Meetings and Greetings

I dont own any of the Tamora Pierce Characters

This is a second version of my old story a Squires Love. Hope you like it, lots will be changed from the first one probably but oh well

Here goes. Please Read and Review and I will return the favour!

Ivy of Goldenlake and Malories Peak woke up to the sound of thirty sets of hooves clattering on the stone of the palace courtyard. She jumped up and looked out of her small window. There was no mistaking the huge, curly-black-haired man who was her father. Hurriedly, Ivy pulled on a loose pair of breeches, a shirt and boots, before running to the crowd that was the Kings Own. She waited until her mother and father had finished saying a thoroughly non-verbal hello, before running over and hugging her tall father. At five feet seven inches, she tucked neatly under her fathers chin. After releasing her and pulling both his wife and daughter to his side, Lord Raoul waved the nearest page over and threw him a gold noble to stable and wash his mount. He looked down at Ivy and his very small wife with a large smile.

"So where is he?" Raoul asked with a playful punch on his daughters arm.

"Who?" Ivy asked.

He grinned and ruffled her long hair. "The mad knight whos taking you on as their Squire, obviously he hasn't seen you fight or he'd be as scared as a rabbit." He grinned proudly. "You'll be beating him every fight you have and . . . "

Ivy interrupted. "I haven't got a Knight Master yet. I don't think I will have until next year either." she said sulkily. She pulled out of her fathers strong hold and walked to her Squire chambers, where she practised several pattern dances with her staff, and did twenty gruelling press-ups on the floor. She skipped lunch and soaked herself in a hot bath until she was as wrinkled as a prune. Finally she dried herself off and dressed in one of the dresses that her Aunt Thayet had bought for her. It was a knee length blue silk. Usually she wouldn't wear dresses unless it was a special occasion, but what with the chances of being a squire slim, she felt that dressing as a girl might be neccesary soon. She passed the few hours before dinner by reading a dull book, based on ladys etiquette at social events. It was not something she was interested in, and the idea of dances and weddings still seemed boring and plain, but the evidence seemed to be pointing in the direction of a ladys life all around now.

At dinner Raoul said little. Ivy too was quiet, Buri tried to converse but failed. Finally, Ivy gave up on food and bid farewell to her parents. She walked slowly to her rooms, trying not to show any of the Pages nearby that she was depressed or unchosen, for many of the fourth years had put bets on how long it would take her to find a Knight Master. Ivy sat on her windowbox watching two first years attempt and fail a staff, partnered exercise. She was about to yell out some advice when she heard a lone set of hooves enter into the Palace courtyard. She looked around and saw a tall warhorse, bearing a rider clad in gold-washed chain mail, with a sword and dagger clipped to his waist. The canvas covered shape attached ton one of the saddle bags showed that the rider was a knight, and by the looks of it he was a new one, for the canvas was still ina good condition. Ivy sat up and watched the rider dismount, removing his helmet and throwing two coins at the pages. From the distance, she couldn't hear what he said, but the Pages' immediate actions were to run to the horse, hand the saddle bags to the knight and lead the horse to the stables. Ivy surveyed the knight with interest. He was very tall, with brown-blonde hair that was messy from a long ride wearing a helmet. The rolled up shirt under his chain mail showed well muscled arms, and a long scratch from elbow to wrist. Even from this distance Ivy could see it was deep and fresh. She narrowed her eyes to see the knight more clearly and froze, a memory of something her father had said only weeks ago rushed back to her. It isn't your Aunt Daine, Uncle Numair or anyone else that you want to look our for when it comes for tips on killing immortals, its Matthew of Tirragen. He's only been a knight for a month and hes already saved five villages from spidrens and stormwings. He's away at home now, taking a well deserved rest if you ask me. Ivy eyed the man in the courtyard carefully. He looked just as she had heard, exactly the opposite of what a man who slayed immortals should do. There were hardly any scratches except for the one on his arms, he was seemingly calm, and something in the way he walked told her he wasn't as bigheaded as he could have been, or should have been, if all the things he was thought to have done were true. Suddenly a thought struck her. He didn't have a Squire. Although Ivy didn't know whether he wanted one or not, there would be no harm in trying. She jumped down from her seat and ran towards the courtyard, not thinking to change her much too elegant appearance back to her normal breeches and shirt. Only when she was twenty yards away from him did she remember that she would look much more of a woman than she ought if she wished to be a Squire. And Matthew of Tirragens reputation went much further than immortal-slayer. He was well known for his charming good looks, which often managed to earn him a place in strange womens beds, older or younger, they seemed simply to flock to him. The Knight turned and saw her. He gave the smallest of frowns, then walked over, his frown replaced by a handsome smile. He took her hand and brought it gently to his lips.

"Fair lady, how may I help you?" he said huskily. Ivy froze, such behaviour had never been directed at her before. When she didnt answer the Knight went on.

"Are you lost perhaps? Might I be able to lead you to the guest rooms?" Ivy found herself able to move again and shook her head.

"I was just . . . walking. I live here." she said.

The young man frowned slightly."I have not seen you here before, I am sure I would remember such a beauteous face as your own."

Ivy rolled her eyes, he probably memorised all of his lines so every woman he met would sigh, but he was in for a surprise with her. "Yes, I've lived here for the last four years, except when I'm at home of course." she gave him a small smile and turned on her heel. She stopped when a warm hand gently grabbed her wrist.

"Excuse me my lady," the Knight said. "I haven't introduced myself." he bowed slightly. "Sir Matthew of Tirragen, at your service."

Ivy sighed. "Unless you're one of my unknown servants, you are not at all at my service." Matthew gave her a crooked grin and stood, bringing himself closer to her, both hands in his.

"That depends on what you would like doing wouldn't you agree? After all, there's always things that some servants can do that others cannot." Ivy could tell from the flirtatious -rather attractives- glint in his eye what he meant.She smiled.

"You're right." She said, Matthew leaned forward, eyes half-closed."I don't have a servant to ready my horse in the evenings, I do rather enjoy an evening ride in the moonlight." Ivy had thought he would pull away but he didn't.

"I have a horse already prepared, and its raring to go.We can find somewhere quiet . . .the gardens perhaps?" he leaned closer, his mouth inches from hers. Ivy shook her head and pushed him away.

"Not that kind of horse Sir Knight. The furry type, with reins and a saddle." Matthew looked shocked, then recovered with a grin.

"I'm furry. And I'm tame. You don't need reins or saddle to ride me." He winked and took her hand, which she immediately jerked back.

"Good night Sir." she hissed and turned away.

"That just wouldn't do." she muttered under her breath. "What kind of Knight Master would he be anyway? He'd be coming on tome all the time. That wouldn't leave much room for duties!"

Matthew stared after her, confused. It had been a long time since he'd been rejected by a woman. With a confused expression over his features he headed to his own rooms, adjoined to an empty Squires chamber.

"Could do with a decent Squire." he murmured. "Bet they're all gone by now." He sighed. Squireless and rejected, how much worse could the night be?

So? I know that all of my old readers will realise its a lot different, but I did say before he was a bit of a flirt, so I just went a bit deeper thats all. Please review.

Mage of the Heart