Too Much To Ask For

Chapter 22

Chapter 22

"I have something else for you to take with you," Peter's voice came from behind her and she turned to see him in her door. "You do not have to take it, and it is not part of our deal, but I want you to take it. It should help you," he told her, leaning against the doorframe.

"Are you going to tell me what it is?" she asked, turning back to her packing. She had gotten her chain mail and armor and tabard into a pair of saddlebags, along with a winter cloak and a thicker change of boots. She wore a dark green shirt with a high cut V-neck that had laces holding the cut together. She also wore a pair of brown pants tucked into a pair of black boots with a red, almost maroon, vest of leather armor over the shirt. Her sword belt had been strapped on, and her sword and dagger both rested in their sheaths.

A pair of riding gloves had been tucked into her belt, and he saw that her hair had been braided back along her head in a style Susan called a French Braid. "Who's keeping you out?" he asked her, seeing neither of her tigers with her.

"This little one," she replied, and she turned so he could see the tiny kitten tucking itself into her neck. It was partially hidden by the braid, fractionally covered by her vest collar, and majorly concealed by its tiny size. "Her name is Moon," she added, and the gray kitten stared at the High King with bright blue eyes.

"Hello, Moon," Peter said, smiling.

"Hello, Your Majesty," the kitten squeaked boldly.

His smile widened, and then he turned his eyes back to his golden haired guardian. "Would you like to see it?" he asked her.

"Do you have it with you?" she asked over her shoulder as she stared down at the things remaining on her bed.

"Yes," he told her, and she turned back to him, smiling in curiosity. "But you cannot have it until you promise me something," he added.

"Oh?" she replied, arching an eyebrow.

He straightened and strode over to her, cupping her face in both hands. He kissed her gently on the lips, then pulled back and said, "Promise me you'll be safe."

She closed the space between them quickly, kissing him before she replied, "I promise."

He kissed her gain, and this time, his lips trailed across her jaw to her ear before he whispered, "Turn around." When she did, he pulled something from his pocket and raised his hands over her head as he placed the necklace on her. When he took his hands away, she looked down to see a golden chain and a ring hanging from the chain. When she lifted the ring to examine it, she sucked in a sharp breath.

"No, Peter, I cannot wear this," she protested.

"Yes, you can. You are my guardian. Bear the signet of your King with pride, milady," he told her. She looked back down at the ring and then looked at his hand. He lifted it so she could examine the two rings side by side, and watched her eyes widen. His was thicker, bigger; more masculine. Hers was thinner, smaller; more delicate. His had a shield with a lion on it and oak leaves around it. Hers just had the shield with the lion. "It gives you authority in my name," he told her.

"This is crazy, Peter. Does the Council know of this? Does King Edmund? Do the Queens?" she asked.

"It really isn't, yes, yes, and yes," he replied, making her smile. "Now just wear it," he told her.

"But," she protested before he cut her off with a kiss.

"Just wear it, Evelyn," he laughed.

"Humph," she sighed and then pulled him down to capture his lips.

Later, when the High King and Evelyn emerged from the palace into the courtyard, Orieus noticed the way the lady's hand often went to the gold chain hanging around her neck. He didn't have to guess to know what hung from the chain. But he didn't say anything other than, "Sire, milady," when he took Evelyn's saddle bags and tied them on her saddle for her. She was wearing bracers and he noticed the little gray furball tucked into her collar. He was about to voice his question when the kitten raised her head and eyed him.

He was taken aback by the color of the kitten's eyes. They matched Evelyn's precisely. He shook his head and called the squad to order. Immediately, the two dozen centaurs fell into their ranks, and Snowfire walked forward to the front. He wore a simple saddle and a bit-less bridle.

Evelyn turned to the Kings and Queens behind her, and curtsied. Queen Susan hugged her and kissed her brow. "Luck, Lady Warrior," she whispered, stepping back.

Queen Lucy came next. "Keep her safe, Moon," she said, smiling.

"I will, Your Majesty!" the kitten mewed, and they all laughed. The Valiant Queen kissed Evelyn's brow, then made room for her brother.

King Edmund kissed her brow as well, and then rested his hand on her shoulder. "Go with Vigilance, Lady Guardian," he murmured. Then he was moving away.

High King Peter took her hands and kissed her brow gently. "Four days, Evelyn. We'll follow in four days. Until then, go with courage, my Lady," he told her. She nodded and he leaned in and kissed her in front of the entire group gathered in the courtyard. Then she was vaulting into the saddle and cantering out of Cair Paravel. Spirit and Flame ran on either side of her Horse, and Peter remembered another difference between Animals and beasts. Animals had far more stamina and strength and speed than beasts.

Two days later, Evelyn was beginning to search for signs of familiar markings of the border. They'd spent the last two days warning anyone they'd met that the army was about to come through for the war, and Evelyn had realized it was a very good thing she wore Peter's signet. All Narnians knew the signets of their Kings and Queens, and they warmed up a bit more to Evelyn after she showed it to a few of them. Most, however, were welcoming of the girl, if only out of curiosity.

She didn't mind. She was just as curious about them as they were of her. Her training had really only covered Her allies, so she didn't know much about the Narnian Animals. And the Hawks were more than willing to carry her daily reports back to Cair Paravel for her. She learned more about the centaurs, too, since they were the majority of her group. One let her attempt to lift his broadsword, and they all, including her, laughed at her inability to raise it above her waist for more than a few seconds. It was heavy. Very heavy.

On the third day, she found the place she was looking for. "Captain!" she called, stopping Snowfire gently. "Here!" she told him, gesturing to the clearings and hills.

"This is a good place for camp," he told her approvingly.

"I know. I thought the same thing when I was on that side of the border," she replied, motioning over the hills.

"Well, come then. We still have a ways of the border to go," he told her. She nodded and rode after him, and when something caught her attention out of the corner of her eye, she turned to scan the hill tops. She thought she saw a dark smudge on one, but when it didn't move, she rode on. She kept it in the corner of her mind that night and the next day, and she was constantly scanning the area around her.

She was the guardian, right? She had to be vigilant, just like the King had said. But that didn't stop the cold from trapping her in a memory the fourth night. So she prayed. 'Aslan, if you are truly the one who brought me here, protect me from this evil that longs to kill my King, if only so I can help and guide him,' she pleaded once she was free. She was rewarded with warmth that slighted even the High King's, and let her find her way to sleep.

She dreamed of spring, a spring beside Peter and Lucy and Edmund and Susan, watching stars and leading armies, and dancing and dueling (or sometimes both). She dreamed of colors, colors she felt emotions and stories behind. She dreamed of music and a lullaby sang in a deep, golden voice. She dreamed. And she knew the High King was safe for tonight at least.

Author's note: I promise, after two kind of fluffy chapters, the action is coming.

Dandapanda-24, I promise

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