Author Topic: A Gryphon by the Tail Chapter 6  (Read 3078 times)

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Offline Alkari

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A Gryphon by the Tail Chapter 6
« on: July 06, 2010, 10:34:36 pm »
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Chapter 6

Brendan was yawning and grumbling by the time they emerged from Vespers, and Richenda hurried him back to their apartment for his supper and early bed.  She glimpsed Alaric briefly, and hoped he would understand why she had no time to stay and snatch a conversation.

Nor was there any chance to talk to him over the evening meal.  True to Kelson’s invitation, she’d been seated at the high table, but found herself placed between Duncan and Lord Burchard, quite some distance from Alaric.   I wonder who arranged this, she thought, sensing Burchard’s initial reserve.  But with Cassan’s Duke lending quiet support and easy conversation on her other side, she gradually managed to draw the earl out, and by the end of the meal had even succeeded in getting him to laugh several times.  Not the easiest of social exercises, she thought ruefully, but I’ve had worse.  A tough and honest general is easier to handle than some of the slippery courtiers I used to meet in Andelon.  She sent a mental thank you to Duncan as they rose from the table.  

Outside the hall, she was surprised when Burchard thanked her for an enjoyable evening, with Lady Maire also smiling and acknowledging their meeting that afternoon.  They parted on pleasant terms and Richenda heaved a sigh of relief.  There was a flurry of good-nights, and after curtsying to Kelson, she found herself once again in the company of Duncan and Alaric.   The upper corridor was quiet; Duncan kissed her hand and murmured something about a safe escort back to her apartments, and then they were alone.  

She pulled the collar of her cloak higher and took Alaric’s arm as they walked slowly along the dimly lit corridor.  There were a few guards and other people moving about their business, but on a cold winter evening, no-one was lingering and she doubted anyone took too much notice of the Duke and his companion.  

“I saw you at Vespers, but I had to take Brendan back.  Was there very much cursing over your correspondence?”

He chuckled.  “No more than usual.  To be honest, I quite enjoy most of it, though I wish I had more enthusiasm for checking reams of figures.   Luckily my chancellor seems to delight in them. I’m sure his nurse gave him tally figures to play with instead of toys.”

“I have occasionally wished there was some spell I could use to add up household accounts.  Or an enchanted piece of parchment with columns so I could write them down and they would add themselves.”

“Now there’s an idea!  Even bishops have to check revenues – perhaps we need to work on making Deryni magic more useful to them.”  

“Maybe.  Though I fear that some of their minds are set like the stone walls of this castle.”

“True, alas,” he sighed.  “I wonder what they are going to do at the Synod.  We’ll observe the proceedings where Loris is concerned, but I think Duncan and I should keep out of their sight as much as possible.”  

They had almost reached her door.  Alaric glanced around, then led her several steps down a side passage and into a darkened alcove.   “We could easily reach my apartments from here, you know,” he murmured, drawing her against him, “but I think your maids would sound the alarm if you did not return at the proper time.”

“They would indeed.”  She leant up to kiss him softly.  “Though I had no idea that your apartments were near mine.”

“They’re not.  That may have been a mite too obvious, though it would have been - convenient.”  He chuckled.  “But the castle has various secret passages, and one of them opens out right here.”

“Oh.”  She drew back and smiled at him in the near darkness.  “The king told me today that these were not Bran’s old apartments, and that in all the circumstances he’d asked the Lord Chamberlain to arrange other accommodation for me.   So I suppose it was just by chance that the Lord Chamberlain chose these rooms?”

“The Lord Chamberlain and I are very old friends.”  She could hear the laughter in his voice.


He stroked her cheek tenderly, eyes never leaving hers.  “May I see you tomorrow?”

“I hope so.  But we’re spending the day with father and my brothers, and may not be back until just before dark.”  

“Please give them my regards – I hope young William has recovered from his headache!  I will look for you at dinner then.”   He paused.  “Did Kelson ask you to come to a Council meeting about the Marley reports?”

“Yes.  The day after tomorrow – in the afternoon.”

“Good.  Then I will need to see you tomorrow night, to run through things and tell you about the personalities.  You haven’t met Ewan properly yet, and I’m not sure if Denis Arilan will be at the meeting, or whether it will be someone else.  Your Uncle Cardiel will, though – he’s still acting primate until someone is elected next week.”

“Thank you.”  

“Hmmm - I think you will find that Monsignor McLain will suggest that he’d like to talk to you privately after dinner.  As a Duke and a Council member, of course.”

“Of course, Your Grace.  I assume that his ducal cousin, also a Council member, may wish to be present at those discussions?”

“A most reasonable assumption, my lady.”    He kissed her again, lingeringly, then sighed.  “I fear the search parties will soon be summoned, dearest, if I do not return you.   Come.”

Reluctantly they drew apart, and he led her back to her door, bowing politely as Joan opened it to admit her.  “Good evening, My Lady.  It was a pleasure to see you at dinner.”

“Thank you, Your Grace.”   She sent him a quick mental caress, then hurried inside and closed the door.


Next chapter:

« Last Edit: September 03, 2011, 01:08:16 am by Alkari »

Offline Evie

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A Gryphon by the Tail Chapter 6
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2010, 10:40:06 pm »
Ah yes, how convenient, being friends with the Lord Chamberlain....   ;)
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

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Offline AnnieUK

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A Gryphon by the Tail Chapter 6
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2010, 02:15:04 am »
I'm loving the idea of a Deryni spreadsheet!  LOL.  (Psst, hey Alaric, they can work out percentages and all sorts ;)  )


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