Chapter 5 Part 4 | Lovers and Beloveds | IHGK Book One

When they returned to the Keep, much earlier than Ellika would have liked, Temmin found himself summoned to the King's study, despite the late hour. Teacher stood leaning against the mantelpiece, such a habitual position that Temmin wondered if the advisor weren't glued to it by the elbow.

"You're all right?" said Harsin. "A glass of wine? No? Very well. I've received a preliminary report from Brother Mardus. Needless to say, the Royal Guard will be under extreme scrutiny for this security breach. Mardus says in his note you acquitted yourself well."

Chapter 3 Part 3 | Lovers and Beloveds | IHGK Book One

"Gods, I hope he gets his drinking phase out of the way soon," groaned Jenks at tea. "I swear, Annie, I'll thrash him otherwise."

"I seem to recall another young man whose 'drinking phase' lasted well into his twenties," said Ansella.

"That's different. I was an officer--"

"--And you had to keep up with my brother. I know." Ansella considered her reflection in the silver tea service. "How did it go, Standfast? How did you manage to explain things to her?"

"I didn't," said Jenks. "I talked to Tellis, instead--her name is Dunley now. I gave her a thousand gold, with a guarantee of two thousand more as Mattie's portion, told her to bring her daughter home and why, thanked her for her discretion and left it to her to explain the money away, though I made some suggestions--including a very strong one about leaving Whithorse and moving where no one knew them."

Chapter 2 Part 4 | Lovers and Beloveds | IHGK Book One

Jenks had gone through every combination of black and white clothing in the room, considered them, and discarded them, until he'd made the only possible conclusion and assembled it on the dressing stand. "It's a ball!" said Temmin. "One wears a black dress suit, a white shirt and stock, and a white waistcoat. All of the men will be dressed identically!"

"You are so, so wrong, Your Highness," said the valet, surveying the tidily ransacked wardrobe. "There are subtleties to the male wardrobe only a connoisseur may perceive, and while you are not yet a connoisseur, you shall be when I'm through with you. In the meantime, you will look the part." Temmin rolled his eyes. "It's for the pride of Whithorse, sir, think of it that way."

"Your pride'll be the death of me," grumbled Temmin.

"My pride will be the making of you, sir, depend on it."

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