Everything about her was unappealing. She was slight and plain and the least likely maid to be blessed by the water of a weeping stone that he could imagine.
He would like to deny it, but he had seen what he had seen.
The stone had wept.
The lass must live.
There was no choice in the matter, yet each breath she drew chaffed his nerves, mind and soul, each insult burned his ears like hot coals.
By letting her live, he was betraying his brethren. It was an offense that could cost him his life--and his sanity if he failed to protect a lass--again.
Yet he knew that if Guiy, Raymond, Tristan, François and the others made a move to harm her he must and would face them all. She was blessed to do something wondrous for this land he loved and though his oath to the Templar's secret order was binding on his heart and soul, the preservation of his homeland was not something he could set aside.
He was in the center of an impossible puzzle. Either commitment made the other vow impossible to keep. And then there was the other vow, made in the hot sun with the stench of death in the air.
He had vowed to keep a lass a safe at his peril or his death.
He fancied he could hear God laughing in heaven.
He lightly touched his knight's spurs to Ibn Bey's side and urged him down into the deep, granite canyon. It did not do to dwell upon that which could not be changed.
The Lord had a sense of humor and He was not yet done jesting with Gair.