Elbig Shelstone

Chapter 15 Part 9 | Son in Sorrow | IHGK Book 2

"Shut those doors!" said Harsin from the hallway outside Twenna's apartments. "I never want to hear her voice again! Hallik! Where is Shelstone?"

"Sir Elbig is on his way, sir," answered the butler.

"I don't know any 'Sir Elbig,'" said the King.

A whiff of Elbig Shelstone's jasmine-tinged cologne hurried into the hall before he did. "Your Majesty! Felicitations on the birth of your new son, my grandson!" he beamed. "Why are you standing in the hallway? Hallik, take him in to see the little thing! He's perfect in every way, sir, resembles his father--"

Chapter 8 Part 5 | Son in Sorrow | IHGK Book 2

The long, wide strip of parkland running between the two rows of the City's religious institutions was properly called the Temple Green, but it was better known for the broad walk down its middle: the Promenade. Here the upper class and its aspirants strolled, rode and drove, seeing and being seen. The last of the trees had shed their blossoms to the disappointment of the Promenade's regulars; the pink and white petals scattered on their carriages, shoulders and hats were a badge marking the bearers among the Capital's fashionable, genteel, and indolent.

Chapter 8 Part 3 | Son in Sorrow | IHGK Book 2

This section is NSFW.

A letter from Mr Winmer came, inquiring after Miss Shelstone's health. She answered she felt rather poorly but was recovering. A note in the King's own hand followed later the same day; might she improve enough to attend a private luncheon tomorrow at Foothill Lodge? Elbig dictated her reply: she would.

Chapter 8 Part 2 | Son in Sorrow | IHGK Book 2

Twenna began to feel rather green a week after Neya's Day, and now, halfway through Spring's Ending, she felt worse than ever. Certain scents became unbearable. She passed an overly fragrant person on the street as she made her way to Mistress Naister's for a fitting and almost fainted. Cooking smells, particularly fish, took her appetite completely; she progressed to nausea and outright vomiting in the mornings and sometimes during the day. She even begged off meeting Harsin, which finally made her father call for a Sister.

Chapter 8 Part 1 | Son in Sorrow | IHGK Book 2

Twenna didn't know which of her inexpert coquetries had worked--she'd done little more than pout--but Harsin returned to her bed not two days after the unfortunate incident at Neya's Day. He showered her with gifts: shot silk for a new dress; tortoise-shell haircombs from Pau'a; and a magnificent set of matching sapphire-and-diamond earrings, collar, ring and bracelets, "the color of your eyes, my dear. You are to keep them forever."

She was back in Elbig's good graces. "Our sponsor would like you to start dropping little hints in his favor, darling."

"Hints, Papa? What hints?"

Chapter 5 Part 10 | Son in Sorrow | IHGK Book 2

Embis Winmer was straightening papers on the desk he shared with his master when the King entered their office. "Ah, Winmer. Just when I need you. Might we get Miss Shelstone admitted to the Neya's Day Spectacle?"

"I don't know, Your Majesty," answered the secretary, correctly interpreting the question as a command. "There are several barriers to her guaranteed admittance, not least her unmarried state."

"I find it hard to believe there's anyone in the City who thinks she's a virgin because she's unmarried," chuckled Harsin.

Winmer gave a sliver of a smile. "Oh, most certainly not, sir. I believe she is well known. Perhaps the best known of your intimate friends ever."

Chapter 2 Part 6 | Son in Sorrow | IHGK Book 2

Temmin plopped himself on the couch and blew out all his breath. The door opened and Barik came in. "That wasn't so bad, was it?"

"How much of that did you see?"

"Oh, all of it."

"Even after Esterill left? Urf. I know I shouldn't have said that to Mistress Esterill, but--"

Barik reached up and put his hands on Temmin's shoulders. "No, you did right. She does deserve better than marriage to Gyors Esterill--Gyors himself deserves better than to be forced into marriage when he cannot bear a woman's touch, but that is the way of things for eldest sons who wish to inherit. He won't be unkind to her, but he can't love her. We can."

Chapter 1 Part 5 | Son in Sorrow | IHGK Book 2

Later that evening, The Duke of Corland watched the King and the tailor's daughter disappear within moments of one another. Twenna had caught the royal eye much faster than he'd expected. So much the better. A tremulous voice interrupted his happy musings: "My Lord Corland!"

At his elbow he found an overly elegant little man, his round belly supported on spindly legs. "Oh. Hullo, Shelstone," said Corland; he'd almost forgotten the girl's father was here.

"I do thank you so very much for your notice of myself and my daughter."

Corland shifted his weight from uneasy heel to toe. "Not a-tall. One always wishes to see interesting people at these things, I should think."

The former tailor beamed, his smile as pomaded as his hair. "But putting in a word to the royal family's social secretary--!"

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