ever. How was he talking to the princess of the entire kingdom?
Alexandria could not hide the blush that tainted her cheeks as Lucas put on the charm. He still didn’t know who she was, or if he did, he hadn’t let that change the way he spoke to her which gave her some relief from the pretences she had to uphold around the castle. It was nice to simply be a woman rather than [I the] Princess. There was no pressure on her to act a particular way and it felt freeing. A smile danced upon her lips as she continued to feed the horse, not one taking her eyes from him so that she could build a trust with the beast.
[b “Well met.”] She said with a smile. Now that the horse seemed to have his fill of the apples she had been feeding him, she turned to face Lucas. [b “You might not mind my titles but there are plenty that might. I will do by best to return so that I might enjoy the company of your horse, but I am not able to offer my word on such matters.”]
[I “Your Majesty!”] She heard the voice of one of her handmaidens and she was instantly startled. [I “Princess, what are you doing out here? I came to your room so that I might help you prepare for bed and when you were not that a panic arose within me!”]
[b “Isabella! I…I’m sorry that I might have put fear in you. I needed some air, so I took it upon myself to take a stroll.”] The woman eyed Alexandria and then Lucas, confusion apparent upon her face.
[I “Stable air, Princess?”] She asked, now seemingly humoured.
[b “Stable air indeed Isabella. Come now, we shall return. This will stay between us will it not?”] The woman nodded her head in reply, and she found herself relieved that he hadn’t already raised the guards to look for her. She was one of the few maidens she could trust. When that was settled, she turned to face Lucas and she smiled towards him, a little nervously now that he knew the truth about who she was.
[b “Thank you for your kindness this night sir. I will do as I said and attempt to return should you still allow it.”] There was every chance that he would no longer wish to indulge in her company now that he knew who she was and she would understand.
Lucas heard something about not being as tasty as an apple, and he realized the mystery woman was talking about her dress. With a hearty laugh as usual, he set down some pails of water and food that were quite obviously heavy to carry if not for the amount of times he’d gone back and forth doing such a thing. [b “Not as sweet? Looks deceive then.”] He said with a half smile and a charming tone as Lucas was known for.
With one quick motion, Lucas plucked a ripe, red apple from the bucket and handed it to the woman gently to feed to his horse. As she spoke about Shadow’s soul, the Harlaw spent some more time petting his nose to calm him down. [b “As do I. Horses are the best judges of character, perhaps even more than children although that is a hefty statement.”] His voice was deep and heavily accented, but he wore it well.
[b “I sense the same although I have not seen you around. It would not be so terrible to return and take me up on an offer to ride him sometime? No charge at all. He is a bit frustrated at times, but I would accompany you if you wish to avoid any harm to your being.”] Lucas offered politely and smoothly, practicing speaking to nobles at a young age. Even the wrong look of an eye to one could result in punishment, no matter what he did. He only did his best to prevent such a thing.
Watching the noble woman gently stroking his horse and speaking to it as if it were her own, Lucas was impressed. No one held even close to the influence this woman had on Shadow. Did that mean something? Shadow didn’t even nip her like he did every other stable hand who worked with horses all the time. Not only that, Shadow has been known to nip at the rude noble men’s capes to cause them to trip. However, it was different now with this woman, no matter her obvious status.
[b “You will not be able to return?”] He was more and more curious about her by the minute. [b “I am certain one of my stable maidens would own a pair for you to borrow if you wish to return of your own accord and away from judgement? We do not mind your titles my lady.”] He spoke truthfully and then finally he had a name.
Smiling, he bowed deeply. [b “Well met Lady Alexandria.”]
Alexandria was not ignorant to the confused look upon his face and she mused to herself quietly as he spoke and then when he followed it up with a pose that made her chuckle. She continued to show the horse some affection as Lucas went of to find some food so that she could feed the beast who had seemingly taken a shine to her. She had to nudge him away gently when he tried to eat the material of her dress.
[b “I’m not sure you will find that as tasty as an apple.”] She said with a smile as Lucas returned and she could almost see the horses attention wavering from her when he caught site of the apple. Alexandria was surprised to hear the this kind natured horse might be considered unruly. [b “He has a kind soul and I believe that horses are an excellent judge of character. Things might be very different if I had other motivations being here but he trusts that my intentions are pure and so we have a mutual trust.”] Alexandria reached out to take the apple from Lucas and then look towards Shadow, stroking the side of his face carefully. [b “Gently now boy.”] Her tone was calming and the horse seemed to react to that as he gently wrapped his teeth around the apple, avoiding making any contact with her skin. She smiled to herself and rewarded him with a soft pet before looking to Lucas who was inviting her back tomorrow.
[b “Oh...I do not know if I will be able to return again.”] It really did depend on what her father was doing with his day and how many handmaidens or knights he would send to guard her room. Then she looked down at her dress. [b “I do not own anything less extravagant and I have no idea where I might acquire something like the you suggest.”] She sighed and looked back to the horse, stroking him once more.
[b “You asked for my name. It’s Alexandria.”]
What ever did she mean by that? Why wouldn’t she tell him more about herself? He took care of countless horses in the stables, so he was certain one of them belonged to her or her family that she either didn’t trust him enough to tell him about or didn’t want to for some hidden reason. Either way, she was a noble, so he wouldn’t question her much more. [b “You will not even offer a name to go by? If you do not feel comfortable then I will share mine. Lucas Harlaw of the Royal Stables at your service.”] He plastered a cheeky grin on his face and put his hands on his hips then bowed deeply.
[b “In that case, wait here. I will bring you something to feed him with.”] Lucas walked to the store room with apples and hefted a bright red one from the batch to bring back to the skittish young blonde woman. [b “Shadow loves these. Believe it or not, he is one of the most unruly horses in these stables. Somehow, he connects to you. Perhaps he trusts your judgement?”] The Harlaw held out his hand with the apple, not trying anything sudden to scare her off.
Running a hand over Shadow’s neck, he spoke again. [b “Don’t bite her hand. She isn’t Aidan.”] Lucas laughed heartily at the thought of his best friend attempting to feed his horse that didn’t end well. Lucas stayed by the Black Beauty in case he tried anything to hurt the blonde. If that was the case, he would step in.
A smile was brought to his lips as Shadow nudges at her hand when he hears the word food. The smile only broadened at the sweet laugh that erupted from her lips as a result. [b “You should return in the morning then around the afternoon hours. Most of the nobleman are done with morning rides by then, and I will busy myself grooming them. In fact, I am certain you will find no trouble sneaking in if you wear a less expensive dress. Perhaps you will find time to do so?”]
Perhaps it was a silly question to have asked. His dress would suggest that his job did indeed entail him working in the stables since he seemed to be dusted in dirt like she imagined one might find if they were to work with the animals in the stables. She couldn’t think of another reason why he might be allowed to house a horse here either. There were times when Alexandria longed for a simpler life and she mused on the thought of how much she might enjoy caring for these animals. To come in here day after day and care for them and find herself covered in dirt like she had once as a child. Even then her mother had been so concerned about her appearance, chastising her because a Princess had to look perfect all the time. She pushed the memory out of her mind and looked back to the horses. They really were fascinating beasts and once you earned the trust of them they would do anything for you. She wanted that for herself.
Perhaps she craved the trust and friendship a horse could offer her because she didn’t have any real friends. She had handmaidens of course but it was their job to dress her and keep her hair looking nice and listen to her talk should she ever need someone but they were not her friends, not really. Alexandria has also grown cautious about what she would say around these women, knowing that it was their job to report back to her father.
When the man before her spoke again, it became apparent that he didn’t know who she was and for a moment she felt free. She was no longer scared of consequence because if he didn’t know who she was then he couldn’t tell her father she had visited the stables.
[b “I believe you do know my father and I am certain that you tend to his horse.”] Alexandria didn’t want to give away her identity just yet. She liked that he didn’t bow to her or that he didn’t trip over himself trying to please her. He was himself and nothing more. [b “I would love to feed them.”] She said with an expression that would only prove her words to be true as she ventured back into the barn and listened to him explain what his job was.
[b “That sounds like hard and interesting work. I would very much like to see that.”] Alexandria reach out to stroke Shadow once more as he sniffed at her hand as though he head heard food being mentioned and was now in search of it which caused a light laugh to escape her.
The mystery woman turned to face him as he called out to wait. Lucas got a bit of a better look at her face and features, but the recognition still didn't spark in his mind. Who was she? Why was she suddenly in the stables when she had never been there before? Why was she dressed the way she was yet acting shy and unimportant? He wouldn't bow or formally address her or anything of the sort. If Lucas knew she was the princess, he would be going out of his way and probably tripping on all kinds of things and setting the horses out of the stables at the same time. He offered the ride to her because she looked longing. There was something in the way she eyed his horse that made him feel like he had to offer it. Not only that, Shadow seemed to enjoy her presence, so he trusted the animal's view.
[i “That is very kind of you and your horse is a wonderful beast but my father would never allow me to ride. I could not disobey him in such a way.”] Her voice sounded proper. She used lovely words to accentuate her dress and actions. Who was she really? [b "Your father? Who is your father? Do I know him? Perhaps I tend to one of his horses? If you will not ride, may I offer you a chance to feed them?"] His accent shown through as well as his kind nature as he even offered a noblewoman his respect.
[i “Do you work here?”] Lucas heard that and then looked to his dirty and probably smelly clothes now. [b "Every day, miss. I am a stable hand to all of the horses you see here. It never ends. Perhaps you would like to see how it works one day?"]
Alexandria assumed that the man before her knew who she was. However, with how much her father shielded her from the world, it would hardly surprise her if a servant from the castle wouldn’t recognise her if she were to walk freely around the castle. It wasn’t as though he shut her in her room all the time but he was cautious about when she was allowed to roam freely and when she was expected to be found in her room when he needed her to be there. She just hoped that dining with her mother was offering enough of a distraction for her to get away with being here, now that she had company her time would be cut short anyway so perhaps she could return without anyone noticing she was gone in the first place.
Just as Alexandria was about to step out of the stables she heard the strangers voice coaxing her to wait. If he knew who she was, he seemed to be treating her with a normality that she wasn’t used to. No bow, no formality and no discomfort. It was a relief really. Alexandria turned to face him, an eyebrow raised slightly at his offer. She would have loved to accept it too. Perhaps if she were someone of less importance she might be able to but that was not case.
[b “That is very kind of you and your horse is a wonderful beast but my father would never allow me to ride. I could not disobey him in such a way.”] She looked to the floor and then back up to the man after contemplating a thought. [b “Do you work here?”] She asked curiously, wanting to know a little more about the man who has already caught her attention.
It was a miracle Lucas Harlaw didn’t recognize her. Yes, he’d seen a blonde in the royal box next to the Queen, but it was brief. He didn’t linger on her face, just let his eyes continue in the crowd. While he knew she was certainly of higher birth, he didn’t know he was speaking to the princess herself. If he had, Lucas would certainly be stumbling over words and trying to make the best impression. Perhaps it was better for the both of them. If Lucas knew that she’d recognized him even as a stablehand, he would have been floored.
Lucas felt it strange when she wouldn’t meet his gaze. Why was she doing that? If anything, he should shy away from her gaze. She had more money and power than he ever would. It intrigued him. Lucas kept gazing at her, finding something oddly familiar about her that he couldn’t place. He hadn’t seen her around the stables before. Was it possible that one of the horses he cared for was hers or her family’s? Maybe that was why he felt she looked familiar?
The girl looked scared or nervous, and he was confused. She said something about going for a walk that didn’t make any sense. Why was she making excuses? He wasn’t even mad at her. When he heard she had a fondness for horses, Lucas started to ask her something. The woman was trying to vanish as fast as she appeared, so he knew there was more to her.
[b “Wait! I’m not angry. If you own a fondness for horses, then why don’t you take mine for a ride? I wouldn’t mind.”] He offered, standing still by Shadow.
What she wouldn’t give for a horse of her own. She had been taught to ride as a child because all royals were taught certain skills such as riding, reading and writing and languages. She could speak at least four languages and she remembered that she was a good rider when she had been permitted to learn but it was not as though her father would allow her to ride. He would be angry if he was to learn of her time outside of the castle so she just hoped that no one would catch her here. Just as the thought passed her mind she realised that her wish would not be adhered to.
There was movement behind her and the sound of feet upon dried hay but she hoped that it was perhaps a stallion shifting their weight but as she turned she noticed the figure of a man who was now leaning over the side of the stable. She recognised the man almost instantly as the man she had noticed standing behind the main gates during the jousting match. Alexandria looked away and started to panic slightly wondering what would happen when he saw that the Princess was alone in the stables with someone else’s horse. The horse that he was now petting. She noticed that it was a horse that hadn’t been out on the field either and she was sure that was because he was petting his own horse and he had not taken part in the tournament.
She knew that he would have been skillful at the game by looking at his physique. It was clear that you had to be strong to take part in the games and he clearly was but she hadn’t seen him amongst the other knights. Alexandria wondered how he would react to seeing her and that was when he looked up towards her and her heart felt as though it was about to burst out of her chest and she looked away, not daring to meet his gaze with her own. This was clearly her horse.
[b “I…I was just talking a walk.”] She said telling him nothing but the truth. [b “I have a fondness for the horses and I just ended up here on my travels sir. I humbly apologise. I shall take my leave.”] She said lowering her head and making her way towards the exit.
[i “You owe me.”]
Aidan jabbed his friend and fellow stable hand, Lucas Harlaw. The King won. Lucas knew it wasn’t a good bet when he put money on the other knight, but he had done it none the less. [b “Alright Alright. Just give me until we get paid. You know I always pay up.”] With a quick handshake between the two, Lucas was back to work. The horses would need to be taken back to the stables as everyone left the arena. Today, he was going to be busy. Every joust he was.
Lucas took hold of the reigns of the horses, even the Kings most trusted Snow White steed. Leading each tired horse back to the huge stable that massed a large amount of the castle grounds, Lucas watered each one of them. The nobles were lucky in their kingdom since they could house their horses in the span of stables that he worked. In fact, it was so large that they paid dues for their horses to be groomed and fed and taken care of there by the many hands.
It was hard work. Many men quit and decided to go into bakeries or farming instead to avoid the opinions of nobles. Lucas stayed even through the tough times, mainly for the horses and the money. He did care for the horses, no matter who their pompous owners were. As he finished up grooming and feeding the Kings horse again, Lucas closed the stall and started for his own horse. As son of the stable master, he was allowed the smallest stable for his pride and joy, Shadow.
Except this time, she wasn’t alone. There was a woman with flowing long golden blonde hair and soft features touching his horse. She was dressed in exquisite fabric with her hair done up in braids, so it was clear she was a noble or higher born. Clenching his jaw, Lucas started at her until he realized Shadow was nudging her for more attention. There was a reason for his name, and he was well known for being hard to tame and irritated with most people except Lucas. How was this woman doing that?
Making his way to her, he threw one arm over the stables and leaned against them. [b “Do you always go around touching other men’s horses as if they were your own?”] He spoke and ran a hand over the jaw of Shadow who leaned into him and neighed.
The event neared its start and the crowd began to display their support for the King. She looked over towards his opponent and felt almost as though the tournament itself was rather pointless. The King would win as he always did and the opponent’s pride and perhaps parts of his body would end up becoming damaged from entering into the duel but men did not allow such things to deter them from proving themselves. Sometimes it was about the fight, not the outcome.
As predictable as the tournament had become, the excitement was not void, nor was the support and all eyes were upon the King at the end of the tournament as he climbed down from his horse and made his way towards his beaten opponent. He showed his respect for his participation and agreed with many that he was a well suited match for him, regardless of the fact that his skill was flawless. Their stalls where they remained seated until dismissed, were close to the exit of the arena and it was no surprise that the King began to walk towards them and she noted how he looked towards his wife, her mother. She was not an expert in love but she thought that the two had a mutual respect for each other and it could be detected from just one look. Alexandria she was able to detect the love that her father had displayed for the woman that he had chosen to take as his wife and spend his life with. It was curious but there was someone else who seemed to catch her attention. Just beyond the gate she could see a man stood with who he assumed was his friend. She began to look in his direction but only quickly and discretely knowing that it would not be appropriate to be looking directly at a man. Her father would not like that one bit so she allowed her eyes to wonder to the horses who were being paraded around the small space as a victory walk and she allowed that view to distract her mind for some time until she was satisfied that her wondering eyes still remained unnoticed to anyone in her presence.
As soon as her father had removed himself from the scene, many others began to filter out, including her mother and Alexandria followed respectfully knowing that she would be expected to retire to her room, knowing her father wanted some alone time with her mother. Instead., Alexandria took the opportunity to get down to the stables to spend some time admiring the horses that had played a pivotal role in the people's enjoying of jousting.
The stables that resided upon the grounds of her home were abnormally large. Most stables could perhaps hold up to five horses but this was big enough to house the stallions of everyone who resided within the walls. Most of the men of the court had their own horse and they were all looked after well here. There was hired help that groomed and fed the horses daily and she sometimes wished that was her duty. At least then she would be doing something she enjoyed rather than observing the lives of those who seemed to have much more exciting lives than her. She knew that she shouldn’t be down here alone, especially since her position beyond the walls meant that she could be at risk according to her father.
As she entered the stables she noticed that only one horse had noticed her presence, looking up from the evening meal that had been prepared for them. She made her way towards that particular horse to pay his recognition with her kindness. This particular horse hadn’t been out of the field today. She recognised most of them but this horse had no rider who had taken part in the jousting tournament that day and Alexandria wondered if that was partly the reason why he had sensed her presence. Perhaps the other horses were more concerned with recouping their energy. Her hand moved towards the snout and allowed him to take in the scent of her and make a decision about whether he could trust her or not first before nudging at her hand as if her craved her attention and she found herself smiling as she allowed her hand to run along well-groomed coast of the horse.
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