From his high perch the Keeper can look out across the lands, but today his eyes are cast down to the garden where he can just make out the bright white of Alex’s tunic and a figure clad in green whom he assumed is the Foretold, with smile he pushes off the ledge he was leaning on and starts the slow climb down the tower, making his way toward the extensive garden, hoping to run into the pair but making a point not to summon them to him. He wanders for a little bit till he rounds a corner and finds them sitting beside the pond, the Foretold’s legs pulled up to her chest. “Oh, hello you two.”

“Hello, Your Grace.” Alex looks over his shoulder and smiles, Maggie only groans “Forgive us, we’d stand but-” He motioned to Maggie.

“That’s quite alright, I understand. I actually came looking for you Alexander.”

“For me Your Grace?”

“Yes, I released Madam Margery and the women, I need you to escort them home. I cannot trust my other men.” Alex bites his bottom lip, but gives in.

“Of course Your Grace, allow me to escort Miss Magnolia back to-”

“There isn’t time, Alexander. Please, allow me to escort her back. I need those women protected, from gods only know what is out there.”

“Its ok Alex, you can go.” Maggie smiles at him, Alex sighs and rises.

“Thank you, Miss Magnolia, Your Grace.” With dread in his heart he does as he was asked, making his way out of the castle to the stables for his horse and then to the main gates where he finds Madam Margery with her women.

“Miss Magnolia,” The Keeper offers her his arm and she takes it not wanting to cause a scene with the current king of the land. “How are you feeling?”

“Tired, and very hungry, Your Grace.” He nods and looks up at the sun.

“Perhaps a late lunch is in order?”

“I’d like that.” He smiles and leads her through the gardens to the kitchen, the whole time Maggie speaks with the king’s undivided attention. Once at the kitchen the Keeper puts in an order for a light lunch with a beautiful cake for dessert before leading Maggie to a small garden dinning area.

“Miss Magnolia-”

“Please, Your Grace. Call me Maggie, Magnolia is what my mom calls me when she’s mad…. Called me…” The man cocks his head.

“I’m sorry for bringing up a sore subject.” Maggie looks up, and gives him a small smile.

“Its alright… I just… I don’t know if I’ll ever see my mom again…” He reaches across the table and squeezes her hands, Maggie looks at the gesture and blushes, realizing that she has been enjoying the much older man’s attention more then she should.

“We’ll find away for you to be happy here.” Their lunch appears and the servant vanish. They eat in silence for a moment. “Would you like to attend a festival?”

“That would be fun, but I couldn’t possible ask you to arrange one.”

“Worry not, Miss Maggie, one has already been arranged in your honor outside the city. I would happily take you there, but you’ll need new clothing.”

“Oh… But I kind of like the tunics and leggings.”

“I said new, not different.” He smiles. “I’ll take you to the tailor when we are done here, you’ll have your new clothes soon.”

“Thank you, Your Grace.”

“Call me Jacob when we are alone. The formalities are horribly oppressive.” She smiles and nods and again they laps into silence, eating and enjoying the shade on the hot day. When lunch is done the plates are cleared away and the thin slices of cake are brought out to them. Maggie fights hard to contain herself as she eats the wonderful slice of heaven, the frosting is thick and sweet, with a vanilla flavor while the cakes are very thin and flavored like chocolate. When those are done, Maggie accepts the Keeper’s arm and they make their way into the castle and to the tailor.

The elderly man takes her measurements quickly and they pick out fabric, black for the leggings, and a deep purple for the tunic with a black belt, and gold buttons. With that out of the way, the Keeper escorts her back to the chapel, giving her hand a soft kiss before she enters, earning stares from the Brothers which she ignores as she enters her room, locking the door behind herself.

Lost [chapter 14]