Howdy, and welcome to #BlogBattle Tuesday hosted by Rachael Ritchey! This week’s word is Bun. I went through three different possible storylines before I settled on this one. I barely squeezed in under the 1000 word limit, so it’s a bit long but bear with me. I do use the word “bun” at the end. Enjoy! 🙂
“I don’t know why I have to be the one to dress up as the girl!” he complained.
“As Princess Isabella D’Clorda,” she reminded him. He stubbornly refused to take the dress from her, broad shoulders rising as he continued to complain.
“Whatever, but I will point out, again, that I’m a little too tall and, well, rather muscular.”
She snorted in light derision.
“Princess Isabella is of the Giant clan, so you’re actually about as tall as she is. And this dress will hide those ‘muscles’. Now put it on!”
He swiped it from her with a grumble and pulled it on over his shirt and breeches. The hem trailed on the floor and covered up his masculine leather boots.
“Ah, yes, with my feminine form this disguise is foolproof!”
Her fingers twitched as she resisted the urge to strangle him.
“Will you trust the master of disguise? Sit down so I can do the rest!”
“Self-proclaimed master of disguise,” he muttered as he dropped in a chair. “If we get caught, I’m not getting my head chopped off in a dress.”
Her stomach twisted uncomfortably at the thought of what could happen should they get caught. They had been planning this for over three months. Isabella, one of her closest friends, depended on them. She picked up the bowl of dye for his blonde hair, bleached by the sun, and began to work it in.
An hour later she was done. His hair was now a dark brown and she had pinned a long braid around his head. He had complained mightily of course, but it was essential for the disguise and the escape. Now petticoats hid the broadsword hanging under the dress and a veil covered his head and face. She handed him white gloves.
“Really?” he sighed.
“Isabella might be part human on her father’s side, but she doesn’t have man’s hands. Besides, no good woman of breeding would be riding without gloves.”
He tugged them on with a roll of his eyes and stalked from the room. She finished touching up her own disguise. She would be going as Princess Isabella’s human maidservant. She went outside where the guards who would be accompanying them waited. Several were giants and the others were human.
“Why, Clancy, you look ravishing!” One of his men smirked and promptly ducked a swipe from the disguised Clancy. One of the giant guards, wearing the same grin, led forward a bulky white mare with a sidesaddle. Clancy tossed the veil back.
“Tanya! What’s that?” he looked at the saddle.
“You’ll have to ride that way,” she replied.
“Not until we get there I don’t,” he grumbled, hiking up the skirts and sticking his boot in the stirrup. He sat astride. “Let’s go.”
Their destination lay an hour’s ride from the safe house they had prepared at. Lord Brooke’s manor house teetered on the edge of being considered a small castle. It was lit with torches and buzzed with the sounds of hundreds of conversations. They’d chosen Lord Brooke’s annual ball as the night to get in.
They rode into the courtyard and Clancy swatted away a hand to help him down from the horse. Tanya joined him.
“Now remember, don’t talk!”
They went into the manor house where the servant announced them. Clancy nodded as graciously as he could as lords and ladies greeted “Princess Isabella” and let Tonya do the talking. The real Princess Isabella had recently conveniently declared herself in mourning for some dearly departed relative which forbade her from showing her face or speaking for at least six months.
Lord Brooke, an old enemy of Clancy’s, appeared in front of them. He took the Princess’s hand and raised it to his lips.
“Thank you so much for coming,” he smiled. “I should like to speak with you later.” He smiled again before moving on to speak to another guest. While they waited, Clancy swiped a sticky bun from the laden food table, found he couldn’t eat it without taking off the veil, and stashed it in a potted tree.
Lord Brooke’s guards appeared and escorted the “Princess” and her maidservant upstairs. Tanya made to enter Lord Brooke’s study, but a soldier held her back. Clancy sailed past them without a word and Tanya grumbled deep in her throat. He’d have to talk to Lord Brooke and then the game would be up.
Clancy took in the interior of the study. A large oaken desk took up one end, books lined the walls, and there was a smaller table set up with selections of food from downstairs.
Dinner for two? He frowned. Lord Brooke entered and the doors were shut securely.
“Lady Isabella, I’m aware we’ve had our disagreements in the past,”
You’re blackmailing her.
“But I’m so glad you’re here tonight to hear my proposal.” Lord Brooke moved closer and Clancy edged away. “You’re a very beautiful woman, Isabella, and I’d hate for anything to happen to you because of those items I have in my possession. Now, I’m prepared to forget all about them if-“
Good grief! Does he actually mean proposal?
“You agree to take my hand in marriage.”
Clancy took a full step back and almost knocked over the refreshment table. He allowed an outraged humph to escape, attempting for the higher octave of a blackmailed woman who just got proposed to. That proved difficult since his normal voice was only a few notes above a baritone.
“I assure you it would be to our mutual advantage. I must admit I’ve been taken with you for some time and I wish I had been able to court you under more favorable circumstances,” Brooke leaned in close. “What say you, my—“
He didn’t get a chance to finish as Clancy walloped him over the head with a plate of sticky buns. The lord collapsed in an unconscious heap and Clancy glanced regretfully at the fallen dessert.
“That’s a no.”
😀 Don’t worry, we will be seeing more of these particular characters. But first, a quick question. My first foray into the BlogBattle proved to be somewhat popular. So, who would you like to see featured next?
Clancy and Tanya