A knock was heard upon the door to the Advisor’s Office.
“Come in!” Andrew Fordham called.
Kirill Voislav, stepped inside. “You wanted to see me sir.”
“Yes, sergeant, I’m moving the boys camp up to Kitteridge, you’re their commander so obviously you will be going with them.”
Kirll remained silent.
“You have your orders, if there is nothing more you are dismisseded”
Kirili managed to speak. “Your pardon sir, my other duties?”
“I have already taken care of that Sergeant Menchovick will be guarding the princesses, you are free to concentrate on your new orders.”
Outside the office Kirill was met by Uri who had several boys with him needing assistance to get ready for the move North. He looked to the direction he had been contemplating but was forced by duty to turn and head in the opposite direction.
With the unit dispatched Kirill used the final moments to run to Irina’s chamber to at least say goodbye. Menchovick was there outside her chamber door.
“Menchovick, I need to talk to the princess Irina.”
Menchovick knocked on the door and Elizabeth answered.
“Why no sir, she is not here, she is … ”
A nervous Kirill interrupted her. “Please Elizabeth, I need the truth, I am leaving and I must see her.”
Heidi felt the wet cloth hit her back, Irina was doubled over in laughter. They both saw the red uniform jackets lined outside the Inn, her father engaged amongst them.
Irina turned to run but Vasilly made haste to step inside.
“Ahhh, Irina, I finally find you where I want you.”
“Vasilly, Captain Starostenko,” she changed to a more formal address.
“No, its still Vasilly to you my dear princess.”
He grabbed her arm to keep her from slipping away as she has been known to do.
“No, guard today?” he requested.
He gestured to the guards to bring Gordon inside and sit with his daughter, he then dragged Irina into the back room.
“No, Vasilly please, she then uttered the name Dobrynya Nikitich.
Vasilly laughed, “You hopeless child, Katrina and her ilk did a number on you!”
He grabbed her face and proceed to squeeze her cheeks till they hurt. He then tore at the apron and ripped it off but before he could react he was hit in the back of his head with a thick iron skillet.
Irina saw the face of her champion as Vasilly crashed to the floor. Sergeant Menchovick and the Royal Guard had surrounded the Inn and took the wayward Streltsy into custody.
Heidi ran to Irina’s side and saw the concern on Kirill’s face. She knew Irina was in capable hands and hugged her and left. Menchovick poked his head in.
“Sergeant we’re heading back to the palace. Are you staying?”
“No, he replied but leave my horse. I will be riding back with Princess Irina.”
Up on the charger, in the arms of her knight Irina finally felt safe. “I am sorry Kirill, I defied you.”
“Not really Irina, you defied Sergeant Menchovick, he is your new guard.”
“You have removed yourself from the duty of our protection because of me”
“No Irina, I could never do that. I have been ordered to take the boys up to Kitteridge, I am not sure for how long.”
Irina’s tears began to flow, not only for her but for Elizabeth who had another attachment that was about to be ripped away, — Pietro.
Kirill’s embrace became a little tighter and Irina turned her face into his arm, closed her eyes and tried to imagine this feeling, it would have to last a long time.
Katrina paced the war room after the announcement that Vasilly and his entire guard were now being held captive in the cells of the Wooden Palace.
“I should leave them to hang!”
Fedor Rankowsky was a little more reasonable. “You will have to meet with Uri Piolotsky and arrange some kind of exchange. I will neither subject my men to your impetuous plans, nor sacrifice them to your disregard for your former lover.”
Katrina was on shaky ground she knew some compromises will have to be made.
Kirill pulled Irina into the alcove outside the passageway leading to the bailey where the unit waited for him patiently. Fordham pacing back and forth in anticipation.
He bent to kiss her and she had no problems this time. He handed her a button he held in his pocket that reminded him of an incident in which his uniform was shredded and he retained the button for some unknown reason, this must be it.
She held the gold button in her hand as she listened to the last of the unit leave the bailey and the massive gates closing after them.