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Tall, Dark, and Handsome

Princess Inga made her way out of the keep and across the grounds. "Hey!" she called in a horribly informal manner.
The woman who answered was privileged and used to such from the Princess. Sara was Inga's milk sister, after all, the queen having lacked the strength to nurse her daughter while recovering from a difficult birth.
Which meant that the daughter of a stable hand would someday call the Queen friend. Some day.
For right now, Inga was not yet the Queen, but an heir who's life oscillated between closely guarded and heavily trained. There would be no more offspring, but....
"Have you seen him yet?"
"No!" Inga said, securing her braids back and lifting her workaday skirts as she headed into the yard.
"He's the most adorable thing ever," Sara gushed.
Inga laughed. "Well, then, let's go."
The two hooked arms and headed down the path. "How are your lessons coming?"
"Oh don't even ask," Inga grumbled. "And the royal sorceress is being... she's making me glad she's a grouchy old woman."
"Meaning she'll probably be retired by the time..." Sara tailed off.
You didn't talk to a Princess about becoming Queen, because of what inevitably preceded it.
They came around the corner. "She seems to think I'm useless because I struggle with certain cantrips. I pointed out that I don't need to be a sorceress at all."
Sara grinned. "Oh, you still can't do the mending cantrip, can you?"
"No, but my maid can!" Inga grinned. "She needs it more."
"A good thing."
Such simple household magics were more valuable to servants than queens, but... the sorceress had a point, Inga thought wryly. Knowing the mending cantrip could prevent mid-banquet embarrassment, but she just couldn't get her fingers to do that little... twist.
"So... where is he?" she said to change the subject. "Your new beau?"
"Right here."
Sara dragged her around the corner. "There, tall, dark and handsome!"
The tall, dark and handsome one lifted his near black head and whickered to the girls.
"He certainly is!" Inga headed over to the fence to examine the young stallion. Everything was right with the world.
Then she heard running steps behind her. Turned to face the messenger.
And knew from the girl's face that nothing would ever be right again.
The End
This story was first published on Tuesday, April 28th, 2020
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