She walked with purpose through the camp. Her waiting had turned to worry and her worry had turned to anger. Why weren't they moving? Why were they just sitting here? The enemy's walls were within sight, which meant her daughter, who had been in his filthy grasp for more than two months, was within the reach of her arms. Her arms longed to hold her once again, to look into her sweet face and see those blue eyes smile back at her.
She saw the King's tent ahead. Two guards stood outside the entry and just as she made to move past them, they blocked her way with their long spears. She backed up angrily.
"What is the meaning of this? I am here to see the King."
The two guards didn't even flinch. Staring straight ahead the one said, "The King is not to be disturbed, by anyone."
She stepped up to the one who spoke and looked up at his face. He was at least a foot taller than her, but she was not going to be intimidated.
"I am the King's daughter. He will most certainly see me."
The guard did not move, his expression stony. "He will not be disturbed by anyone, not even you, your Highness!"
She fumed, but she also remembered her place. She was the King's daughter, but He was the King. Ranting and raging would only make her look a fool and would not serve to get answers to her questions any sooner.
She took a deep breath. "Would you please tell my father, as soon as is convenient, that I need to see him?"
The guard did not speak, merely gave a curt nod.
She moved away, ranting and raging on the inside.
* * * * *
The small brook she sat beside had a calming effect on her tumultuous nerves. As the sun began to slide behind the horizon she heard a voice behind her.
"So I have found you."
Her father joined her on the fallen log that she was using as a bench.
She stared at the stream, willing herself to be calm.
"I was told you wanted to see me."
She made no response.
"Here I am!" His voice was almost jovial.
She sprang to her feet, whirling on him as if he was the enemy himself.
"How can you be so calm? The enemy is within sight and yet here we sit! My daughter is within reach and yet we have been camped here for days. You have been distant from me, even telling your guards to not let me, your own daughter, in to see you. I am mad with the waiting!"
He patted the log beside him. "Come. Sit beside me."
She started to pace. It was her default, to keep moving. Moving meant she was doing something and doing something was far better than doing nothing at all. She said as much.
"I do not want to sit. I want to go get my daughter. I want to go in and kill the man who has no doubt violated her by now. We don't even know if she is still alive."
Once again, he patted the log next to him, his voice a bit more forceful.
She took a deep, steadying breath, then sat back down.
"You have been trained to be a warrior. You know as much about tactics and battle as I do, maybe even more. You also are aware, that this enemy is not one to be trifled with. He has his own tactics, many of which have taken husbands from their wives and fathers from their children. I will not go into this battle on anyone's timeline, but my own."
Now it was his turn to stand up and pace.
"You don't think I've lost sleep over the fact that my grand daughter is in the hands of that beast? Do you think I am unaware of the ramifications of delay? That little girl is never going to be the same, but to rescue her alive is my only goal. Our enemy will have no qualms about taking her life. My goal is to keep that from happening...but it must be done with great care."
He went and knelt before her. This time he took her hands in his own.
"You must trust me. You must believe in my ability as you father and as your King."
She felt her anger recede to a dark corner of her mind. As tears filled her eyes, she said, "Help my unbelief!"
She leaned into his strength and sobbed.