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The story of A Girl and Her King, joins the young protagonist as she grows in her commitment towards her good king. She is young and he is old. He teaches, her watches over her, protects her. He has taken her to the battlefield, the arena, and now asks her to find her place inside the calm environment of her old home, where challenges abound to test her dedication to him in even in the smallest matters. She does not yet know what form their love will take, if he will one day bring her to live with him in the palace, or request she stay in that quiet home forever. But willing to wait, she receives the lessons he has in store for her.

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“Ah, come,” the king said to Philothea. “Let us go away for a little while. I will meet you there.” Those last words frightened her. Her heart pounded and her stomach hurt. If there had been a way out, she might have taken it. But reason spoke to her and said, “He is preparing something for you when you get there. you must go. Allow him to surprise you.”

Philothea went. On the way she got lost and although she was not scared, she felt confused. “He’ll be there for me.” She knew if she traveled toward him someway, somehow she would get there.

And she did! What a sanctuary his arms were when she ran to him. Had it been so long since they had seen each other? It felt like such a long time. IMG_4297They walked through the wilderness and he showed her the little flowers he had planted and some plans they had. It was so beautiful. He showed her the sunset over the water and a little girl who seemed so helpless. “I have someone to take care of her, but I think she might fall in love with him,” the king told Philothea. Philothea nodded and listened. “Either way, I still want him to watch over her.”

During one moment with him while it was still light out, she looked at him. The king looked back at her smiling. He knew Philothea had something to ask. “Yes?” he said.

“What do you have to give me?” she asked. He smiled. It was quiet around them, the air was refreshing after the rains. The harvest was done in their country. The sun was out. There was light everywhere and inside of her.

When he didn’t respond, she said, “I just thought…”

He stopped her and put his arms around her. “What more have I for you?” he teased her. “You are so demanding. I love it—but still, you are so demanding.”

Philothea rested on him. During the day she could feel his arm around her and his fingers on her shoulder as he drew closer to listen to her whisper. It was more real than ever. He treated her as if she already lived in the palace, gave her joy that only made sense inside those high walls. She felt his love.

And it is good to allow the one to love as he loves best, with only some demands.

Philothea’s heart held onto that day like a treasure. How he made old things new to her. She had not experienced those tender things in so long. The king allowed her to experience them in new and good ways. “I love you,” she said to him.

Philothea reviewed the different ways she had to show him love. She thought one day he would narrow the path and she would love him through marriage. She tried to ask him about it. The king merely smiled. With a kiss goodnight, he drove her home.