Sharilla sat unmoving by the King’s bedside, hands and eyes locked with his. His spirit surged through her body and back into his own with a jolt that left them both breathless. She knocked over the stool and stumbled to her feet, still trying to accept what they had seen.
“Fenestra!” the King said in a stronger voice than she had heard in months. She looked up, and the fierce light of his grin gave her unspoken command. She bowed low and turned with fast steps to the door. Flooded with a wild, fierce energy of her own, she didn’t bother to touch the stone, simply moved through it in the span of a heartbeat.
The young guard outside the King’s chamber stumbled back in shock. The older widened his eyes but held his place. She nodded to him, then whirled on the younger. “Come with me, Spear.”
Both guards hissed breath. The young guard flushed scarlet. “Ma’am?” he questioned, looking behind her to his companion.
She grabbed his shoulder and looked him straight in the eye. “You follow me now. You are the King’s Spear. We leave at once to destroy those who attack the King from hiding. But they no longer hide from me.”
He quailed at her tone, but stood straight and nodded his acceptance, matching her long strides through the corridors. “What do we need? How many go with us? Where are we going?”
“We go alone. We must keep surprise on our side.” Sharilla stopped suddenly and he skipped a step turning to face her. “Spear, you can tell no one. There is a traitor in the King’s Hold. Collect all the arms you can use and meet me at the stable.”
He paled when she said it, but she saw his thoughtful look and knew the King had chosen wisely. If only he proved as good with his weapons, but she and the King would help him there. As the King’s Spear, he would not fight alone.
He asked, “But what do I tell my Commander?”
Sharilla shook her head. She could not overlook even the most trivial detail. She slid a ring from her finger and grabbed his hand, sliding it tightly onto his smallest finger. He stared at it in wonder. “You must say nothing. Simply show that, and whatever you request will be done.”
He bowed and turned on his heel, racing toward the guards’ quarters. Sharilla continued to her own rooms. She had little time to change into travelling clothes and pack her own weapons of choice. They would be far different from the guard’s, and just as deadly.
She didn’t bother with her own locked door, but flashed through it as she had the King’s. She felt his chuckle in the back of her head. Don’t waste your energy and enthusiasm before you even leave the Hold, Fenestra, the King chided. She gave a tight smile and firmly pushed him out of her mind. He didn’t need to see everything she did.
Rachel Portman, Chocolat soundtrack
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