2. I crossed two more pressure plates...
3. ...continued west, through another gate...
4. ...and onto a verandah whose windows would, no doubt, have revealed a beautiful, starry night. But I had longed for only one sight. Up ahead she stood, waiting for me.
The creature ran up my arm and perched upon my shoulder.
After we had clung to each other for a long, long time, the Princess finally stood back from me, tears still running down her cheeks. There was fear in her eyes.
"Jaffar . . ." she whispered.
"Dead," I replied. "He fell to the bottom of the tower."
"Then . . . then I am free. You have saved me," she said wonderingly. "But not only me. You have saved my father's kingdom and his people from the yoke of Jaffar's treachery." She paused then, and I, for my part, simply drank in her beauty like water in the Sahara. When next she spoke, it was with a serious inflection. "There is just one question I must ask."
I knelt at her feet. "Anything, my Princess," I said.
"Before I marry you," she began, and my heart momentarily stopped. "I must know your name."
I told her my name.