By Jude Deveraux
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Extra resources for The Conquest
Severn saw the herald watching the stands and saw that he was waiting for the Marshall family to leave before he allowed the Peregrines to go. It was when Severn saw Lady Anne rising to leave that he decided he wasn't going to wait. Even if no one else wanted to see him, he knew she did. Hadn't she promised him a reward for saving her? He tossed his helmet to the ground, then spurred his horse forward, ignoring the shouts of the herald, ignoring the laughter of the people around him, concentrating only on getting to the beautiful Lady Anne.
Yes, I am a Peregrine, she thought, and she straightened her spine. Severn would beat them all in battle, so what did clothes matter? Severn raised his hand, and the Peregrine knights fell in behind him as they started riding toward the tournament grounds. Along the road the peasants, who had come from many miles away to see the spectacle, had stopped to gape in awe at the sumptuously clad men. When they saw the Peregrine knights they pointed and laughed. Zared kept her eyes straight ahead, not daring to look at them.
He rode away without looking back to see the impression he'd made. But there was no laughter. He had shut them all up. As Zared watched her brother break the rules and gallop ahead and snatch the Lady Anne from beside her father she prayed to be struck dead on the spot. Her prayer was not answered. What was Severn about? She knew next to nothing about tournament etiquette, but she could see that what he'd done was awful, truly awful. They could have quietly paraded past the stands, and perhaps their worn, dirty clothes would have caused little comment, but after that… She looked at Lady Anne, standing where Severn had left her, her hands in fists at her side.