I was nineteen that spring and was living with my father and children in the land of Osmunda. My husband, Aidan, had gone off to fight in the battle against the Diabloians and had left me to care for our children and my dying father. My sister Destiny, was living with her husband's parents in Sareybia and had just given birth to her first child. Her husband was a captain in the army and was also fighting the Diabloians.

My mother had died in childbirth seven winters ago. The child had lived for a week before he followed my mother in death. Father, was heartbroken and took ill soon after. He never fully recovered. It was then that I began to care for my family. Destiny was nine and I was twelve, and we'd been left with a great responsibility.

I had been born and raised in the village of Syringa, the second largest city in Osmunda. When I was fifteen, I married Aidan and moved my Father out into the isolated countryside seventeen miles from Syringa. By this time it was determined that Father had the Sickness of the Lungs and needed fresh air. So Aidan and his father built us a house away from Syringa. Destiny was allowed to stay in the village with our friend Lydia and her family. She married James three years later and moved to Sareybia, where his family lived.

It had been stormy the whole Spring of my nineteenth year and we were in need of supplies. So when the blue skies finally began to show, I decided to go into town. I woke early that morning and dressed my children, Anoushka and Alaric. They were still tired, so I put their blankets in the back of the wagon and let them sleep. I hitched our horses' Lucerne and Emrys, to the wagon and left some food on the table for my sleeping father. It was still dark when we started out and we wouldn't reach Syringa until Dusk. The roads were still muddy so it took me longer to get there than I had planned. It was midnight before we arrived at Lydia's where we would be staying the night. After unhitching Lucerne & Emrys and giving them some oats, I retired.

I rose at midmorning the next day and fed my children. Lydia told me she would take care of them while I took care of my business, so I left them playing with Lydia's sons.

The marketplace was crowded as usual and it took me all day to get my errands done. I decided I would go back to Lydia's in the late afternoon. The supplies had cost me the last of our money and I guess I was thinking more of where I'd get more supplies when it was that time, than I was paying attention. As I was climbing into the driving seat, I stubbed my toe on the footplate. Forgetting that 'Hell's Massacre' was the phrase we used to get Lucerne and Emrys running, I blurted it out. My horses responded immediately and took off running. I was thrown into the back of the wagon as the horses took off.

The reigns fell off the driving seat and down by the horses hoofs. They ran wildly through the streets of Syringa and there was nothing I could do to stop them. Laying on the floor of the wagon, I held desperately onto the cargo rope that was tied across the bundles. I held tight to prevent myself and the supplies from being thrown out of the wagon. Fearing that the wagon would tip over I began to cry out for help. The only responses I received were cries of warning. "Watch out." "Clear the way." And "Runaway Wagon."

Just when I was about to give up hope, a man on a black Arabian horse pulled alongside my wagon. He held out his hand and yelled, "You're going to have to jump." I shook my head, "It's too dangerous," I shouted. "It's too dangerous to let you stay in the wagon. You either jump now or face the risk of death. What's your choice?" he asked. "I'll jump," I said. I struggled to stand up as his horse fell behind. He was deserting me! "What are you doing?" I cried out. "I have to build up speed to stay alongside the wagon. Get ready to jump." He yelled as he pulled up alongside my wagon for the second time. The wagon was now speeding out of control and I saw that jumping was my only option. "Ready." I said. "Now. Jump now!" he instructed me. I closed my eyes and jumped, I was sure I was going to hit the ground, so I braced myself for the impact. But instead of rocks and dirt I felt a strong arm around my waist, pulling me up onto the back of the horse. He pulled on the reigns and brought the horse to a stop. He lowered me to the ground, but stayed on top of his mount. "Are you all right?" He asked. "Yes, but my wagon's gone and those are our only horses." I said. He looked ahead at the wagon that was by this time almost out of sight. "Stay here." He told me, and with that he and his horse took off after my runaway wagon.

I had doubts about him being able to catch my horses and if he did I was sure he wouldn't return them to me. My heart was rapidly filled with despair, the wagon was gone along with the horses and supplies and I was sure I would never see them again. The stranger would most likely keep the horses and wagon for himself, seems how they had been hard to come by since the beginning of the war. Tears came to my eyes and I fell weeping to the ground. Everything was lost the supplies were gone. My family would starve and I wouldn't be able to get more money until Aidan returned from the war. I was so overcome with despair that I didn't hear the approaching wagon. A call came down from the driving seat.

"Miss? Could you please help me?" the voice asked. "I'm having the hardest time finding the owner of these supplies and I thought that you might be able to help me."

Without looking up I snapped, "Can't you find someone else?"

"Excuse me Miss. I didn't mean to upset you, I just thought you might be able to help me find the owner of these fine steeds and this nice carriage."

"Why wouldn't he just go away?" I asked myself silently.

"Okay, Maybe it will help if I describe her for you. She's about twenty hands high, a little more maybe. Her hair is long and fire colored and looks as though blood and wine mixed with the fire. She has fair skin and a pale complexion. Well, let me think, is there anything else? Oh yes, her eyes are a deep shimmering blue, like sapphires."

Then suddenly I realized who he was talking about. I looked up and there he was like a guiding light, coming to lead me away from my dark despair. At first I was too stunned to speak and I began to sob more violently. I tried desperately to stop the tears from falling, but I gave up after I realized all my efforts were in vain.

The man jumped down off my wagon and in an instant he was sitting beside. "Are you all right?" he asked.

Then I turned my head and nodded. "Yes, I'm fine." I said.

His eyes began to look over my face as if they were trying to take in every detail possible. After he did this, there was a moment of silence and I used this time to study his face. The face that would soon become a very familiar sight in my life. Finally he broke the silence.

"Well then tell me this," he said, "If you're fine then why are you still crying?"

I had forgotten that I was still crying and at that moment I realized where I was. Embarrassment flooded in to fill the space that despair had occupied only moments earlier. My face turned crimson and I turned away from the man.

"You're right." He said, as if he had read my mind. "We should go somewhere else to talk. Do you know a good tavern we could go to?"

"Yes," I said, "There's the Ambrose Tavern just past the market."

He stood, offered me his hand and took hold of my wrist. He pulled up to my feet. I guess I expected him to let go, instead he helped me up into the seat of my wagon. After he let go, he walked around the other side and climbed up next to me. I gathered the reigns in my right hand, gave them a flick and the horses began to trot. As we rode down the street, we received cold glares from people. I knew it looked strange for me, a married woman to be riding with a man I barely knew. And I knew that was what the stares were for. But he didn't and I wasn't going to tell him. Not yet at least.

The closer we got to the tavern the more uncomfortable I became, but I was determined to repay this man for his kindness. I switched the reigns into my left hand and turning to him I offered him my hand. A look of bewilderment crossed his face, but he took my small hand in his.

I shook his hand and said, "I've been so caught up in my happiness that I've been terribly rude to you. I haven't even introduced myself have I?" I asked.

"No, you haven't," he replied, "And neither have I."

"My name is Tasia." I stated, "And might I ask what your name is?"

"Lamech." He answered.

"Well Lamech, you were wrong about three things." I said.

"And what might they be?" he asked.

"First, these are work horses, not steeds. Second, this is a wagon, not a carriage. And third, my eyes are not blue, like sapphires. They're green, like emeralds."

He looked at my eyes and said "So they are." With that we both began to laugh.