One True Queen

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Chapter 8

“And please welcome my lovely niece, Lady Olivia Lewis.” I hear Queen Leah say, and Chloe walks in beside me as a polite clapping sound echoes around the room. Chloe had dressed me in some kind of fancy dress that she calls a ‘picnic dress’. She said it was perfect. I don’t know... I seemed a bit too much for me, but Chloe’s the expert. I see Lady Isabella sitting quite close to the front. Her eyes are narrowed at me, but she still indicates to the empty seat beside her.

“Lady Olivia, please, do sit by me.” Queen Leah’s expression wobbles a little from it’s smile, but she quickly recovers the smile and nods to me. I slowly take a seat beside her, hoping that I sat down right. Sat down right? Is there any ‘right’ way to sit down? Lady Isabella smiles and I look down to my plate. Wait... There are forks? And knives? And spoons? I don’t know how to use this stuff! I think the spoon is used for... Well Chloe said it’s for dessert. The fork it used for scooping the food, or stabbing it with the spiky bits, and the knife is for guiding the food on the fork. Seems a bit much to me. Lady Isabella speaks in her velvety voice.

“So tell me, Olivia, what brings you to our kingdom?” It’s a trap! I know it. It’s a trap question.

“I was aware of an approaching war and came to help.” I say, using the same tone and speed as Lady Isabella used.

“And now you are taking my daughter’s throne?” She snarls.

“Mother!” Chloe gasps. My expression remains calm.

“I have no intention of stealing a throne. I am simply here to help my aunt’s kingdom. I will do as I must to protect what’s here. We Silvers are here to protect, not threaten. Isn’t that so?” Of course, I just said what I’ve heard from most Silver guards when they come up to the door for regular check-ups. Please don’t notice...

“Of course. I was testing you my dear.” Lady Isabella smiles. Like a predator to it’s prey.

“I hear your son is behind the war threats.” I say eventually. Chloe facepalms and Lady Isabella frowns.

“Straight to the point. I like it. Yes. My son is a very odd man. He wasn’t raised as well as my lovely daughter here. I have never considered him as my own. He was always his grandfather’s boy.” Lady Isabella replies calmly. Chatter begins at the lower end of the table and Lady Isabella continues to watch me.

“Lady Isabella, may I ask, how is your husband?” Please say she’s still got her husband, please say she’s still got a husband...

“George is well, thank you for asking.” Lady Isabella nods. “And you may call me Isabella.” She adds with a sly smile. I notice Chloe’s grin from the other side of her Mother. I think I’ve won this round? Now to successfully win round 2. Using cutlery...

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