Trey

CHAPTER TWO: Trey and Co.

Meanwhile . . . . .

Prince Trey and his friends tried to stifle the laughter as they ran down the hall, jesting at one another.

“We’ll miss breakfast.” he reminded his friends.

”It’ll be fun! You never have fun anymore, Trey.” Merric Korman, who usually went by his last name, smiled and shook his head as his friend. “It will be hilarious, we can promise you that.”

Even Trey chuckled at the thought of Lady Thane’s face when she saw her things so out of order, strewn everywhere. The woman was a psychotic neat freak.

Brendan Cameron spoke up then.

“Besides, they won’t know it was us. But, Trey. .” Brendan slid a glance as Darien. “You have got to lighten up.” they both chimed in, as if on cue. It was a habit, an irritating one, of Brendan and Darien (known by most as the “Masters Cameron”), who happened to be identical twins.

The four of them ran around the corridor to the room where Lord and Lady Thane slept, giggling quietly and hushing each other, ready to ransack the room.

 Unfortunately for them, they opened the door to a servant who was cleaning the room. She glanced up, knocking a vase over as she knelt down in surprise. Darien gasped, and Korman elbowed Trey.

“Sorry, we turned the wrong corridor.” Trey stammered before the maid could speak. “We, er. . . . we, uh, thought that this was a different room. Please excuse us. Carry on.” he shut the door, leaving a very bewildered maid kneeling in broken glass the middle of the Thane’s room.

“Alright. Slightly backward situation here. Korman? What do we do?” Trey demanded in a whisper.

“If they ask her where we were, she could say we had thought a lame excuse.” Brendan cut in.

Trey thought up a lame excuse.” Darien corrected.

“Shut up!” Trey snapped.

“They probably sent out a search party by now.” Korman remarked.

“Ssh!” Brendan hissed.

They listened. . .

“Footsteps.”

“Not good.” Korman breathed.

“So what do we do?” Trey demanded in a whisper.

They all glanced at each other. The footsteps were getting closer.

“Double back!”

All four boys ran around corner, back through the corridor and straight into Arowyn.

CHAPTER THREE: Playing a game

"Trey!" 

“So that’s who it was." Darien remarked as Trey helped Arowyn to her feet. "You were all scared of a girl?”

“Shut up, Darien!” Trey, Brendan, Korman and even Arowyn whispered loudly.

Quickly curtsying to the prince, she began to scold the boys.

“You are really late. I was sent to look for you again for the third time this week. If you plan on corrupting one of the noblewomen, it’s not going to work.

"The queen is onto you boys already. She has maids cleaning during breakfast so that you will eat instead of pulling pranks. Go and have breakfast before someone is sent to find me as well as you four.”

The boys nodded and ran off,  and Arowyn ran in the opposite direction.

Slowing herself, she remembered what she was supposed to be doing. “And tell them I’m going to get Trey’s lessons ready!” she called after them, turning and bolting down the corridor.

She put the lessons on a small table with two chairs. It was a good room, with a lot of books and a sturdy, wooden table. Occasionally, Arowyn would switch rooms, which was a little game she liked to play with the prince.

The first time she had done that, she had been surprised to find the prince sitting at the desk, sketching a picture of a bird. Ever since then, she made sure to switch rooms whenever it was quiet around the palace (which wasn’t often).

A stray piece of paper fluttered to the ground. The card Jensen had given her!

The son of Lord Bennett's emissary requests your presence in the gardens tonight.

 

Lessons from a Reverend's ward:

“So this figure here is divided and then you have your answer.” Arowyn explained to the prince.

“Ah, I see. That is the answer to the equation." Arowyn nodded. 

"I have also gotten ahead in the Arowyn equation, if you don’t mind me inquiring.’ Arowyn rolled her eyes and sighed. It was another game.

“Ah, the Arowyn equation. Go ahead, ask me what you will.”

“I know who you are.”

“I am but a servant in your house, your highness. Nothing more.” she smiled teasingly.

“You live in the middle class area, right? Your residence is unknown to me, but I know you don’t live at the palace. Why?”

“I do live in that area, yes, but on a farm. My wages help us all make ends meet, because there are a lot of people. My guardian’s eldest daughter is a new servant in the Cameron house, actually.” 

The prince nodded.

“I also heard you refused to meet the famous Lord Bennett. Why? You wouldn’t happen to be missing in the court, would you?” he teased.

Lord Bennett had fathered four children before the Disaster, two of which were no missing. His eldest daughter, his heir, was Arowyn's age. Arowyn looked him right in the eye.

“No.” she said. Calmly. Then suddenly, he grabbed her hand, throwing her off guard.

“Are you lying to me, Arowyn?” he demanded.

Before he could step closer then he already was, Arowyn had regained her cool.

“No.”

She forced her voice to be steady and pulled away. He could be such a jerk, acting that way. She didn’t care for things like that.

She glanced warily at the door, wishing that something would come and take her away from it all. She shook her head and sat back down, ready to teach the lessons she had brought.

A thought so strange

For the rest of the day, Arowyn couldn't think straight. She had trouble focusing, she nearly missed stopping by the Reverend's parish in the evening, and she tossed and turned all night.

The next morning, there was no rain. She was awake without being called, she was out of the house before most of the others were awake, she was on time for her duties for once. She slipped off without anyone noticing to get Trey's lessons ready. Then she remembered. . . . .

The son of Bennett's emissary! What was she thinking? Lord knew the boy was the only link she had to her mother's "organization," if it indeed did exist. A link to Bennett's own house to boot!

"Ack! Stupid, stupid, stupid!" Arowyn smacked her forehead three times. She would have to find a way to get in contact with the lad. He might think she stood him up.

Fire

"I'm sorry about yesterday, Arowyn." Trey said softly as he sat down.

"It doesn't matter." Arowyn told him calmly. "You have to right to be suspicious about these things. As your servant, I am subject to your judgement. As a friend," She smiled. "I may find a way to excuse you."

Trey nodded, and leaned over the paper Arowyn placed in front of him.

Then, as if on cue, some guards burst into the room, arguing and shouting.

"Enough! Be quiet!" Arowyn ordered above the noise. "Show the proper respect which His Highness the Prince deserves!"

The guards stared at her for a moment, then looked to Trey.

“What is it this time?" Trey demanded. "Fruit in the soup, and Father thinks I did it?”

One of the guards stepped forward.

“Your highness, we must escort you out immediately. The palace is on fire and we are under attack. Come with us out the servants’ quarters.”

Arowyn looked like she might faint. Trey looked at her for a moment, but didn’t help her. He knew she had lied, and he hated it. She was closer to him than most people, very hard for a girl of her ‘class,’ but not hard if she knew the rules and how to bend them.

He grabbed her arm. She picked up her books and nodded. The color was returning to her face as they ran. It took a few minutes, but Arowyn knew where the fire had started already.

It had started in the stables and spread the through the kitchens.

Kelly and his son, Christopher. . Lalaine and Elise and Mrs. Margery. 

Were they alright?

She didn’t know, but she would soon. The servant’s quarters were short, near the outer edges and underneath the palace. They could get out quickly.

The End

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