Hot Heads and Cool AleMature

They sat in silence after the King and General had left. Sarah began to busy herself with gathering up dishes. Mistress Laura stood up and helped. The awkward silence continued until Prince Hermanus broke it.

“So how are to get everyone to the castle for training without giving anything away?”

“Take them as prisoners and charge them with treason against the crown,” Prince Theodoso remarked darkly.

“That would paint a pretty picture,” Sparrow responded dryly. “Many would question your father’s sanity in charging Phoenix’s betrothed with treason.”

“Why?” He glared at Sparrow. “She was in General Wholawski’s camp, she was at the Trials...”

“Excuse me,” Sparrow returned the man’s steely stare. “But, didn’t she save your life during the trials?”

“Lordling Marcus...” Theo began.

“She is not in league with HIM,” Prince Hermanus stated firmly.

“Oh and I suppose we should believe you...”

“Now boys,” Sarah wiped her hands dry and came to put an arm around each of their shoulders. “Don’t make me clunk your heads together to see if I can put sense into them.” She spoke sweetly with a forced smile repeating words her father had often used.

“And why should I listen to you?” Prince Theodoso stood and faced Sarah.

“Because, your father asked you to.” Sarah stared into his eyes. “King Demetrioso said that he trusted these men and women to keep you safe IF you listened to them. So listen to them.”

“If ye don’t,” Griffon spoke, “We’ll send ye home and let Prince Hermanus take all tha credit for rescuin ye sister.”

Sarah stepped back as Prince Theodoso spun to face Griffon. “Fine,” he snorted as he sat down.

Sarah, Jason’s thoughts interrupted hers. Please bring up some ale. It may help to soothe over a few things.

Sarah nodded at him. Grabbing a pitcher, she headed down into the Root Cellar where she was joined by Laura who had another.

“Phillip thought two might be better than one,” she explained.

Sarah smiled. “Given how much I’ve seen Scouts drink, he’s probably right.”

The ale did indeed help, though Prince Theodoso did not take a drink until Sarah and Laura had brought up the third round. Unfortunately, while it soothed the nerves it wasn’t helping with the ideas.

Barrel is empty, Sarah thought to Jay as she drained the last of it into the fourth round.

We have too many heads to progress anyway, he sighed in response.

Sarah brought up the pitcher and filled the glasses one last time. They were all lost in thought. Griffon drummed his fingers on the table.

“We need Gregory,” Master Phillip looked to his brother.

Jason smiled slightly. “He does have a head for court intrigue.”

“Can he be trusted to keep a secret?” Sparrow queried.

“Would threatening to have me flip him again work?” Sarah asked.

Jason and Philip locked eyes and smiled.

“I’ll go talk to our brother,” Philip stood.

He and Mistress Laura left. They were followed, a little while later, by Griffon and Lynn.

“Come boys,” Sparrow downed her beer and stood. “Let me escort you back to the castle.”

Sarah, Jason thought as the Sergeant and the Princes left. Did you really have to threaten them earlier?

Sarah turned and smiled at her betrothed. “You had brothers. Didn’t your parents ever do the same?” She returned to cleaning up the mess while Jason finished his beer, chuckling ever so slightly.

The End

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