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She went down as though she had not a nervous bone in her body. She laughed all the way down. Reggie, feeling foolish and not a little annoyed, went gingerly after her. He went far faster than he would have done if he had been alone. He expelled a long, silent breath when his feet were safely on the ground. "You must help me mount Pegasus," she said. " She was back to aristocratic presumption. She did not ask. She told. "Yes, miss, whatever you say, miss," he said, and he pulled humbly on his forelock.

It had not mattered to him. It had always mattered to her. She had fallen violently in love with him when she was twelve, though she would not have admitted it for worlds—not to anyone at all, even Miriam, her closest friend. And it was all very well for people to laugh at the idea of a twelve-year-old falling in love. It was all very well to speak with amused contempt of puppy love. It could still be intense and enduring. She knew. It had happened to her. She had never fallen out of love with him, in fact, even though they had not met since the summer she was fourteen and he seventeen.

And she reached down with her free hand and cupped his cheek with it. He felt, foolishly, as if he had been scalded. He held his hand to his cheek as he watched her ride away—a stick of a girl with proud bearing and—no hat. "Hey, Anna," he called, and he swept it up and ran to take it to her—just like a lackey. "Oh, thank you, Reggie," she said as she took it and settled it somehow on her curls. "Someone would have noticed. " And off she rode again. A knight in shining armor indeed! Cliché. Child's stuff.

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