Inanna opened the door to the stables.

There in front of her stood Lady, looking very uncomfortable with a big red bow around her neck.

“What’s going on here Lady” Inanna smiled.

She moved lovingly toward her.

“Happy Birthday Inanna”

Inanna turned around shocked and there stood Silas.

“For me?” she questioned “For you” he said lovingly.

“Oh Sire, I couldn’t. I couldn’t possibly accept her”

He looked deeply disappointed.

“I would be deeply offended if you didn’t” he said sternly. His look terrified her.

She curtsied, careful not to forget her manners “Oh thank you Sire. Thank you so much. I shall take the very best care of her. I promise you that”.

“I hope she brings you many years of joy.” He softened.

He came up behind her – and lent right into her. She thought her heart was going to stop beating. He stroked the horse.

She looked up at him. ‘Fancy a ride?” he said.

They shared a beautiful day.

They rode for miles and she felt the happiest she had since moving to the castle.

They just took it slowly through the castle grounds and beyond, talking and laughing as they rode. They came to the bottom of a steep hill.

“Race you to the top” He’d already taken off and Silas did not like to lose.

Little did he know, neither did Inanna.

Inanna made it to the top moments before him – she was a very accomplished rider.

“I’m impressed. Quite competitive I see”

They let the horses free to roam. Silas had Minnie prepare a picnic. Inanna could not believe the change in Silas.

She was shocked at his kindness, his openness, his softness.

It was a far cry from the King in front of his subjects – imperious, autocratic, strict, authoritarian, aloof and tyrannical.

Behind the veneer though, a glimpse of his truth – Loving and kind, tender and romantic.

They spent hours on top of the hill – she felt a shift in him at last. He was opening up, letting her in.

He was communicating – something he didn’t do very readily.

They rode back as the sun was setting.

He watched her from behind – she was such a graceful rider – in control and at ease.

He couldn’t take his eyes off her.

They tied the horses up. Old Tom had their water and chaff bags ready.

“I had the most beautiful day Sire, thank you”

“Call me Silas, Inanna”

“I had the most beautiful day Silas, thank you” she repeated, the sound of his name making his heart skip a beat.

She reached up and kissed him softly on the cheek.

He stared intently at her, took her face in his hands and kissed her deeply.