Here’s what you’ll find in this scene…
Tavita forced his legs to obey. The guards at the gates would find him suspicious if he moved faster. But everything in him wanted to bolt or die. But he didn’t want to die. So why did Temiro want him dead? What had he ever done?
He got past the guards without a problem. Once at the stables, he searched for his horse. Nothing. Nowhere. He didn’t have much time. Surely the king was sending his guards after him right now. They were the best in the business, and they would find him. Should he just turn himself in right now? He couldn’t.
Where could his horse be? He glanced back at the city. The king stood along the top of the wall with another guard, motioning at him. The other guard wore a dark green cape over his armour. The leader of the Royal Guard. The king’s personal protection. Assassins.
He had no time for a horse. If they were coming for him, he needed to get out of here now.
The keeper at the stables must’ve noticed his anxiety. “Can I help you find what you’re looking for?”
He glanced at her and shook his head, starting to walk away.
“Did you have a horse here earlier?”
He glanced at the wall again. The king and the guard were gone. “I had a pale white stallion.”
“Ah…yes. I remember.” She smiled at him. He wasn’t sure if he should feel threatened or comforted. “A young man like yourself picked it up earlier.”
“Do you know who it was?”
The woman shook her head. “But he did leave something I should give you when you return.” She handed him a slip of paper.
“Thanks,” he said, turning to leave. He glimpsed at the wall again.
“Is there something I should know?” she said.
He shook his head as he unfolded the paper. I know you’re in trouble. I had my servant bring your horse to the edge of the forest. My father will hunt you until he finds you. And then he will kill you. Go deep into Reidson’s Woodland until you reach a lake. There’s a city on the other side. You’ll be safe there. But move quickly.
Of course it had been Theodore. Although he was royalty, somehow he’d chosen to become close friends with a shepherd. They’d been through a lot of life together.
Tavita walked until he was out of sight of the gate before breaking into a run. Although his heart raced, he didn’t stop. His only hope was to get to that horse, which would then take him to the city.
But there was no way he’d make it to the city by nightfall. Dusk was already fast approaching. The king’s assassins knew the forest better than anyone.
He knew he should stop by home. Maybe his father would know what to do. No, he couldn’t. They’d suspect him to go there first. They were probably already waiting there. What would they do to his father if he never showed up?
A tear slid down his cheek as he ran. There was nothing he could do. But why would the king desire to take his life? To spare his dynasty?
As he neared the tree line, he spotted his horse near a well. Someone was drawing water for it. She must’ve seen him approaching, because she immediately set the bucket down and bowed. Before he could even say a word, she drew water for him and herself. Then she strapped the buckets to the horse beside the leather bags, which were most likely filled with enough food to get him there.
“Thank you,” he said. “What can I call you?”
She continued cleaning, probably to make sure they didn’t leave anything behind.
“What is your name?”
She stopped for a moment, looking directly into his eyes. “We need to get going.”
“What do you mean we?”
“Of course I’m coming with you. I promised Theodore I would take care of you until we reached safety.”
“But you can’t. Do you know what they’ll do to you if they catch you with me?”
She seemed to ignore him as she jumped onto the horse. She reached out a hand to help him up. “We need to hurry.”
He didn’t argue. There wasn’t time. If the assassins had left immediately, they wouldn’t be far behind. He took her hand. She pulled him up to sit behind her.
They rode off into the forest just as the sun set below the horizon. Where was Elohim in all this? The one who had given them life? The one whom he wrote songs about and worshipped late into the night?
But there was still only one repeating thought. You are chosen. I love you.
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