"Grab a horse for my sister as well as your's." Arthur told Merlin. Merlin nodded, and dragged Ana with him to the stables that were nearby.
"I suppose you can get whichever you want, I'll be back, I just have to get the Princess' horse." He told her. She nodded as she watched him walk over to a beautiful white mare. She looked at the many horses that they had, and all who's were owned by someone had names on the top of their stalls. She walked all the way to the back, to find a speckled stallion, one who was laying down, and he looked as if had not been ridden in years. He had obviously not been cared for in a while, either.
Ana opened the stall door, and the horse was obviously startled at somebody coming into the stall, and he stood up, neighing and rearing. From the bag that she carried for the picnic,she took out an apple. Hopefully, she thought, it'll at least let me ride it after this. She put out her arm, apple in hand, and stood as far back as she could. The stallion trotted over and hesitantly ate it, core and all. Anastasia still held out her arm, and carefully, she touched his forehead. He didn't move, and instead, allowed her to move to his side.
"Thank you." She told him, although she knew there was a more than likely chance he did not understand. To the side of the stall was an old looking saddle, although it looked strong and sturdy as well. She put it on him, slowly, so that the weight of it didn't make him uncomfortable. There were no reins here, but there were these beautiful white ones, for the horse next to him. She stole those.
When she walked out, Merlin was already waiting with the mare. "Come on, Arthur gets cranky when he waits. I would honestly rather not have that." He smiled, walking with her to the Prince and Princess. They all got onto their horses, and the princess, Ros, and the prince, Arthur, rode ahead. Anastasia rode next to Merlin, many feet behind the royalty.
"Which horse did you get? I never recall seeing that one in the stables before. Trust me, I go into there a lot."
"Well, he was the one in the very back. It didn't seem like anyone had ridden him in years and I thought... He might feel better." Merlin sighed and shook his head.
"That's not what I was asking. Ana I have been here for months. That horse has never been there. Or maybe it has, and I'm just thinking things. We should catch up. Race you, huh?" Merlin smiled, kicking his horse and galloping off in front of her.
"Merlin." She whined, following quickly behind her older brother. When they arrived next to Ros and Arthur, Merlin introduced her to the princess.
"Your highness, this is my sister Anastasia, although I tend to call her Ana. She'll be serving for the needs of Arthur and yourself." Ros smiled at her.
"It's nice to meet you, Ana. You seem lovely." Ros told her. How did she respond to this? She wasn't sure, this certainly wasn't something that she had prepared a reply to.
"It is, uhm, nice to serve you." She told her hesitantly. Ros simply smiled in return and gave her an accepting nod. She was relieved. They finally stopped nearby, and sat to eat their meal. It was not much, just some fruits and breads. Ana ate gleefully. She sat criss crossed, feeling the air run through her hair, and smiling. It had been long since she had a time to relax. She hoped she would be able to do this more often. She closed her eyes and laid down. She heard the conversations Merlin and Arthur had, which were mostly just argues. After a short while after the last argument ended, she felt something on her head. She sat up quickly, and saw the princess smiling and putting a crown made of flowers onto her head.
"They're blue poppies." She told her. "It looks nice on you."
Ana bowed her head. "Thank you, your highness." After that, she went after Merlin and put one on him. Then Merlin put the white one onto her. Shortly after, when Ros went to a small lake of water, Merlin and Ana began to pack. The two didn't notice Arthur walk after his sister.
"I missed riding horses with you, Merlin." She told him, wrapping the bread.
"As did I. But it wasn't exactly my fault. We still would have rode together if the man didn't leave with the horses."
"Yes, thats true." She responded, looking at the speckled stallion she came with.
"He reminds me a lot of Thunder. He looks just like him."
"Thunder is long gone, and we both know that. He died in the fire before the man left. Theres no way that's him."
"Have a sense of hope, Merlin." She laughed, putting the bags onto the horses sides. The four rode off quickly after that.
Ana looked around the land. It was beautiful, yes, but she had seen more beauty in her dreams. Although she would have to call this one a close second. Birds sang, there were dew drops on leaves and blades of grass. From feet away, a rabbit ran, trying to escape from the horses hooves. She remembered days like these, when her and Merlin were just babes, being ten and twelve years old. They would borrow some horses from a kind man that used to live in their village. Her horse was one that looked just like this one, but it had died in a fire in the barn that nobody was sure what caused. She named it Thunder, because he used to always outrun Merlin's mare.The sun was already setting. The journey there and back again was long, so she understood why, even if they had not stayed long in the grass. She looked back at the three behind her.
"I'm going to ride ahead, just to make sure everything is okay." She told them, and they nodded. Ana looked down at her horse. She gave it a pat on the neck, and leaned closer to his ear.
"Come on Thunder. Fast." She said. Without needing to kick it, he ran.
YOU ARE READING
Ros is sister to the prince, and future king, Arthur Pendragon. Anastasia is sister to Merlin, the prince's personal servant. The two will fall hard for each other's siblings, as will their siblings, but what relationship is perfect?