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Monthly Archives: April 2013

Tuesday Tales – Yellow

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Gotta love Tuesdays!  It’s time for Tuesday Tales!  This week’s word prompt is yellow.  We continue with Thatcher and Miranda in The Thirteenth Knight.  Don’t forget to check out all the rest of the incredible fiction writers of Tuesday Tales!

fireplace

Winter snow had blanketed the kingdom in a pure, cold frost.  Snowflakes drifted from the sky, twinkling against the light of the full moon.  The scene from forest to field was peaceful.  But the tension in the palace was anything but peaceful.

Thaddeus gazed down at the beaten, bloody soldier kneeling before him.  The blaze in the fireplace warmed the throne room in a glow of yellow light.  It couldn’t melt the chill in his veins.  The report this man brought had happened before.  He hoped it would never happen again.  He lost a brother to it.

“There is nothing left of the outpost?” Thaddeus questioned.

“No, sire.  There were three outposts attacked.  None are left.  I was the only one who managed to escape mine,” the soldier breathed.

“These outposts were along the shore?  Possibly the work of invaders from the sea?”

“Nay, sire.  Mine is in the northern country.  Far from the water.”

“And their armor?  Which kingdom were they from?”

“That is the problem, sire.  They wore no armor.  They were dressed in black.”

Thaddeus glances at the men surrounding the perimeter of the room.  Each of his thirteen knights watched the soldier in trepidation.  William stepped forward from the group.  “How could they survive the blows given to them without armor?”

“I don’t know, my lord,” the soldier confessed.   “We fought back.  We gave it everything we had.  Something protected them from our attack.”

“Black magic,” Thatcher breathed.

Thaddeus sunk onto his throne.  “We will summon the army.  A quarter of them will stay here and protect the palace.  We will lead the rest and find whoever is terrorizing my kingdom.  We will not rest until they are found and put to an end.”  Thaddeus waved his hand to the soldier.  The wounded man slumped to the floor, exhausted from his injuries.  “William, please help him to the physician for treatment.”

William scowled as he crossed the throne room and helped the soldier to his feet.  He led the man from the room.

“And Thatcher?”

Thatcher strode to the throne and knelt before Thaddeus.  The king smiled sadly as he continued.  “Prepare my house and family for our departure.”

Thatcher nodded as he rose to his feet.  Thaddeus watched as he disappeared down the hall towards the living quarters.

 ****

Thatcher stared at the wooden door as he took a deep breath.  He lifted his hand and knocked on it with his knuckle.  After a moment the door was wrenched open.  Miranda stared at him in surprise.  She was still dressed in the sunshine yellow gown she wore earlier that day.  She had not yet prepared for bed.

“Thatcher, what are you doing here?” she demanded.

He nudged her inside her bedchamber and closed the door.  He turned towards her.  “I have been sent by Thaddeus to prepare the household.  We leave tomorrow once the army arrives at the palace.”

“Why?”

“Three outposts in the kingdom have been attacked.  All the occupants were killed except one soldier who escaped to report to us.  We are going to find who is threatening the kingdom.”

“You are going to war.”

He sighed.  “Most likely, yes.  We are going to war.”

Miranda turned and paced away from him.  He could sense the worry filling her.  She suddenly spun towards him.  “Tell my uncle you are staying here to look after the house.”

“I cannot do that, Miranda.”

“You would rather go to war?  Here you are safe.  Here you are with me.  There you could…”  Her voice faded at the thought.

“I have to go, Miranda.”

Her lips pressed into a thin line.  “I see.  I see where your heart lies.”

Thatcher crossed the bedchamber to her and took her hands in his.  “My heart lies with you.  I have to protect you.”

“How can you protect me from miles away?”

“If Thaddeus is alive, the throne is not vacated.  There is no reason to harm you.  You are only in true danger if Thaddeus dies.  Therefore I will defend Thaddeus.  Even if it takes my last breath.”

Tears filled her emerald green eyes with his words.  He gently grazed her cheek with his fingers as he smiled at her.  She grasped his tunic in her fingers and drew him to her, parting his lips with hers.  Thatcher startled at first.  He pulled her closer as he deepened the kiss, weaving his strong fingers in her brown curls.

Miranda gasped as they parted.  “When you return, I will do whatever it takes to stop my uncle’s plans for my wedding.  I can marry no other man.  I will marry only you.”

Thatcher smile grew wide at her words.  “Then, my love.  I will have to make sure I come home to you, won’t I?’  He reluctantly pulled free from her embrace as he pressed a final kiss to her lips.  “I need to continue on with my duties.  Promise you will write to me?”

“Of course.  If you do the same.”

“Aye.  Of course I will.  I love you.”

“I love you also.”

Thatcher gave her one last smile as he opened the door and slipped into the hall, closing the door behind him.

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Adventures in Authorland

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I was interviewed at Adventures in Authorland.  Come check it out!

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Tuesday Tales – Travel

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Hello again and welcome to another Tuesday Tales!  This week’s word prompt is “travel” and we are “travel”ing  back to visit Thatcher and Miranda in The Thirteenth Knight.  When you are done please stop by an read some more incredible stories by the talented authors of Tuesday Tales!

great hall

Thatcher stood at attention along the wall of the Great Hall.  The wide expansive room lined with stained glass windows was filled to capacity with the lords and ladies that traveled to the palace for the Great Harvest Festival.  His eyes darted to his brothers-in-arms, Thaddeus’s other twelve knights, that also stood guard along the outer wall.

His eyes then slowly, deliberately studied every man in the hall.  Thaddeus would choose one of these as Miranda’s husband.  Thatcher snorted in disgust.  Not one of them was worthy to lace up her boot much less warm her bed.  He shook his head.

His eyes softened as they met Miranda’s.  He forced a smile to her.  He knew it was weak.  There was no sparkle in her emerald green eyes as she returned it with a smile of her own.

Life in the palace over the past couple of weeks had been anything but pleasant.  Thatcher was unaware that Thaddeus’s knights resided in the palace with the king – that was until he was shown to his rather elaborate bedchamber.  It made complete sense.  Having the King’s Knights in the palace at all times insured the continuous protection of the royal family.

However, it made Thatcher’s life a living nightmare.  Always being so close to the one he wanted more than his own breath, his own soul yet knowing he would never possess it.  The agony constantly etched in Miranda’s perfect face told him that she felt the same way.

He watched as Miranda pulled herself away to greet several guests.  It was only for a moment.  Soon her eyes locked with his again.  He felt his heart thunder in his chest as he watched her nibble at her lower lip nervously.  It he had any sense her would turn his resignation to Thaddeus.  And run for home.

He was distracted by thin, cracked laughter.  He turned his head slightly to where the chuckle had come from.  With a silent growl he returned his focus to the crowd.

“You are the farmer’s son, the one who asked for Miranda’s hand when I took her from the village,” Count Brunon mocked as his long, thin fingers caressed the goblet of wine he held.

“I am,” Thatcher answered.

“And now you are one of Thaddeus’s knights.”

“Aye.”

“Do you think as a knight you will be worthy of her hand now?  I told you, Thaddeus will never marry her to a peasant such as yourself.”  Brunon took a long triumphant sip for emphasis to his words.

Thatcher turned his head slowly to glare at Brunon.  “From what Miranda told me, she can be married to no less than a lord.  You seemed quite eager to retrieve her from our village.  Were you hoping to be the one Thaddeus chose?  Sadly, you are not a lord either.  That, Count Brunon, makes you equal to me in this little tragedy, doesn’t it?  Neither of us can have her.”

Brunon snarled at him then stormed off into the crowd without a word.  Thatcher smiled smugly as he watched the Count go.

Don’t forget to stop by and check the rest of the incredible stories at Tuesday Tales!

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Breaking the Cycle – Post Six

my foot

I went to kickboxing class tonight.  We sparred with the punching bag as I learned to kick.  Unfortunately I haven’t quite grasped the concept to connect with my shin, not my foot.  So now, as you can see, my foot is swelling and a bruise is forming near my big toe.

I really, really love my kickboxing class!! ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

So with it being kickboxing night I am inspired to post the next part of Breaking the Cycle.  Unfortunately, like my post for Tuesday Tales this week, it’s not a happy one…

Max stared into space, distracted by his thoughts.  He snapped back to attention as he heard his name called.

“Max, dude!  A little help here please?”

Max shook himself back to reality then grasped the bench press bar, lifting it from the hands of the struggling body builder.  The muscle bound man turned and glared at him.  “You Ok, buddy?”

“Yeah, fine,” Max answered.  But he was far from fine.  All he could think about was his date with Chloe.  Epic disaster.  He felt like a complete jerk for not going back to the hospital to see if she was all right.  Not that her mother would let me.  That witch would have thrown me out herself.  On top of all that the doctor’s warning to get as far away from Chloe kept ringing in his ears.

Maybe the doctor was right.  Maybe he needed to get as far away from Chloe as possible.  She certainly didn’t want him.

He turned as he caught something out of the corner of his eye.  Speaking of the devil…  Chloe shuffled across the fitness area towards the employee locker room.  She was ghostly pale and her shoulders were hunched.  Her eyes, shaded with dark circles under her eyes, were glued to the floor.

“Chloe, can I talk to you a minute?’ Roadie called.

She raised her head.  Slowly she crossed the fitness center floor to him.

“You are a valuable asset to this company,” Roadie began, his booming voice silencing treadmills and weight machines.  Max looked around at all the faces focused on the scene.  “But I need you here to be that asset.”

“I know, Roadie,” Chloe protested.  “I’ve been sick.”

“It seems you are always sick, Chloe.  Which makes me question how someone so physically fit can always be so sick.”

Chloe couldn’t answer him.  She bit her lower lip as tears filled her eyes.  Roadie continued.

“I’m going to have to let you go, Chloe.  Please clean out your locker.”

Chloe sobbed as she spun on her toe and dashed for the locker room.  Slowly the whirl of elliptical and stationary bikes filled the air again.  Max stormed towards Roadie and grasped the older man by the shoulder.

“That was uncalled for, Roadie,” he growled.

“What, Max?  You’ve covered enough of her classes to realize she had to go.”

“You publicly humiliated her!  And for the record, she was sick.  She was in the hospital.”

“Yes, her mother informed me quite loudly.  What would you want me to do?”

“She was sick every third Thursday like clockwork.  Even I figured that out.  Maybe you could have picked up on her pattern and just given her that day off?  Or was that too simple?”

Roadie’s eyes drew to slits as he glared at Max.  “If you’d like to join Chloe on the unemployment line keep it up.”

Max stared angrily at him in silence for several moments before he stalked off to the free weights area.

Tuesday Tales – Chocolate

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Hey everyone!  Welcome to another Tuesday Tales.  This week’s word prompt is “chocolate”.  We are back with Miranda and Thatcher in The Thirteenth Knight.  And don’t forget to stop by and check out the other wonderful writers involved with Tuesday Tales!

garden

Miranda wandered along the garden paths, ignoring the leaves on the trees blazing in brilliant autumn color or the rows and rows of late blooming blossoms.  She wrapped her arms around herself to block out the chill in the air.

She was in disbelief.  Thatcher was here, in the palace, serving her uncle in the closest capacity one could serve the king.  He would be in the palace protecting Thaddeus, protecting her.  He would be so close yet still…

“Is everything all right, my lady?”

Miranda spun around, finding Thatcher behind her.  She took a moment to soak him in.  He wore a gold embroidered maroon tunic and chocolate brown trousers of a knight.  His short black hair, chiseled, muscular body and sapphire blue eyes were that of her Thatcher.  He quickly untied his cloak then crossed the browning grass to her draping it over her shoulders.

“Miranda, you are freezing.”

“Why are you here?” she breathed.

“I thought your uncle explained it perfectly.”

“You joined the army.”

“Yes.”

“I was that easy to forget.”

“No, Miranda.  I joined to find my way to you.  Even I know Thaddeus isn’t going to marry you to a farmer’s son.  The only way for me to reclaim your hand is to work for it, shed my blood for it.”  He opened his arms wide in presentation.  “To become one of his knights.”

Tears filled Miranda’s eyes.  “Oh Thatcher.”

He pulled her into his arms.  “What is it, Miranda?  Tell me.”

She took a deep breath to steady her trembling voice.  “Thaddeus has spoken to me of my impending marriage.  As next in line to the throne, I can be married to no less than a lord.  I love you with all my heart, Thatcher.  I will until my final breath.  But by my uncle’s  own words I will never be able to be your wife.”

She pulled free from Thatcher’s grasp as she heard approaching steps.  Through swollen eyes she gazed up guiltily at Thaddeus.

“What is the meaning of this?” he demanded.  “I sent Thatcher out to see if you were all right.  I thought since you both came from the same village it would be special for some time alone with an old friend from home.  But to find you in his arms…”

Miranda looked away from her uncle.  From the corner of her eye she could see his glare flicker between her and Thatcher.  Then his gaze softened.  “Thatcher, what does your father do?”

“He is a farmer, your majesty.”

Thaddeus shook his head.  “I did not realize, Miranda.  I did not know Thatcher was your young man.  I did not intend to make this decision I have to make concerning your marriage worse for you…”

It was all Miranda could stand.  With a sob she fled the two men in the garden and sprinted to her bedchamber.

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Thoughts from Beneath the Mountain of Papers

hand in paperwork

I’ve been MIA from a lot right now.  I am trying to type Black Irish 2 (currently working title).  I’ve learned one thing from this.  If I insist on writing my stories out long hand – type them right away.

I saw this tweet the other day and it made me think:

There are so many times in this new journey of mine that I doubt myself.  There are many times I feel alone.  From what I’ve read from other writers I am not alone.  I am truly blessed to have a husband, parents and children who are in my corner cheering for me.  I know there are writers out there that do not have the support system I do.  If I truly succeed at this, if I win awards, if I become a best seller it will be because of them that I got there.

Today I Googled the quote and found it is part of the beautiful poem by Rudyard Kipling named If.  It’s something I’m going to print and hold onto on those days that things seem impossible and I don’t think I know what I’m doing – just to remind myself that the first person who should belive in me is me.

If

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling

Tuesday Tales – Camera

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Happy Tuesday!  Today’s word prompt is camera or noisy. I used both!  Since cameras weren’t part of the medieval age, I’m skipping The Thirteenth Knight this week.  This week’s excerpt is from Breaking the Cycle.  Don’t forget to check out the other incredible writers at Tuesday Tales!

mma octagon

The thunderous cheering was deafening.  Chloe scanned the cavernous arena.  Despite the fact the crowd was engulfed in darkness she could tell the room was at least three stories high, a football field wide and packed to capacity with MMA fans.  The black was pierced with split second shots of light from the flashes of camera phones.  She turned back to the violent metal beast she stood beside – the chain link octagon waiting for tonight’s competitors to do battle.  Five of Hard Knocks’ members were fighting tonight including Rico and Mark in his debut match.

She pulled her team jacket tighter around her then shot a glare at Max.  “Is it always so noisy?”

“It isn’t too bad.  There are worse arenas.  This one is pretty quiet.”

“Why am I here?  Why suddenly does Jack want me to go to competitions?”

“When we first started I made a deal with Jack that I would travel and you would stay home.  With you being sick all the time I was afraid of you having an episode away from home and needing hospitalization.  Now that we know it’s CVS and the medication is working, not to mention Jack promoted you to full trainer, he thinks you should start attending some of the competitions starting with this one.”

“Why this one?”

Max pointed to the sign over the octagon.  “Hard Knocks is one of the sponsors.”

Chloe stared at the sign for a few moments then turned back to Max.  She nodded to the camera that Max left on the outer edge of the octagon.  “What is that for?”

“Jack wants pictures for the website.  He up in a luxury box somewhere.  He figures if you and I are down here we might as well get a few shots.”  He picked up the camera.  Without warning he pointed towards Chloe.  Before she could raise her hands to block her face the flash blinded her.

“Hey!” she protested.

She heard Max’s laughter as she tried to rub the spots from her eyes.  She looked up angrily but lost herself in the amused brown depths of his eyes.

“I probably broke Jack’s camera with that picture,” she pouted.

“Any picture of you would make this camera priceless.”

Chloe sighed at his words.  Her gaze wandered from his eyes to his lips.  She remembered the couple times he dared to kiss her.  Even though she still held on to a bit of fear, a deeper desire in her wanted to feel his lips on hers again.

Her mind wandered to the gift bag he gave her, the one that sat on her dresser at home.  From lip gloss to condoms.  She reached into the pocket of her jacket and wrapped her fingers around the tube of lip gloss.  She was going to have to try it later.

Don’t forget to stop by and read other fantastic fiction at Tuesday Tales!

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Breaking The Cycle – Post Five

Confession time – when I wrote this next section I was afraid I wasn’t going to do it justice.  I have only been the observer of a child – not a suffering adult.  But in the past few days I’ve read a post from a young woman who suffers from CVS who cannot get the proper treatment.  The doctors treat her like a drug addict, not like a person with a chronic illness even though she’s been diagnosed.  That convinced me it was time to go forward and post this.  

Warning!  When I started writing this I did say there might be some uncomfortable spots of this story.  This is one of them.

alley

Max wandered down the city streets of downtown Minneapolis searching for Chloe.  Traffic and pedestrians made his search nearly impossible.  After twenty minutes he stopped and exhaled exasperated.  She must have found a way home.

 He turned his head as he heard a noise in an alley behind a grocery store.  His better sense told him to stop, to stay there.  Looking in dark alleys in the middle of major metropolitan areas was suicide.  Something inside him fought to pull him in.  He followed the instinct and journeyed into the shadows.

The sound grew louder.  It wasn’t the sound of crying or violence.  It wasn’t the sound of a wayward cat.  It was the sound of retching.  And it came from behind a dumpster.  The one weak street lamp hanging from behind the grocery store revealed a strappy sandal attached to a limp foot.  Max leapt into a sprint until he reached the dumpster.

Chloe laid half in and half out of a puddle, her beautiful burgundy dress ruined in the stagnant, putrid water.  Her hair was matted to her face with her barrette hanging by one thin lock.  What had originally been her dinner piled near her pale face.  Her face contorted as she began to vomit again.

“Chloe!”  Max knelt beside her, scooping her into his arms.  He stared into her face.  Her eyes were vacant.  It’s as if she doesn’t know where she is or who I am. He shook her gently.   “Chloe, hey!  Wake up!”

She responded by turning her head and vomiting what little was in her stomach into his shirt.  She collapsed onto his chest, her breath labored.

“I don’t know what is wrong with you, but you need to go to the hospital.”  Max picked Chloe up, cradling her in his arms.  He carefully made his way down the city streets to his car.

hospital

Max wasn’t sure just how fast he drove.  He pulled his car into the first available spot in the parking lot of the emergency room.  Chloe retched the entire ride to the hospital, her stomach long past empty.  Her lips were starting to turn dry, her skin grew paler.  Whatever illness she came down with hit her quick and hard.  Max was just thankful he had an empty plastic bag in his backseat for her to throw up into.

He lifted her from her seat and raced into the emergency room, holding her close to him as he ran.

He stopped breathlessly at the receptionist’s desk.  The receptionist handed him a clipboard without taking her eyes off her computer screen.  A growl escaped his throat as he struggled to grasp the clipboard from beneath the limp woman in his arms.  He dropped into a chair in the waiting area setting Chloe in the seat next to him.  He stared blankly at the form demanding vital information on Chloe.  He filled out her name and address and returned it to the receptionist.

He reached into the purse he had found next to Chloe and pulled out her cell phone.  He scrolled through her address book until he reached her mom’s number.  He dialed it and waited quietly.  He took a deep breath as the voicemail popped on.  He left a brief message then ended the call.  He dropped the phone on the floor as he shot across the room to grab a trash can for her to throw up into.

Max picked up Chloe as the nurse called her name and followed close behind as she led him into a treatment room.  He laid Chloe onto the gurney then watched nervously as the nurse took her vitals.  The nurse dropped a basin onto Chloe’s lap as she started again.  How can one woman throw up this much?

The emergency room doctor swept in as the nurse finished up.  He looked up at Chloe and moaned.  “Great.  Not her again.  Start her on IV fluids and Zofran.”

“What do you mean ‘not her again’?” Max demanded.

The doctor scanned him from head to toe.  “Who are you?”

“Max.  Max Thomas.”

“And you are with her why?”

“I took her on a date.  Why is it any of your business?”

The doctor chuckled.  “Dude, let me give you some advice.  Run.  Don’t get into it with this girl.  She has some massive baggage.  She is constantly in here looking for attention doing,” he waved his hand at the limp Chloe, “this.  Forcing herself to throw up.  She is going to cling to you like a second skin.  So get out while you can.”  Max glared at him as the doctor pried her mouth open with a gloved thumb.  “Yep, she went too far this time.  She’s dehydrated.”  He turned to the nurse.  “Call upstairs and have them prepare a room.  She’s staying.”

The doctor disappeared around the corner with the nurse leaving Max alone with Chloe.  Chloe was the least clingy person Max knew.  When she wasn’t happily interacting with her clients and co-workers on a professional basis she was quiet and kept to herself.  What the doctor just didn’t make sense to him.

“Who are you?”

Max spun around.  An older woman stood in the doorway, her icy stare piercing through him.

“I’m Max.”

“And you’re standing here with my daughter why?”

Max glanced from her to Chloe.  “I took her on a date.  I don’t know what happened.”

The older woman sneered at him.  “Well, Max, you can leave.  I’ll take care of my daughter now.  You wouldn’t know how to handle the imbeciles that work here.”

Max stared at her in disbelief for several moments.  He took one last look at Chloe before he slipped from the room.

Tuesday Tales – Funny

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We’re back for more Tuesday Tales!  This week our word is funny.  And I have finally come up with a title for this story – The Thirteenth Knight! Don’t forget to stop by and check out the blogs of the other talented writers of Tuesday Tales!

great hall

The Great Hall of the palace was buzzing.  The lords and ladies of the land laughed and ate and drank.  Miranda sat on her wooden seat beside her uncle’s throne watching the merriment.  Her stomach anxiously fluttered.  Thaddeus would soon return with his knights.  It wouldn’t be long before he would choose her husband.  She glanced around at the loud boisterous men then cringed.

Not even the court jester and his funny antics could bring her any joy.  She glanced up as Court Brunon strode by her side.

“Good day, Lady Miranda,” he crooned.

“Good day, Count Brunon.”

“Can I interest you in a cup of wine?  A walk in the garden?”

“No, thank you.”

“Are you sure, my lady?  A beautiful day like this.  A walk would do you good.”

“Again, no thank…”

Miranda startles as the slamming doors of the Great Hall cut off her words.  She watched anxiously as Thaddeus stormed through his court with his knights at his heels.  Despite her apprehension she rose and hugged him.

“Uncle, you are back.  How was training?” she greeted.

“A little more adventurous than I had planned, little one.”

“Your majesty,” Brunon interjected.  “There are 13 knights in your company.  I believe tradition dictates there should only be twelve.”

Thaddeus’s eyes drew to slits as the glared at Brunon.  “There are thirteen because I am king and I supersede tradition.  Besides I need more protection for both Miranda and I.”  Thaddeus took Miranda’s hand in his.  “Let me introduce you to the latest addition to my company.”

Miranda followed her uncle as they traveled through the assembly of knights until the end.  She gasped as her eyes met those of the thirteenth knight dressed in his royal uniform and armor.

“Thatcher!” she breathed.

“My lady Miranda,” Thatcher replied.  Miranda’s heart thundered in her chest as she was captured by his sapphire blue eyes for several moments before he dropped to his knee in a low bow.  He took her hand in his and pressed a chaste kiss to the back of it.

“Sir Thatcher fought valiantly when we were attacked and protected me from those that wished me harm,” Thaddeus beamed proudly.  “I am honored to make him part of my thirteen.”

Miranda felt her head swim.  She thought she would never see Thatcher again.  She cried every day since she was taken from her home.  Now he was here kneeling at her feet, his lips against her skin.  Her voice trembled as she spoke.  “I think I am going to step out into the garden to get some air.”

“I will accompany you,” Brunon volunteered.

Miranda lifted her hand up in protest.  “No.  I would rather be alone.”  Without another word she retreated from the three men and the frivolity of the Great Hall.  She ran through the halls of the palace until she reached the garden.

Don’t forget to stop by and check out the other Tuesday Tales and see how the other authors use the word funny!

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