Eleanor can feel the tension in the castle. The servants have been murmuring about the Russians and some strange name that sounds like “Putin,” but who that could be, she has no idea. Russia, yes, she has heard about. ‘Tis a dark and freezing country far from her native England, where, she has heard, the people are fierce and uncompromising. She worries a bit about what is going on, but, then, Russia is so far away, surely it could have nothing to do with her. Who is closer, and about whom she also worries, is Lord Hugh. He, too, can be fierce and uncompromising, but, she suspects there is a soft and tender heart ‘neath that rough exterior. How can she discover if ’tis true, and how could she turn that to her advantage? Indeed, if the Russians did attempt to conquer England (for isn’t that what ’tis all about?), she guesses she could rely on Lord Hugh to protect her. If truth be told (and Eleanor is nothing if not truthful) she would ride into battle herself to save her lands and her villages, though ‘twould not be thought meet for a titled lady such as herself. Ah, the burden of being a “lady,” she sighs. Wouldn’t it be fun to *not* be one, for a change? She’d take on the Russians, herself. Oh, and Lord Hugh, as well….