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A Means to an End

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Elvira knew that after her mother’s death, a war was imminent. Her older brother Sancho hadn’t truly accepted their father wish, and he would use the situation in Toro to start a war. She was afraid for him and her other brothers, but she was even more afraid of not seeing Ruy anymore.

Right now, he was at the stable speaking with Sancho, probably talking about something related to her brother’s war plans.

She waited patiently for their conversation to end, so she could go speak with Ruy and try to know something about her brother’s intentions.

Finally, her brother left him alone.

She went in the stables and approached him. He was facing the other way.

“Ruy!” she called him very softly but loud enough to get his attention.

She didn't want anyone to hear them, in fact, she didn’t want anyone to see them together and alone in a place like that. It wasn’t proper and people could start gossiping about it.

Ruy turned around to her direction.

“My lady… What are you doing in here?” he seemed surprised. “Are you looking for your brother? He has just left…” she interrupted him.

“No, Ruy. I wanted to speak with you.” she said while smiling.

She always started to smile when she was around him. Until a few weeks ago she couldn’t understand why she felt the way she felt when she was with him, but after seeing him with that woman… the anger, sadness, jealousy she felt… Elvira finally understood she has falling for him.

He looked at her with anticipation, probably wondering what a lady like her could possibly want to speak with him about.

“Sancho is going to war with Garcia, right?” She was direct to the point. Ruy looked at her once again surprised.

“What makes you think he is going to start war right now?” he tried to baffle, he didn’t know if he could be speaking about war with Sancho’s little sister. “He just got married, and Queen Sancha just died.”

If Elvira didn’t like him so much, she would have been angry. He acted as if she was stupid enough to believe all that happened would stop Sancho. Her brother was greedy, and their mother was one of the persons who could stop him from starting this war. The other one was Ruy. Well, at least that was what Elvira believed.

“I know my brother; I saw how he acted during his wedding feast. He is going to fight Garcia.” She spoke more firmly now. She needed to make him understand that she was serious about the matter.

Ruy's face changed to a more serious one.

“You shouldn’t be worrying about that,” now he was looking at her steadily. “There is nothing you can do about it.”

“I know that. I know my brothers won’t listen to me” she said sadly “That’s why I came to see you, I know you could persuade Sancho. He listens to you; you are his friend.” She spoke hopeful.

“This time he won’t listen to me” he admitted “Besides your brother is right, he needs to take Toro back, Garcia shouldn't have let this happen.”

Hearing Ruy talk like that made her even more desperate.

“Please…” she threw herself into his arms and hold him close. Her head fitting perfectly below Ruy's neck. She felt comfortable in his arms. “Ruy, please. You must stop this. I don’t want to see my brothers fighting over this” she was crying now. “I’ve just lost my parents; I can’t lose anyone else.” she lifted her head, so she could look into Ruy's eyes.

He patted her head. He didn’t like to see a woman crying, but right now he couldn’t do much to help her. Not only that, but he knew Sancho wouldn’t stop; he knew he would start a war over the lands his father took from him.

“I’ll do my best to stop this” he lied, he couldn’t do anything, he was just a knight.

Elvira smiled. She knew he couldn’t do much, but seeing his change of demeanor once he saw her crying made her confident. He probably cared about her in some way, and she was pleased. Maybe things could change, and this war be stopped.

“Thank you, Ruy” she held him even more close. She was taking her time with him because she knew it might never happen again.

“My lady, I think it is best for to go now” he alerted her “It’s getting late, and it wouldn’t be proper for us to stay her all alone” he smiled embarrassed.

She pulled away from him and smiled crookedly, “You’re right. I must go” she turned to the exit to leave but ended up turning to him again, “When are you and my brother leaving?” she suddenly asked.

“By the end of the week… So that’s in three days.” he replied.

She smiled at him once again.

“I hope to see again until the end of the week then…” she smiled playfully, but then she realized that he might get the wrong idea. “I mean, I hope we can say goodbye to each other” she responded quickly, she was embarrassed now.

Ruy laughed, he didn’t mean to, but he couldn’t handle himself. She looked adorable.

“I hope to see you again too, my lady” he said while lowing his head.

Finally, she left the stable, leaving Ruy to his thoughts on how he could make Sancho don’t end up killing his brothers.

Elvira had just left the stable when she felt a hand on her right shoulder. She gasped surprised.

“Oh, little sister, what were you doing alone with this low-born boy?” It was Urraca. She had a mocking smile on her face.

Elvira blushed hardly and looked away.

Urraca eyes bulged.

“Oh… Were you… Did you… Did you lay with him?” She knew Elvira liked Ruy, in her eyes her little sister was in love with the man, but she did not think Elvira would have the courage to give way her purity, the thing their father asked them to keep.

Elvira blushed harder, but now she also seemed to be angry.

“Of course not!” she said in a rushed voice, “Besides, if I were to do that with him, it wouldn’t be in a stable!”

“So, you want to do that with him?!” Urraca said mischievously. She was starting to think about something.

“Urraca!” Elvira yelled; her sister loved to play with her like that.

“Well, if you really want to have him, you better hurry!” Urraca was serious now, “He already has this Amina girl around him all the time.” She thought about Jimena too, but since her sister didn’t seem to knowledge her friend’s feelings towards Ruy she chose to omit her name. “Make sure he knows how you feel about him, he is leaving, and you’re soon to be a virgin for the rest of your life, at least spend some time with the man you love”

“We are Urraca, we are going to stay alone for the rest of our lives…” Elvira muttered. “Father made us promise… But now I don’t feel like keeping it, I want a marriage, children, I want all that.” Elvira said with tearful eyes.

“I’m not worried about that, I never planned to marriage… But I do know that you wanted that sister.” she approached Elvira, “That’s why I’m saying that you should take him to your bed… That’s the only way for you to have a moment with the man you want, at least for once. I know that’s not what you really dream for, but it’s something, isn’t it?” she smiled, she only hoped her little sister to follow her plan.

Elvire looked at her, astonished.

“But… He… he wouldn’t take me… He doesn’t see me like that,” she said with her head down.

Urraca laughed.

“You really don’t know men little sister…” from what she had seen, Ruy loved Jimena, but this didn’t stop him from having that other girl on his bed. Yes, she was truly beautiful and exotic, but Urruca knew her sister innocence and love for him would be enough to make him take her. In fact, it would be all too easy, men were all the same.

“Trust me, if he doesn’t, he will… But you must put an effort to that… Let him know you want him, let him see you more than Sancho’s little sister,” Urraca explained.

Elvira seemed tempted, but in doubt. She knew she wanted Ruy, but she didn’t know if she would have the courage to admit her feelings to him.

“I don’t know if I can do that, sister… As you said he already has a woman” she said with a sad face.

“Well, as I told you, Ruy being with a woman doesn’t matter… You only need to say you want this, then I help you with that!” she tried to encourage Elvira.

She knew this would be her only chance to confess her love, and maybe… maybe be with a man. She didn’t have anything to lose at this point, her parents were dead, and she was doomed to have a family of her own and be a virgin for the rest of her life.

If she was to have this life, at least for a moment, she wished to lay with the man she loved and desired.

“I’ll do as you say, sister…” she said, trying to pluck up courage. She still couldn’t see herself confessing to Ruy.

“Very well… come with me” Urraca smiled, “I’ll make your wish come true little sister”

If everything went the way Urraca planned, in the following hours, Ruy and Sancho’s friendship would be broken.