The war is over, but for Eleanor and Adelaide, their life has just begun.
What will become of the two princesses and the domains they rule?
Find out in the last instalment of ‘The Knight’…
A Princess, A Knight And A Tyrant King.
When war is brewing she must fight or die…
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The ride back to Perrigor was a short and pleasant one. Eleanor felt free from restraint and duty for the first time in her life.
When she arrived at the castle of Adelaide’s home she could see the reason, her father had craved it so much: It was a magnificent building with turrets and high walls and room upon room within, all with tapestries and painted furniture of blues and reds and golds.
There was a fine garden with a fountain, and many courtiers seemed to be bards who did nothing all day but sing and play their lyres. It was a far cry from her father’s court of weaponry and duels.
They had negotiated a fair peace whereby neither kingdom was victorious, but both were joined as allies, and old rivalries were forgotten.
There was a glorious celebration with feasts and dances which seemed to go on for days, where the people of the two kingdoms breathed a collective sigh of relief at the truce.
But all was not well in Eleanor’s mind.
She stood on a balcony looking back across the kingdom to her home. She could hear the music from inside the great feasting hall, as well as the cheers and singing of the courtiers.
“Are you not lonely out here on your own?”
Eleanor turned to see Adelaide. She looked beautiful in her dress of emerald green and her hair tied in intricate braids. Since she had arrived back at Perrigor, it appeared it had magnified her beauty.
Eleanor smiled, but Adelaide could see the sadness hidden beneath and came to stand next to her as they both stared out across the countryside, sitting under a sea of stars.
“Do you want to go home?” she asked, with a hint of sadness in her voice.
“No,” Eleanor said, truthfully, “not yet.” She sighed sadly as she tried to find the words to express how she felt. “It’s just…”
“Just what?” Adelaide asked, sounding worried.
“How long will this all last?” she asked. “The parties? The peace? How long before another King wishes to invade? How long before one of us is expected to marry and is sent away? How long before everything falls apart?” Her voice was breaking as she thought of the many ways things could go wrong.
“For as long as we make it,” Adelaide said firmly. She turned to Eleanor, taking her hand and looking straight into her eyes. “As long as there are people who believe in this alliance and these two kingdoms, then there are people who will fight to defend them from attack; and we are stronger than ever now that we stand together.” She touched Eleanor’s cheek, stroking the soft skin. “As for marriage,” she whispered, “perhaps we should arrange something?” she suggested. “We could bind our hearts and hands as we have bound our kingdoms.”
“Are you proposing to me?”
“Should I drop to one knee?” Adelaide asked, a small smile playing on her lips.
Eleanor’s heart raced as she looked into her eyes, a thousand emotions running through her at that moment. She smiled and nodded.
“Then yes,” Adelaide said, gently kissing Eleanor’s hand and dropping onto a knee before her. “I am proposing to you. Will you marry me, Eleanor?”
“Of course,” Eleanor said, her voice barely more than a whisper.
Adelaide stood, a smile lighting up her beautiful face. She took Eleanor’s hands in hers and kissed them both gently, before embracing her tightly.
The two of them stayed there, on the balcony looking out over their kingdoms, for what seemed like an eternity but was all too short. When at last they returned to the revelries below, the courtiers cheered and celebrated, no longer just for the truce that had been achieved – but also for their love story that was just beginning.
Eleanor and Adelaide lived happily ever after, ruling their shared kingdom until long after both of them had passed into legend. The peace they had forged lasted long after their lifetimes, and the beautiful bond between their two kingdoms was a testament to the strength of their love.