I glance over to the other side of the arena and see my opponent, William of the Silver Blade. He's tall with brown locks of hair. William does appear to be a handsome man, but never judge a book by its cover. I see through the slits of my helmet that he's looking at me! Of course he can't recognize me, could he? No, he couldn't! It's almost time for my turn. I jump onto my horse, Nellie and lift my lance.


"That's him," John says, pointing. "That's Sam the Lion Heart." I turn my head to see a young man in full armor. I can't see what he looks like for he already has his helmet on. "Will, it's almost time," John says. I nod as I get up on my horse. "Your lance, Will," John says as he humbly presents the giant, colored stick to me. I grab it, raise it and wait for the signal.


The flag drops. I press my heels in Nellie's sides. We're running. I love the feeling of the wind in my face, well, the parts of my face it can get to. The pounding of my heart and the tight grip on my lance. As William comes close, I grit my teeth, squint my eyes and give a sharp yell as my lance pounds against my opponent's chest, causing him to topple off his horse. I win.


"Oh," I groan as I grasp my chest with one arm and block my fall with the other. What happened? It was all so fast. One minute I'm excited and full of energy the next I'm falling off my horse! I open my eyes to see the knight jump off his horse. The pain in my chest starts to gradually get weaker. I see my opponent reach for his helmet and lift it off his head. I gasp. John gasps. I hear everyone who traveled with me gasp. For I was expecting to see a big, tough Sam the Lion Heart, but no. I am staring at the most beautiful woman I've ever seen! Samantha. I can see why she's called 'Sam the Lion Heart', because she's brave, fearless, but most of all her hair. She has fiery red hair, pale blue eyes and golden tan skin. I can hardly speak!

The announcer shouts, "And the winner is Princess Samantha!" Sam gives a sharp look at the announcer and his expression looked suddenly scared as he corrected himself. "I mean….. Sam the Lion Heart!" Wait a minute. Princess Samantha! I lost not only to a girl, but to the princess! King Richard and Queen Penelope's daughter!

As I'm trying to take this all in, Sam comes over to me, rests her elbow on her knee, leans down and says loud enough for only me to hear, "Well, I was expecting more of you. Now, listen to me very closely, William…."

"Will," I correct her.

"Will," She doesn't seem to care. "Now that you know who I really am I must tell you something," she smiles and I smile back. "If you ever, Ever, call me Samantha or even think to call me Samantha," she stops smiling. "You'll be sorry!" Now I stop smiling. Sam takes my hand, yanks me up and walks away.

John runs up to me, "Will! Are you OK?"

"Yeah," I stare after her. "Wow, she is strong!" I rub my shoulder. Now my shoulder hurts as much as my chest, maybe even worse.