Characters: Tusra and Anastra.
Tusra is once again stood outside the doors to the great hall where the King and Queen are sat. Twisting the fabric of his gloves he stood with nerves like cracked ice. It had only been a day and a half since he and the Queen came between a furious King and his daughter.
The Princess begged him to ask the King and Queen for her wishes. She wasn’t interested in marriage, not yet anyway. But he was not summoned on the wishes of the Princess. No, he was summoned by the King.
The doors opened and thankfully the room was empty apart from the King and Queen. Relaxing a little, he entered and bowed lowly and respectfully. “My King, beautiful Queen. You wished to see me?” he said clearly.
The Queen nodded and hid a smile behind her hand. “Dutiful Tusra. On my behalf I would like to thank you for your help the other day. My husband was out of line and we have spoken since then. How does our daughter fair?”
Tusra was silent as he remembered the state she put herself in. But he smiled and noted the facts. “She didn’t take the situation kindly. Once I got to her room, she had thrown everything and she opened the wound the King gave her a little more. She threw me out until she was ready for my help. She is now resting in my room as I have been busy tidying and fixing her own.”
“My daughter sleeps in your bed?” the King grumbled, flexing his hands around the arm of his throne.
“Yes, your highness. Unfortunately, for her to sleep in her own room would have meant a possibility of her damaging herself even more. While she sleeps and rests, I sleep in the barracks,” Tusra clarified. He noticed the King relax a little and pressed on.
“I have the matter of her marriage I wish to discuss with you…” Tusra added.
Anastra had been awake, tossing and turning in the bed. Finally surrendering to consciousness she entered her room. It was in less of a mess than she remembered. Of course! Tusra must have had a hand in this. No matter!
Anastra began to grab a few things and bundled them into a sack. She changed into almost rag like clothes and escaped through the window. She had everything ready, almost like she had planned it all for a long time and tonight was the night. Princess Anastra was going to leave!
Unfortunately for her, Tusra was very switched on and by the time he got back, noticed she was missing and made chase after her, they met upon the road.
“Anastra! Where are you going?!”
“Leave me, Tusra. Let me leave!” the Princess begged.
“Do you have any idea what the King will do when he finds out?” Tusra begged as it began to rain.
The Princess shook her head and began to leave again. This time Tusra pulled up his horse in front of Anastra’s. “Anastra please. Don’t do this-”
“Did you talk to him about the marriage?” she asked with little love for her Father.
“Yes and he said that-”
“Don’t lie to me, Tusra. I can see through all your lies,” she warned.
“Yes I did. He refuses to negotiate,” Tusra said sadly.
“Then I go,” she said plainly.
“Not without you by my side. Come back with me and we can pretend this never happened,” Tusra stated, ready to turn and leave with his princess.
Anastra shook her head. “I’m afraid I can’t.”
“I can’t go back without you. If- If I do-”
“Then come with me,” Anastra said butting into Tusra’s train of thought.
There was a long moment of silence before he said anything.
“You want me to leave with you? Princess, where will we go? What will we do?”
Anastra rode next to him with a smile. “Tusra, we can do whatever we want. We will be our own person.”
Tusra sat on his patient horse and thought. He had never been his own person before. He has always had some elder to command him. He looked up to see Anastra’s hand being held out, she was slipping into the cloak of night. “Come with me!”
Looking back towards the castle, he knew in his heart that he had to take her back. It was his duty as mentor to the Princess. “What Arda doesn’t know won’t kill him. In fact, if we get caught you can say that you were tailing me and you were about to drag me back to the castle.” She tempted him.
With tears in his eyes he blinked them back and grabbed her hand. “Lead the way Princess.”
“Tusra, from here on out you can call me Anastra. Or better yet an alias. How about Thilianna Duradoth. Yes. As of now, my name is Thilianna Duradoth and I am a peasant girl.”