[Amandine] Retirement, Part One. By EM Bennu Lady Amandine had not gone directly to Lord Dupre as she was ordered. She was of the opinion that two months in prison was far too long, and that marching directly into a compulsory spanking was not the way she was willing to spend her weekend freedom. The tavern around her smelled lovely, but not in the way you would think. It smelled of freedom, something she had not enjoyed for over eight weeks. She had left the barstool only twice in the past 24 hours, and that was to urinate. She knew that eventually Lord Dupre would get tired of waiting for her, he would force the issue and come get her himself. Or send some poor squire to do it for him. She did not envy anyone who bent and scraped to his bidding. “P… Pardon me.” A stuttering voice behind her, no fear in his voice just embarrassment. “I’m retired. Or haven’t you heard?” She spoke with a cup over her mouth as she was about to drink, the amplification of her voice amused her and she cracked a sarcastic smile. “Yes.” “Yes, what.? She had expected the peasant to walk away, but he hadn’t. She turned around and found that Dupre had sent for her earlier than she thought he would. The poor lad in front of her was some lesser noble’s son. His father was probably a merchant or some sort of tradesmen whose ingenuity and capitalistic inclinations had earned a foothold in the gentry. Lady Amandine still had on the same dress she had for the past 2 months. She had worn it during the trial and it looked more like a set of rags. From the back she looked like peasant, beggar or worse. Yet her eyes betrayed her anonymity, her eyes were those of a knight, a warrior, she looked at the young man in front of her in the eyes, not at the floor like anyone else in the tavern would have. “M’Lady, Lord Dupre demands…” “Demands?” Her eyes narrowed and her lips pursed at the word. “He needs to see you M’Lady, to handle your resignation and…” “Get out of here kid, I am tired of talking to you.” She turned her back on him and listened to his steps as he walked away defeated. As the door closed behind him there were whispers in the tavern all around, but before the door slammed it was caught by an armored hand. She finished her drink. That same hand was soon resting on her shoulder and the guard’s partner waved off the Bartender. “Lady Amandine, your presence is requested in Britain. You will be coming with us.” “Your gauntlets are open hinged.” She tilted her head slightly as she spoke. “Uh… what?” The guard was caught unprepared by the response. “It means that your armor is poorly made and doesn’t prevent your wrist from twisting or extending beyond your natural range of movement.” Danica turned and looked at the dumbfounded man in the eye and smiled. Before the guard could finish digesting her out of place smile, his arm was behind his back his cheek on the bar and she had moved to position herself away from his partner. “I am not a street ***** or peasant you can muscle around. Dupre should pay you better, or hire better. What’s wrong, he couldn’t get one of MY knights to come and gather me up?” She then kicked his ankle out from under him and allowed him to fall onto the wooden floor. The bartender looked at her with a worried look. She thought he was worried she was about to bust up the place. “Very sorry about the mess.” She said as she walked out the door. The night was cold, but it was still early. Britain wasn’t too far, but she would take the long way out of spite.