Title:

Summary: What if Prince Henry had recognized Danielle in court?

Chapter One

"He is not property at all, you ill mannered tub of guts! Do you think it is right to chain people like chattel? I demand you release him at once!"

"GET OUT OF MY WAY!"

"You dare raise you voice to a lady, sir?" Prince Henry rode into court to defend Danielle.

"Your Highness… F-forgive me Sire. I meant no disrespect. It's just er, I'm following orders. It's my job to take these thieves to the coast," stuttered out the cargo master.

"A servant is not a thief, Your Highness, and those who are cannot help themselves," argued Danielle.

"Really? Well then, by all means, enlighten us," said the Prince sharing a look with the Captain of the Guard.

"If you suffer your people to be ill-educated and their manners corrupted from infancy, then punish the them for those crimes to which their first education disposed of them, what else is to be concluded, Sire, but that you first make thieves and punish them?"

The prince paused in thought.

"Well, there you have it. Release him,"

"But Sire…"

"I said, release him!"

"Yes Sire," The cargo master jump from the carriage to do his bidding.

Danielle rushed around to the opening of the cage where Maurice, her 'servant' was freed.

"I thought I was looking at your mother," Maurice whispered.

"Meet me at the bridge," Danielle whispered back, then commanded, "Prepare the horses, we shall leave at once!"

She walk around to where the Prince was still sitting on his horse and bowed slightly, "I thank you, Your Highness,"

Henry got off his horse and followed Danielle a short distance away.

"I believe we met earlier my lady, but I never received your name,"

As if a steel rod had suddenly replaced her spine, she painfully straightened. Danielle turned around flabbergasted. Trying to think of a response, her mouth hung in mid air. Henry leaned in and grinned cheekily at her.

"If you're going to become a courtier, at least act like one. A lady such as you would never leave her mouth open like that," he whispered playfully.

Danielle promptly closed her mouth, her teeth making an audible noise as she did so.

"So, will you give be your name, or will I have to arrest you to get it?" Henry asked, still leaning towards her, speaking in hushed tones.

Danielle's eyes were wide with fear as she shook her head.

"Please, no," a response so quiet, the prince was glad to be standing this close so he could hear her.

"Don't worry, so far you have been far to much of a source of an amusement to me to lose you yet. Let's just hope that our meetings continue to be less painful the this mornings,"

Danielle was shocked beyond disbelief. Today, she had not only tried to fool the court into believing she was a courtier, but also clobbering the prince and, so far, had not been punished. Henry leaned away from her.

"A name, please?" he pleaded.

"Danielle De Barbarac, Sire"

"Well, Danielle, I hope to run into you again soon,"

Danielle nodded, not knowing what else to say. Henry smiled and nodded at the bridge as a way of dismissal. Danielle, relived at a way of escape, quickly went to the bridge and straight to Maurice. Henry, hearing his mother's calls, went over to her, feeling lighter than he had in days.