After they’d be seeing each other for close to a month, following an evening of drinking mead in the woods, Dierdre sneaked Lionel into her maid’s quarters. For a change, she had the room all to herself, and she and Lionel fell into bed together.
“Let’s make love,” she purred, her legs wrapped around him as he lay on top of her.
Denying Dierdre’s request was one of the most difficult things he had ever done, but he was an honorable man and explained he wanted to wait until they married.
“Which means I’d like to marry you without delay. Will you, Dierdre? Marry me?”
“Oh, what a wonderful idea! Let’s meet tomorrow and make plans. I’ll call on you in the evening.”
Lionel floated out of the room, but that bliss was short-lived.
Dierdre never called on him that night, nor the next day. He could not find her anywhere, and assuming she’d been harmed or kidnapped, he went to the head maid, tearing out his hair with worry.
“I must set out to find her,” he ranted. “Please, do you know anyone who might have wanted to hurt her, any enemies?”
The plump middle-aged maid’s face fell. Paling, she wrung her hands. “Oh, dear, Sir Lionel. I’m sorry to be the one to inform you, but she left Camelot yesterday.”
Lionel scoffed. “That’s ludicrous. It’s not possible.”
“I’m afraid it is. Dierdre was betrothed to a wealthy merchant, a man twice her age. They left yesterday morning on a ship to the Frankish Kingdom. She was quite excited about it. Spoke of it often…”
As Lionel’s knees buckled, the maid pla...
... middle of paper ...
... it was difficult to breathe, but Alis remained, cleaning and preparing Seren’s body for her funeral.
Once done with her job she started taking, and Mary took her by the shoulders. “I’ll take it from here, my Alis. Go home, take a bath, and rest. I shall be there soon.”
Bewildered and tormented by what she’d seen, Alis collected the soiled linens and flew from the room, which brought her to her current predicament—she did not know where she was. The castle was vast and she had no plan when she’d left Seren’s chamber other than escape. Dizzy and disoriented, she decided to keep running until she saw a familiar place or person, or until she collapsed, whichever came first.
Another strangled cry fell from her lips as she charged forward, her head lowered. A moment later she crashed into a solid wall, or she thought she had, but strong hands shot out and steadied her.
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