A Mouse's Tale

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Chapter 17

As the light rays of sunlight trickled in through the window and fell across Mouse, she found herself being slowly pulled out of her dream world by its warmth. She stretched slowly, a smile spreading across her face, before slowly opening her eyes. She blinked a couple of times as her eyes struggled to adjust to the brightness of the room. She rolled over and fell off of the window seat.

Mouse frantically looked around, hoping that no one had seen her fall, and was relieved to find that no one else was around. Actually, there wasn't a single other person in the library except for her.

Getting back up to her feet, Mouse turned to look out the window. The ground was covered with a layer of fresh morning dew, its droplets glistening as sunlight reflected off of them, making it appear as if the ground was covered with hundreds of tiny diamonds. The sun was slowly rising into the sky, its bright rays warming the lands and awakening its slumbering inhabitants.

Mouse watched as a bird swooped down and plucked a worm from the ground, flying away to take its prize back to its nest. The land was so quiet and peaceful in the early morning. Mouse smiled as she relaxed into its peacefulness.

She finally broke away from the peaceful trance, knowing that she had to see to Arya. She picked up the fallen book that she had been reading before sleep had consumed her, picking up the now empty candle stand as well, and headed for the door, stopping only briefly to replace the book on its rightful shelf.

She nodded to Everson, the assistant librarian, as she slipped out of the doors, surprising the young man who paused and watched her hurry away before turning, with a shrug, and entering the library. Mouse liked the young librarian. The head librarian, Iven, didn't approve of Mouse's late night ventures to the library and would often scold her for it if he caught her there in the morning. Everson, however, thought it amusing when he found Mouse fast asleep in her favourite window seat.

In just a few years, Everson will become the Head Librarian, assuming that Iven will retire when he's supposed to, she mused as she made her way back to her chambers. Then I won't have to deal with his vicious tongue and hot temper.

Iven was sharp-tongued and often was harsh on Mouse, a trait that she compared to Lord Penton, but unlike the later, Iven never acted on his anger, whereas Penton had, on occasion, become violent towards her. She subconsciously began to rub the small scar on the back of her hand where Lord Penton's ring had nicked her. She had lied to Arya about how she had gotten it, not wanting to give Lord Penton another thing to get mad at her for. Plus, she was no snitch. No, as much as she despised Lord Penton, she could never rat him out to Arya, as much as she wanted to sometimes.

As if he could sense her thoughts and know that she had been thinking about him, Lord Penton suddenly appeared beside her.

"Good day, My Lord," Mouse felt herself stiffen as she greeted the older man.

"Pest," he nodded a greeting back to her. "Please inform Her Majesty that her presence is required in the Throne Room to discuss strategy with Sir Gordon as soon as possible." He grabbed her arm roughly, stopping her. "And I mean that as in sooner, rather than later. Have I made myself clear?"

"Crystal," Mouse replied through gritted teeth, pulling her arm out of his grasp. "My Lord." She bowed curtly to him then turned and walked away. Mouse remained tense until she heard his footfalls begin to disappear in the opposite direction. As she slipped into her room, she felt herself relax completely.

"Rise and shine, Arya!" she called out as she slipped through the door separating their rooms. As she pulled back the curtains from Arya's bed, she was shocked to find it empty.

"Arya?" her voice was slightly panicked, the memory of her nightmare flashing through her mind, as she turned away from the bed, eyes dancing around the room frantically. "Arya!"

"Relax, Mouse!" Arya's laughing voice preceded her into the room as she entered from one of her smaller side rooms. "I'm right here!" Mouse breathed a sigh of relief as she watched Arya slip an earring through the tiny hole in her ear.

"Fell asleep in the library again, didn't you?" Arya smirked, looking at her in the reflection of the mirror as she put her other earring in her other ear.

"You know me too well," Mouse laughed.

"So what's on the agenda for today?" Arya asked, turning away from the mirror. "Perhaps a stroll through the Gardens? It's so nice out today and I know how much you hated being cooped up inside yesterday."

"As much as I would like that, we can't," Mouse sighed. "Lord Penton instructed me to tell you that your presence is required in the Throne Room for strategical planning as soon as possible. As in sooner, not later," she mimicked his voice.

"I knew that this would have to happen eventually," she sighed. "But did it have to be on such a beautiful day? This is the one thing that I hate about being Queen."

"Maybe it won't take very long?" Mouse suggested, trying to raise her spirits.

"You've never been to these meetings," she sighed again. "They can take forever!"

Mouse was never allowed to attend these meetings as they were for strategical purposes and the less people who knew what the army's secrets were, the better. At least, that's the reasoning that Lord Penton gave for not allowing her to attend. Mouse didn't mind too much though. If they were as long and boring as Arya claimed them to be, then she did not mind at all about having to miss out on them. She knew that she could instead maybe spend the day with Vyron, maybe tell him exactly how she felt, what she had discovered last night. She smiled to herself as she thought about it, about how she would tell him. Arya mistook her intention for her smile and glared at her.

"Sure, take pleasure in my pain," she exclaimed. "Maybe I'll give you chores to do that will keep you inside today."

"No!" Mouse exclaimed. "I wasn't laughing at you, I swear! I was thinking about Vyron." She smiled again. "I was thinking about how today I'm going to tell him that I love him."

"Really?" Arya gasped. "Awwww! I'm so happy for you, Mouse!"

"I've never felt this way before," Mouse swooned. "I honestly believe that I love him. And today, I'm going to tell him."

"I think that you totally sh-" Arya was cut off by a knock at the door. Mouse opened it and was surprised to find Lord Penton standing in the doorway.

"I'm here to escort Her Majesty to the meeting," he explained. "Since only certain people are allowed to attend." He looked past Mouse at Arya. "Are you ready, Your Majesty?"

"As ready as I'll ever be," Arya sighed as she walked over to him. He offered her his arm, which she took, and then led her away, leaving Mouse standing alone in the doorway. With a sigh, Mouse closed the door behind her as she left the room, turning and heading towards the barracks to go find Vyron.

It's time, she told herself encouragingly as she made her way down the hall. It's time to tell Vyron that you love him.

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