FOREVER KNIGHTS: #18 Traitorous Lovers

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RHYERS - Bast's Unhelpful Questions

Rhyers House, Mane Country

RHYERS

“I’m coordinating a ball in a month’s time. It’ll be in Grier. To celebrate.” Sebastian looked more vibrant then he had in much time. “The Captain has approved us to gather as long as I have fountains surrounding it. I’m having he stone imported from the Isle.”

Rhyers watched Sebastian restlessly circling his Dining Room table while he ate lunch.

“You’re spilling over with joy, Brother.” Rhyers commented tonelessly. Eying Bast as though he’d grown two heads.

Haven’t seen him like this in over a year.

“Can you blame me?” Bast grinned. Nearly breathless.

“Is this a plan to lure her?” Rhyers asked suspiciously.

Elsabet.

I know it is. Why bother even asking?

“She’ll come. I know her.” Bast said with certainty.

Great.

“And what will you do?”

“Have a word with her.” Bast’s smirk suggested it’d be a bit more than that.

Some word.

“Are you going to drag her back to WaterRose?” Rhyers asked warily.

That’ll end badly. For all of us.

Bast’s face sombered. “No. I’ll never do that to her again.”

Well that’s something.

“Are you going to tell her?”

“No.” Bast’s lips whitened. “I’ll not have that be the reasons she comes back. I’ll not have her like that.”

“She’d want to know.”

“She will. When the time is right.” Bast said. Drawing a pleased breath.

When will that be, I wonder?

“I don’t know that I’ve ever seen you so happy.” Rhyers shook his head, befuddled.

Bast abruptly caught his shoulders. “Say you’ll come!”

“Fine. Fine. I’ll come.”

“Bring that girl.” Bast turned away to go.

“What girl?” Rhyers asked hesitantly.

Not Ebony. He hoped. Already envisioning Bast and the others mercilessly taunting him and telling her horrible tales of his failed feats.

Least it’d kill some of the hero worship for Christophe. Though I’m not sure I want it to die. He admitted.

“Ebony Marshall.” Bast supplied.

Of course. Rhyers grunted.

“Why? What are you going to do to me?”

Bast grinned. “Make sure you’re happiness is secured.”

“How about you drown me in one of the fountains instead.” He said ruefully.

“Could be arranged.” Bast rubbed his chin thoughtfully. “From what you’ve said of the girl, I could tell her you called her rabid and see if she’ll do it herself.”

“Don’t tell her that!” Rhyers objected. “She’ll believe it.”

“Of course, she would.” Bast grinned facetiously. “If I say it.”

“You’re utterly deplorable.”

“I’m aware.” Bast dismissed. “Bring her. Or I’ll fetch her and tell her you said she couldn’t come.”

“No!” Rhyers squawked. Leaping from his chair.

Then she’ll never leave!


That afternoon when Bast had settled some he sat on one of the matching brown divan’s in Rhyers’ parlor. Enjoying port across from Rhyers.

“You should invest in sherry. Far better flavor.”

“Perhaps your imported sherry.” Rhyers acknowledged.

Sebastian stared in the glass. Thoughtfully swirling it.

Usually my move.

“What’s on your mind?” Rhyers queried.

“An ugly Firoque. Green and yellow tinged. Massive.”

“With a smith’s hammer?” Rhyers swallowed his hearty drink.

“Yes. Who is he?” Bast frowned at Rhyers.

“Radix’s favorite Commander. His name is Okine. Why?”

“I followed Elsabet after I let her on the Isle. She met with him there.”

“Did she look frightened?”

“No.” Bast responded.

Rhyers’ face crumpled. “I hate to tell you then, Friend, if she is associating comfortably with the commander then she belongs to Radix.”

“I don’t believe that.” Bast said. “If she is serving him, there’s more to it than that.”

“It couldn’t be that she’s that angry at you?”

“Not angry enough to turn. Not on all of you too. In her own way she loved all of us.”

“We certainly loved her.” Rhyers lifted his glass in a salute. Feeling pain behind his eyes.

Though I’d never admit it. I miss her.

Her strange kindness at the moments it’s needed most. Her maternal wisdom.

We needed her at WaterRose. Rhyers thought. It was Heaven sent that she came to us when she did.

To him. His eyes assessed Sebastian staring into the glass.

“I want to believe in her too.” Rhyers said.

“It’s not that I want to” Bast countered. “I simply do. I will always believe in her. She wouldn’t turn on us.”

“And what will you do if you find she has?” Rhyers said.

We have to consider the awful possibility.

She knows where WaterRose is.

“Then we’ll enact the emergency plan Lucien and I established while I was on the Isle.”

Rhyers nodded. Sipping his port to hide his worry. Hopefully it never comes to that.

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