He paused. She saw his smile flash in the moonlight.
“What a lovely song!” Una said, breathlessly.
“You like it? It’s my own composition.”
“Truly.” He set aside his lute. “But now is not the time for song. Princess Una, did you know that your eyes shine brighter than the stars?”
He stepped closer to the pillars supporting the balcony, his face full of sweet longing. “Would I ever lie to one such as you? The first moment I gazed into the limpid blue depths of your eyes . . .”
“They’re brown,” Nurse muttered from just inside.
“Shhh!” Una hissed.
“ . . . I knew that I might drown there and die a happy man!”
“I think I . . . I think I’d rather you didn’t die,” Una bravely admitted.
“Really?” Guerrant cried, lifting an arm as though he might touch her cheek. “Truly, Princess Una?”
“I think so,” she whispered.
“In that case, may I climb to you so that we may speak?”
“We’re speaking now,” Una said.
“Yes, but who knows who might be listening?”
Una glanced back at Nurse. “True.” She hesitated while Nurse made wide-eyed gestures at her.
“Then I come!” Guerrant cried and began climbing the nearest pillar. He found it rough going, however, what with the thorns in the climbing roses. Halfway he paused, panting. “Do you have a rope or something, Princess?”
Una and Nurse hurried to grab a curtain sash and, Nurse hanging back so that he could not see her, dangled it down to the prince. He just reached out to take hold of it when a window on his level swung open.
“Not that I don’t appreciate the singing,” came Prince Aethelbald’s voice, “but these gymnastics are a bit much, wouldn’t you agree, Your Highness?”
Prince Guerrant squawked and dropped to the garden, taking the sash with him. Nurse and Una screamed and slammed the window shut, and Una buried her burning face under many layers of cushions and blankets.
Oh, dear. Poor Gervais/Guerrant. At least he’s a little less of an idiot in the final version of Heartless!