Coffee Break Read – After The Banquet

The banquet finished at last and the Castellan’s wife and daughters withdrew, together with her ladies, the young Bride and her family, leaving the wealthy elite of Alfor to make merry in riotous freedom. As those who wished to depart rose to go, the Vavasor touched Alexa lightly on the arm.
“Do you wish to escape now? I can escort you back to your caravan.”
Alexa shook her head and smiled.
“My sensibilities are far from delicate. I think I would rather stay and be entertained.”
The Vavasor looked a little doubtful and then shrugged, returning her smile.
“Your will, Lady – but you have been warned. Perhaps you will excuse me for one moment before things get too hectic.”
“Of course. If there is any trouble you will find me hiding under the table.”
“Lady,” the Vavasor assured her, his eyes mock-serious, “if there is any trouble I shall look to find you at the heart of it.”
He got up and Alexa followed his progress across the Hall. He was easy to see being nearly a head taller than any other man present. Her brow wore into the slightest of frowns as she saw the direction he was taking. On one of the lower tables, a brightly dressed figure with an unruly shock of golden hair could be seen dancing a jig between the plates and mugs to the cheers and applause of onlookers. His face wore the serene and beatific expression of one who had long since ceased to be sober.
As she watched, the flamboyant figure caught sight of the Vavasor working his way between the tables and the milling serving slaves and a broad grin plastered itself across the idiotically happy face. The blond man gave a whoop of glee and launched himself from his own table to the next, sending a shower of plates and mugs, food and wine indiscriminately over the floor and the people nearby, to the accompaniment of cries of protest from the victims and shrieks of laughter from the onlookers. Another bound took him from the end of the second table over the heads of the diners to land in front of the Vavasor, whom he embraced liberally as he might a long-lost brother.
It seemed the Vavasor had some difficulty in extricating the excitable blond man from his companions, who tried to detain him and called for more songs. But with a strong hand under one elbow, the Vavasor eventually steered the golden haired man towards a side door. Alexa’s eyes moved to the high table curious to see what reaction the Castellan was showing to such irreverent behaviour. But he had not even noticed, being too busy trying to press a sweetmeat between the breasts of an amply endowed young lady sitting on his lap, who was giggling her delight.
But someone had noticed. Qabal Vyazin was looking at the departing duo with a dark intensity that Alexa found deeply disturbing. His eyes had become half-hooded above the jutting line of his nose. As she watched, Qabal turned his head towards Caer and nodded slightly. In response to this silent command, Caer left his station by the wall and, gesturing four of his men to join him, walked quickly towards the door that had just closed behind Chola and the Vavasor.
Alexa felt inexplicably cold, as if a sudden draft had reached her from the night air outside.

From The Fated Sky part one of  Transgressor Trilogy a Fortune’s Fools book by E.M. Swift-Hook

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