The Warrior's Princess Prize by Carol Townend

The Warrior's Princess Prize by Carol Townend

Author:Carol Townend
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Harlequin
Published: 2020-05-07T11:40:29+00:00

* * *

The entire cavalcade halted in a small town whilst Jasim called for Blade. His horse at least was glad to see him, whinnying softly as Farid led him up to the waggon.

Jasim was conscious of townsfolk standing by the roadside, staring, just as Zorahaida had hoped. Some nudged each other in the ribs; others broke into delighted smiles. Jasim overheard several comments.

‘It’s our Princess!’

‘That must be her husband.’

‘Husband? I didn’t know the Princess had married.’

‘My thanks, Farid,’ Jasim murmured, taking charge of Blade.

His cares seemed smaller after he’d climbed into the saddle. Riding had that effect on him. Relaxing, he leaned forward to pat Blade’s glossy black neck and review the cavalcade.

His eyes widened. Though Zorahaida had warned him, it was larger than he had imagined. His carriage had his coat of arms painted on the canvas. Several baggage carts also displayed his coat of arms. He had no idea what the carts contained, he hadn’t brought much with him, they might be empty for all he knew. A couple of other carts were emblazoned with Nasrid red and gold, they must contain his wife’s belongings. Perhaps they all did.

Jasim ran his gaze up and down the line. Zorahaida had accomplished much in a short space of time. There were uniformed knights with fluttering pennons. Squires, servants...

A memory stirred. In Jasim’s youth, trading caravans had been common in Madinat Runda. When he was a boy and on better terms with his older brother, Usayd, Usayd had taken Jasim to watch the arrival of the caravan of a wealthy merchant in the marketplace. Jasim had enjoyed that day, and although he and his brother no longer saw eye to eye, Jasim was determined that merchants’ caravans would become commonplace again.

Puzzled, Jasim looked down the column. Where was Zorahaida? His gaze ran past the red and gold carts; past the knights with their glittering helmets; past donkeys laden with covered baskets. It was certainly impressive.

‘Farid, where’s my wife?’

‘The Princess is in the Nasrid carriage, with Maura,’ Farid said, pointing. ‘You won’t be able to see her from this standpoint. She has the canvas thrown back so all may see her.’

‘She brought no horse with her?’

Farid shook his head. ‘I am not sure your wife rides, Master. She certainly brought no horse.’ He grinned. ‘Everything else, but no horse.’

How odd, Jasim had been certain sure the Princess would ride. He’d heard tales of her riding out with her sisters on matching white ponies. Tales. They could well be wrong. Perhaps she couldn’t ride, perhaps she was afraid of horses, many women were. It might explain why she had stayed behind when her more audacious sisters had left the palace.

He frowned. No, he was doing her a disservice. Zorahaida was extraordinarily wilful, and she was nothing if not audacious. This extravagant progress through her father’s lands proved that. It was worthy of the Queen of Sheba.

Aware that the captain at the head of the outriders was looking to him for the signal to continue, Jasim waved his hand.


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