Standfast Jenks

Chapter 16 Part 2 | Lovers and Beloveds | IHGK Book 1

The urgent conversation appeared to be one-sided from a distance, but on closer inspection, both parties were fully involved, a small pulse in the King's jaw the only sign of increasing tension. "Master yourself, Corland. What do you mean, Temmin's lovers are a sham?" said Harsin, keeping the smile on his face.

"I mean, he's pulled the wool over your eyes!" hissed Corland. "He still qualifies! Your son means to take Supplicancy!"

Chapter 15 Part 8 | Lovers and Beloveds | IHGK Book 1

The war of the wardrobe began. In the end, Temmin and Jenks reached a compromise: correct but comfortable clothes, not too formal, in exchange for the finest new small clothes the favored royal tailor could make on short notice. "If you're going to sit around in your underthings..." mumbled Jenks, letting the thought go unfinished.

On the day, Brother Mardus and his men escorted the Heir through the city and down the Promenade, handing him off to the Temple's Own at the top of the pink marble stairs. In their midst stood the ridiculously handsome Senik. To his surprise, the postulant kissed Temmin full on the lips. "That's how we say 'hello' here. It's also how we say 'goodbye,' 'thank you,' 'you're welcome'..." Senik waved an encompassing hand. "This way."

Chapter 13 Part 3 | Lovers and Beloveds | IHGK Book 1

Temmin's charge down the Temple steps caught Mardus off-guard. "Your Highness," he called as he ran after the Prince, "I was in conference with the captain of the Temple's Own--I thought we were here for the day--"

"There's been a permanent change of plans. You won't need to talk with the Temple's Own for some time yet, if ever," said Temmin in a thick voice. "Where's my horse? I want to get out of here."

Chapter 12 Part 6 | Lovers and Beloveds | IHGK Book 1

Temmin returned to the dinner table that night, tensed for a confrontation. Instead, his father ignored him, giving him no more than a cursory "Good evening" and a withering look the one time he spoke. Sedra and his mother watched them both, while Ellika chattered on. Temmin supposed Fennows took his dinner in town; he didn't bother to ask.

After dinner, when the women had retired, Harsin left for his own rooms after one silent glass of port, bolted back and the empty glass deposited on the table. Temmin told himself he didn't care, drank his own glass and joined his mother and sisters in the Small Sitting Room.

Chapter 11 Part 6 | Lovers and Beloveds | IHGK Book 1

Temmin stayed with Allis and Issak until late in the afternoon: long talks about their mother, and coming to the City under Teacher's protection; lunch with the irrepressible Anda; and kisses--only a few. Pressing past a kiss reminded him of the twins' past, and though they didn't speak of it, Temmin saw flickers of memory pass through their eyes.

When they gave him their final kisses and saw him to the Temple's entrance, Temmin found Brother Mardus waiting, a Guard contingent ranged around him. Nervous petitioners picked their way up the steps under their stern eyes. "Your Highness," said Mardus.

"Brother Mardus, I'm surprised to see you!"

"You shouldn't be." The two men walked down the stairs; at the bottom stood Jebby, with Mardus's own horse. "Now, sir, you are going to get on that horse, and you're going to follow our lead. You will not break away, and you will do what I tell you when I tell you. Are we clear?"

Chapter 11 Part 2 | Lovers and Beloveds | IHGK Book 1

Once in his rooms Temmin spent a restless evening, pacing about his study and running his hands through his hair, to the point that Jenks enquired after his trouble. Temmin refused to answer and tried to dismiss the valet early, but Jenks insisted on preparing him for bed. "If I don't, sir, I'll come back in the morning to your clothes all over the bedchamber and the bathroom turned inside out."

"I'm not a child! I don't need a keeper, or a nurse, or a valet, or anyone. I order you to leave!"

Chapter 10 Part 3 | Lovers and Beloveds | IHGK Book One

Temmin came to his tour of the Temple on Neyaday. A quiet Jenks helped the Prince dress; Temmin thought it wisest not to ask after his subdued mood, and let him have his way without complaint.

Ellika stayed in her room after the incident at Naister's, and never did send for the new dress. She found an unworn one suited for the occasion in the back of her wardrobe, and insisted on going with Temmin "just to the door if nothing else." Some of her naturally cheerful spirit made its way past the shock of Horn's death, and she came bouncing down the stairs behind her brother to take his arm. She wore a confection of white lace and ribbons against pale pink silk. "You look like a wedding cake," said Temmin, kissing the top of her head.

"Thank you! Put your gloves on, Temmy."

Chapter 8 Part 6 | Lovers and Beloveds | IHGK Book One

Temmin told no one of his plans to visit the Temple--almost no one. He told Jenks that evening, and the happy valet burrowed into the Prince's wardrobe all Paggday to ferret out the proper clothes for a visit to the Temple. Though Jenks was discreet, Temmin himself let it slip to Ellika in the hearing of a footman. It spread through the Keep until it reached the ear of Gram, the King's valet, and thence to the King himself.

"Winmer!" said Harsin as he stomped into his study. "Harla take you, Winmer, I need you now!"

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