A Silent Game of Spies

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Ah. How nice to get away from his father. And those damned babes – crying every bloody place he went. Finally, he was going to relax and enjoy himself. And while the Ormon bitch was busy recovering from blow after blow, Varley was maneuvering an entirely new scheme, one that didn’t require Ormon at all.

He’d had word sent ahead of time that apartments to suit a Crown Prince were to be made available for him in advance. Varley was traveling across half the Land for this Spring Seasonal, or whatever they called it. So whatever Duke was quartered in Varley’s soon-to-be chambers would need to find new arrangements. When Varley arrived, he expected a fine, roaring fire, the best wine these Easterners could provide, a sideboard full of bread, cheeses, fruits, and sweets, and a bed with freshly laundered linens, for Varley was tired of carriage travel.

The Free Lands offered very little in the way of overnight accommodations, and twice they had camped beneath the stars. Which, Varley mused, a man should do from time to time to remind him of his true roots, his masculinity. Just not in the Free Lands, where at any time bandits or Free Riders might discover your camp. Steal the horses, your luggage and finery, even your food, so stories told. Leaving you with just your carriage or not even that, for it was mainly the wealthy they prayed upon.

But finally, here at Fairview Palace, he had arrived. If this new daughter of King Rhutgard’s was at all comely, then Varley would steal her little heart and before she knew it, have her locked up in a betrothal.

And why not? The daughter of a King, matched to a Crown Prince – she would be a Queen herself. Why would Rhutgard say no?

Varley wasn’t sure what he liked best about it all.

A new Court to emerge himself in.

Or having a new jewel to put in his crown once he got this new Princess married to him….

Or the fact that once he got this little girl on his arm as Queen at Storden, then he would, through her, hold the key to not just Romeny, but the Eastern Shield, and thus all of the East. And that would give him the West as well as the East and that Ormon bitch would be down on her knees begging for anything Varley felt like giving her, which was exactly what she was supposed to be doing… begging for it.

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