The market is thirty minutes on horseback or an hour and a half walking distance. The first time I came to the market I was only thirteen years old. Liz had completely taken me under her wing and she treated me like her own child. I remember the fascinating smells and strange people, the bartering and trading of goods, the handsome young men trying to catch the eyes of passing maidens. I fell in love with the market and the things that happened there. The atmosphere was full of new beginnings and exciting ends, the noise and the chatter kept me wanting to return. I'm probably the only one that loves the market, most people think it's a bore, but the market is full of exciting things.
I dismount the white horse that I decided to call Lily and walked her over to the makeshift stables they had set up. I leave her in the hands of a trustworthy looking fellow and head off into the chaos of the market. I stand in the midst of it all and watch everything that's going on around me.
The list, stay focused. Look at the list.
I look down and read through the short list Liz had made for me when suddenly I am shoved down into the mud.
"You idiot! Did you not hear us calling?" I slowly raise myself from the mud searching for the list that was somewhere on the ground. My clothes are covered in mud and my hair is plastered to my cheek, but it doesn't bother me. I need to find the list that Liz gave me, what if she never asks me to return to the market? I turn to see who is yelling at me and come face to face with a short, stocky man. His face is red from the strain of yelling at me, but I feel surprisingly calm. "Well, what do you have to say for yourself?" He puts his hands on his hips as he watches me search the ground. He coughs and I look at him, I stand a good inch over him which is impressive for I only stand five feet from the ground.
"I think you should've shouted louder." I retort. The red in his face deepens and a low growl comes from his throat as he takes a step towards me, but a laugh comes from behind him; low and melodic, I am drawn to the sound. I look up to see a man sitting upon a horse looking down at the scene that is taking place. His brown hair hangs in curls that frame his angular face. Deep blue eyes smile at me and the fuming short man and I can't but stare in awe at this beautiful man.
"Richard, it's okay. I think this woman is right, you were being soft." I look at Richard who takes a step back from me and watches me with wary eyes. When I look back up the man his eyes are still upon me. He tilts his head to the side causing the curls to flow,
I wonder how soft his hair is, it looks like it's made of silk.
"And what might your name be?" I look back to him beating myself for my wandering thoughts.
I look behind me to see whom he may be talking to and notice the market has come to a complete halt, everyone is watching us. I feel the flame touch my cheeks as I look back to the man sitting upon the horse,
"Mae, Mae Gwennly." My voice doesn't seem to be working today.
"Well Mae Gwennly, I am truly sorry that Richard didn't speak louder. He is at fault and I'll make sure that next time he will be overly cautious around young maidens with their nose stuck in a list." He leans over and holds a paper before me. The relief my heart feels is instant as I notice he is holding my list, how he got ahold of it I will never know. I reach up and grab the paper from his hand being careful not to touch him.
"Thank you." I mumble and I begin to back away.
"Where are you staying?" He asks. I turn to see Richard looking up at him with utter shock. This man is being so forward, so blunt in front of all these people whom, might I add, are still watching in complete silence.
"Well that's a question that must remain a mystery, don't you think?" And with that, I walk away from his laugh and disappear behind the nearest stall. The embarrassment is finally over and I hear the man's horse trot away with Richard at its tail. Who was that man?