Chapter 1

I lay there whilst blood was pouring out of my leg; I had no idea what to do. I couldn't move my left leg at all, my head was aching and my eye sight was so blurry there was no point in looking at all. I could hardly breathe. All I could hear was the gentle breeze rattling through the trees. For anywhere in the world, this is a good place to die, the forest surrounded me and everything was peaceful, the sun was shining on my face through the branches of the trees.

"Get something to stop the bleeding!" What? Who was that? I tried to open my eyes to see what was going on. There were two men there one looking strong, brave, like a knight of some kind. The other, a simple servant. He said something to me but I couldn't quite catch it. I knew by the tone of his voice he meant no harm. They couldn't do anything, I had been laid there a long time, just minutes away from death. He tried to pick me up that's when I thought I was gone. However something in me didn't want to let go.

For a couple of seconds I completely forgot about all the pain I was in. Then the knight looked over to my horse, Vicky. I could hear what he said this time,
"Peter, take the girl's horse, ride it to Warwick and tell Cedric to get his things ready." Warwick? I use to go there when I was young, when I was a very little girl. Very good memories. When I went to Warwick William was the King, a very kind and loving King. I wondered if he was still. I hoped he was, I remembered his son Edmund. We used to play together when we were young, he was also very kind.

While the servant boy, Peter had ridden off the knight started walking in the same direction. He had a very fast walk; he nearly broke into a run. I don't know how he could carry me and still run. I heard him say a couple of things to me, he tried to make me believe I was going to me alright.

A short while after I heard more voices, instead of muddy grass it was stone footsteps. I strained my eyes to open but it was very blurry. I could see a large building, getting closer and closer. It was, it really was Warwick. I would have recognised it anywhere. We entered through a small archway through to the Courtyard, he then took me into the Castle through a door and up some very small stairs. We soon got to an open room, quite big, but that's all I could tell from my vision.

The knight laid me on a small wooden bed. A young man stood over me, of what I could work out from my poor eyesight it was Cedric. He was a local boy in the Castle when I visited Warwick, his father Gaius was the court physician here and a great man of what I was told. I think he died when Cedric was young but Cedric still followed in his footsteps and became a physician at a very young age, too young to be working. He said something and then stuck a whole bottle of liquid down my throat. I suddenly felt very weak, my hearing went and my sight vanished.

When I woke up my sight was clear again, I could actually hear chatting outside in the Courtyard and my leg was stiff but there was less pain. Much less pain. The servant from the forest, Peter, came and sat on the bed next to me, smiling. "Thank you." I said. Nothing else just a simple thank you. Peter chuckled and said,
"You are all right; Cedric has bandaged up your leg. It has stopped bleeding now, but it will still hurt for a couple of days." He dabbed my head with a cloth, he had just dipped it into a cold bucket of water. It was lovely and soothing on my head. "You have to take this twice a day until your leg gets strong and will do without the bandaged." He said whilst holding up a small bottle of liquid, yellow, why would the liquid be yellow? I sat up; my head gave a spin but then went back to normal. "Where is Cedric now?" I asked, probably sounding like a croaky frog.
"He's gone out on his rounds, he asked me to keep an eye on you while he was out. Would you like a drink of water?"
"Please." I replied. He walked over to a bench and poured some water. My head was spinning and I had that feeling of sick in the back of my mouth. He walked over and placed the cup in my hand, I took a sip.
"Can you remember anything before you woke up here?"
"Just I was running, I was attacked and then I began to see Warwick and I was pleased to see my home still standing. Then nothing after that."
"I used to come here a lot when I was a child. It was the only place where I could call home."

Cedric walked through the door. Peter's gaze stayed on me though, he only turned to look at Cedric when he said, "Peter, Arthur is looking for you. He is in his room waiting for you now."
"Okay, I better go."Cedric then came walking over to me and as Peter did sat on the edge of the bed. He took a big sigh. "One of these days you will learn never to go into that forest again!" I smiled and took another sip of water.
"Nice to see you again too, Cedric." He laughed and stood up to go to his table. "Do you think William will be pleased to see me here?" Cedric stopped what he was doing, put his things back down on the table and came and sat on the bed again.
"Scarlet, of course he will be happy to see you." He looked down to the surface of the bed then looked directly in my eyes. "Why did you come back?"
"You know why." I dismissed his question and turned away. When I used to come here as a child the forest was getting full with thieves and people who would hurt anybody for a laugh, so William said I must not come back to here ever again. I was 15 when this happened and so being the age I was, was not happy with the idea and would not accept. William tried to persuade me, but he couldn't. After a few months I gave in. However I planned to return to my beloved Warwick one day. That was exactly what I had done, travelled to Warwick in search of a better life.

"Would you like to see if you can walk?" Cedric asked, knowing I was worrying about what William's reaction will be towards me.
"Okay." I swung my legs over the side of the bed, but not too fast I didn't want to make my cut worse. I slowly stood up putting most of my weight onto Cedric and the bench. I let go of Cedric and started walking towards the door, still with one hand on the table at all times.

Suddenly Peter burst through the door in a sulk. "What's made you to crinkle your fore head like that?" Cedric asked with a smirk on his face.
"Arthur." Peter sighed, and with that he went straight to his bedroom mumbling on the way.
"Don't mind him, on Friday's he normally gets Arthur's armour to clean after training with the other Knights." I laughed slightly and then made my way back to the bed.
"I need to see him." I said with a sigh. Cedric nodded sadly without saying anything.
"What will you wear, your clothes are ripped?" Cedric said pointing his head at the trousers I was wearing.
"I put a spare dress in my bag, I knew what to expect in the forest." Cedric laughed, and then turned to the door way where a girl about the same age as me was standing. "Ah, Scarlet. This is Alice." Cedric introduced me.
"Hello." She said quietly. She was very beautiful and sweet. Then Cedric said,
"I wonder if you could help me. You see Scarlet wants to have and audience with the King. She has got a dress but she might need someone to help her a bit because of her leg." Without saying anything Alice nodded and gave me a little smile. I smiled back.

When it was around five o'clock, I had been asleep for a long time and now it was time for Alice to help me prepare for the dreaded meeting with William. She helped me get changed and had done my hair, I was all ready to go to the King. Out of anyone in the world I would just hope that William will be friendly towards me, and wouldn't send me back to the hell house which was, my father's castle.

I walked slowly to the Great Hall, where the King would be. I waited outside the door my heart blocking out any other noise around me with the large thump it kept of having. I nodded to the guards and they opened to two large doors which led into the Great Hall. There sitting at a very long narrow table was the King, William and at one side sitting to his left was his second son, Arthur. I walked a couple of steps forward, bowed and said, "Sorry sire. I did not mean to disturb your dinner." Arthur was already staring at me but William just looked up when I had finished talking. On his face there was an old battle wound, a scar across the right side of his forehead, down to his eye. He had now become old and grey but I still saw the loving person from my childhood. I remembered when I was small, the way he used to care so much for me, even when I cut myself on the knee, from falling over. He used to say to me, "If anything bad happens to you, I will never forgive myself."

He stood up leaned on the table and muttered quietly "Scarlet?" Then a bit louder, "Is that you?" I bowed my head to look at the floor for a second and then up again to face him.
"It is I, sire." I answered. He pushed his chair backwards walked around the table in a fast speed; he took hold of my arms and whispered.
"It is you, isn't it?" I smiled at him and he hugged me so hard I thought all the bones in my body were just going to snap in a second. Soon he let go, with a tear in his eye he lead me down to the other end of the table where he sat me down gave me some food and started eating again.

Arthur hadn't touched his food since I walked in. I looked down at the food, took a bit of the gorgeous looking chicken and then reached for the wine. Now he knew it was I that he saved in the forest I could see the regret in his eyes. He turned to look at his father and then turned to eat once again. "It was a close call back there in the forest, wasn't it Scarlet?" I looked at him sharply. William groaned and I felt that I would soon have to explain myself. Arthur never really took particular liking to me when I visited so to get me in trouble was the best opportunity he would have all day.
"What happened this time?" The King hissed through his teeth.
"The normal, some bandits with swords." I replied as if it wasn't a big deal. Which to me it wasn't, I had suffered much worse and under the care of Cedric I knew nothing bad could happen to me. William suddenly threw his fork down and rubbed his head, as if he had just come down with a head ache.
"Scarlet. Stop. You have to go home!"
"I'll get a carriage ready for you first thing in the morning."
"Arthur!" That seemed to shut him up for a bit but I still had William to face.
"William..." I pleaded.
"Scarlet! Tomorrow you are going back home whether you like it or not!"
"William I don't want to go home. I want to stay here. Please?" He didn't give me an answer, he only asked,
"Why did you come here, Scarlet?"
"Well it wasn't exactly of my choosing." I turned to Arthur. "I didn't really have a choice in the matter." I hissed at him. From the welcome I have received in Warwick, I thought about how it would not have been overly disappointing if I had died in the forest.
"You were heading to Warwick though, were you?" Well yes I was but if I had known about how things would have worked out and no one really wanting me here then I would have thought differently.
"I suppose so. Yes, I was." No one even talked at dinner after that. I wondered where Edward was, I knew he would fight for me against his father.