Psst! Hello, dear ladies! What a pleasure to see you again. Oh–the reason I am whispering is because my gentleman friends who made such a row brawling in the ballroom a couple of weeks ago (so embarrassing) are just over there, making their apologies to Lady B.
I know what you’re thinking. They already said they were sorry, right? Well, it wasn’t MY idea to make them apologize again. I’ve dealt with them enough to know that boys will be boys, if you know what I mean.
Their wives, however, were not prepared to be so lenient on them. The ladies insisted that their husbands come back and privately make amends on a quiet afternoon like this when Lady B. was not hosting a crush. Truthfully, some of the wives were worried Her Ladyship might have us all blackballed from Society—you know she never forgets a slight. So here we are. Gracious, they’re laying it on rather thick…
Glancing over, we see Lady Beaufetheringstone looking rather nonplused, surrounded by a contrite band of tall handsome men, both Knight brothers and Inferno Club spies, all on their best behavior. Lord Alec Knight presents Lady B. with a lavish bouquet, while Max, the wicked Marquess of Rotherstone, bends to press a gallant kiss to her knuckles.
See what I mean? The poor *deprived * fellows, if you know what I mean. By now, they’re each willing to do whatever it takes to get back into his lady’s, shall we say, good graces.
Good day, Albert. I’m glad to see your tail feather is growing back nice and straight after that unfortunate accident in the fracas.
Uh-oh…dear friend, you must excuse me! Damien and Lucien are approaching Her Ladyship. I’d better go be ready to soothe any newly ruffled feathers, myself. Hopefully ward off any new disasters… Be right back…Or perhaps you should come with me? Lady B is rather terrifying when she’s cross. Oh, thank you , thank you for the moral support! Let’s go. Act natural. Smiles, everyone, smiles!
Lady B (fretfully): All is forgiven, of course, but honestly, one is mystified at how gentlemen of your quality can get so out of control.
Lucien: (stepping forward with a bow) It’s the testosterone, my lady
Lady B: I see. Testosterone…is this some new liquor the rakehells are drinking in the clubs of St. James?
Gaelen: Ahem, something like that, Your Ladyship! I’m sure the gentlemen don’t wish to take up any more of your time–
Lady B: I beg your pardon!
Nodding, the heroes glance around at each other sympathetically.
Lady B: What ever are they talking about, Miss Foley?
Gaelen: (Gulp. Then, glaring at Damien for bringing it up. I tried to tell the men earlier, a Hostess of Lady B’s grandeur has no interest in such things.) I’m afraid, Your Ladyship, that the Colonel is referring to a phenomenon these fellows swear by, called Warrior Spirit. But pay them no mind. You will not find it a topic suitable for ladies–
Lady B: No? Then I must certainly know more.
Alec: That’s the spirit, ol’ girl.
Albert’s not taking any chances, hearing such talk. He flies up to safety, perching on the scrolly bits atop the nearest column.
Lady B: (eyebrow raised) So, is it this ‘warrior spirit’ you speak of, that causes you fellow to behave so abominably from time to time?
Gaelen: (trying desperately to intervene): Mainly, courage, to the best of my understanding….Situational awareness. Er, it’s quite complex, with many layers. We wouldn’t wish to bore you, but the thing is, you see, these warrior types think quite differently than we ladies do, ma’am, generally speaking.
Lucien: Nice pun.
Gaelen: Thanks. I mean, it’s possible for a lady to incorporate a certain degree of warrior spirit of her own in her nature, (and certainly, a must for any writer).
Rohan (muttering under his breath): Well, you can’t be a hero without it. Though I’ve seen some try.
Lady B: Details, please. What does it involve?
Alec gets ready to hand her the smelling salts, just in case.
Damien folds his hands behind him. Now he’s in his element, just like training troops: Well, first and foremost, you’ve got to want to win. At any cost. Just ask Old Nosey.
<Squawk! Wellington! Iron Duke! Squawk!>
Gaelen: Very good, Albert. The picture of warrior spirit, and Irish-born, too. I’m just sayin’.
Damien: First you must determine if the fight is really worth it. If the cause is just. It usually comes down to defending those who can’t defend themselves.
Max: Right. Once you’ve determined that, then your first blow should be as devastating as possible, if not lethal. “Attack the attack.” No point trifling around with warning shots and whatnot. That only prolongs the unpleasantness, and in general, most warriors prefer to live, though death is a constant possibility.
Alec: Smelling salts, my lady?
Lady B: No, thank you, dear boy.
Gaelen: Don’t put them away just yet…
Rohan: It’s true the constant presence of the Grim Reaper does affect one in rather odd ways.
Gaelen: You would know.
Rohan: Regardless, once you’ve made up your mind to fight, you carry out your duty no matter the personal cost.
Lady B’s face turns the grimmest I’ve ever seen it. She nods sagely. I have heard stories of certain noble officers in our wars having their legs blown off and still proceeding to command their troops from the wounded cot, until the action is settled and reinforcements have arrived.
Damien: Just so, madam. THAT is warrior spirit.
Jordan speaks up, the Order’s code expert: But it isn’t all physical. Far from it. Warrior Spirit requires mental acuity, as well. Strategy is essential. All of life is a chess game. A warrior seeks to stay three moves ahead of his opponent.
Robert: One also wants wide knowledge in as many arts and sciences and diverse areas of human endeavor as can be gained. It’s important to be what I believe they call a Renaissance man. This is why I persist in my music.
Max: The art of deception is also key, when it comes to adding brains to brawn A warrior must disguise his true intentions from the enemy, while seeking to perceive the foe’s next move before he makes it.
Lucien (nodding): That’s why it’s important to be a student of human nature. Learn how to size people up–know their strengths and weaknesses, predict what they might do.
Lady B: So, a warrior must be a philosopher and an artist, as well as a brute, eh? Rather a tall order.
Damien: That’s why there are so few of us. It is true, though. The intuitive side of the warrior is as important as battle prowess. Like the Crusaders of old, a wise warrior balances training techniques and fight-craft with times of quiet contemplation.
Jordan: This touches upon the moral dimension of the warrior spirit. I think you’ll find, ma’am, that all warriors have very definite views of good versus evil.
Gaelen: Not that we always live up to these ideals in our personal lives as well as we ought, ahem.
Rohan: True. Like when someone gives you a girl for a gift on a cold winter’s night. . . er, never mind. But a simple understanding of good and evil helps us to discern when a cause is just or not. Slick or even learnéd talk can’t magically turn wrong into right. Deception is for the enemy, as Max mentioned, but a warrior deceives himself at his own peril.
Lady B (covering a yawn): Fascinating.
Gaelen: Oh, dear. Gentlemen! I believe Her Ladyship has a dinner party to prepare for. We really should be going.
They make their bows and I herd them out.
Damien: What are you scowling for, O Creator Goddess?
Gaelen: Don’t start with that again.
They all have a good chuckle at my expense. Cads.
…Not everyone cares about things like warrior spirit or what it takes to do the things you do! Lady B’s eyes were glazing over!
Alec: I thought that’s because she was fantasizing about me!
Gaelen: Very droll, Alec.
Alec: Perhaps these ladies here would like to continue our discussion, while we all take a stroll around the Serpentine together.
Gaelen: Very well, I’ll ask them….
Dear Ladies, it seems the gentlemen would like to know what YOU think of warrior spirit. How important it is in a romance hero? Can a hero be an Alpha Male without it? And have you heard tales of it in real life?
Lucien: Here’s another question…. Can it be taught, or is it strictly inborn?
Robert: And on what sorts of occasions might a female employ the warrior spirit in her everyday life?
Gaelen: Yes, maybe these Alpha Heroes can teach us something about living our own lives with more of a Guts & Glory attitude…. The whole topic of Warrior Spirit was on my mind on the way from my weekly martial arts lesson yesterday. We’re learning some serious self-defense techniques that could actually kill someone…it’s kind of thrilling to gain that kind of skill, but it certainly makes you think. So I’m actually rather glad that Damien brought it up…It’s a topic I would like to learn more about, too, so please share your thoughts! Especially any of you with military connections, as the warrior spirit is so important in the armed forces. Heck, it even applies to law enforcement and possibly football–!
And while you’re mulling it over–and please do have a crack at any of our questions above or share your own views on the topic–have a look at this adorable vid of some wee ones developing their Warrior Spirit…nobody will ever mess with them on the playground (bullies or pervs alike). Enjoy!
Watch Little Kenpo Kids video! PLEASE “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” on your browser. (**I couldn’t figure out the trick of how to make it do that automatically on WordPress, sorry! Don’t want you to go see the vid and forget to come back to us! Thx for bearing with the technically challenged, lol…xo Gaelen**)