For the second time that day Saleena was speechless. She had done some crazy things before, things her father would punish her severely for, but this was something of a different degree. To run away would be to shame her family. They would have to make up some story about her being kidnapped and her father would send his finest knights to find her. In truth they would not be instructed to search very carefully. She had always been a burden to her parents, and her older sister, Lerita, who was already happily married, would live on to take over the kingdom with her husband. She would, in fact, be free to do whatever she wished. “I’ll do it!” she said.
Later that same evening Saleena was once again climbing out her window. This time, however, she was in men’s clothing and had a pack with her of some of her books and other treasures along with food and provisions. She may be a princess, but she was still very intelligent. Around her slim waist hung a leather scabbard which held the magnificent sword. It was just beginning to get dark. Once outside she ran to the giant oak tree at the edge of the courtyard, her and Jax’s secret meeting place. There he was waiting with two fine steeds. She mounted and they were off. They would not be able to talk very much until they were safely away from the castle grounds. They rode for some time in complete silence. “I think it is safe to talk now,” Jax said after a while, it will some time before they realize you’re gone. Ryan thinks I left many hours ago, so I shouldn’t be convicted for your kidnapping.” Saleena hadn’t even thought of that! By coming she had put her only friend into terrible danger! If anyone saw them... “Don’t worry,” Jax said, as though reading her mind, “I’ve got it all planed out. They’ll suspect that arrogant Prince Aldman. He left late this evening. And anyway, no one will recognize you dressed like that, and especially not this far from your own kingdom.” Saleena had never realized what a level-headed and intelligent person her friend was, nor how brave. He had risked his life for her. “Thank you so much, Jax!” she said. “Hey, no problem, anything for m’lady!” It was his pet name for her. It was how all her suitors addressed her.