Continuing the tale of my sequel story, “The Princess Beyond the Thorns,” in writing the second story I had to introduce far more characters. The first one had only Rose, Terrence, and a couple of kittens, with brief appearances by Rose’s parents in her memories. The second one brings us back to the castle, and besides introducing Terrence’s father (as I shared in the excerpt last week), I wanted Terrence to have friends too. This week’s excerpt introduces a couple of them.
The door opened to admit two strangers, a man and a woman. Both were dressed in the silks and elegance of the court, both perhaps a few years older than Terrence. The woman was tiny, but even in crossing the room it was evident she was a bundle of energy. The man was tall with the build of a warrior, and walked more slowly as he entered, favoring one leg in a slight limp.
“Good morning!” the woman chirped, then said over her shoulder, “You see, I told you she’d be awake.” To Rose again, she said, “Do forgive the intrusion, but we wanted to catch you before the court swallowed you up. I’m Lady Elena Worthington, and this is my husband, Sir Henry. May we join you?”
“Please,” Rose said, faintly bemused, and indicated the extra, she had thought unnecessary, chairs at her breakfast table.
Lady Elena sat down across from Rose, folded her hands in her lap and put all her energy into her direct gaze. “Practically everyone in this castle is going to be trying to figure out if you’re a suitable kind of princess, suitable to sit on the throne and suitable to bear the legend. We’re not like that. We want to know if you’re suitable for Terrence.”