Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Scout's Honor - Chapter 98

< Chapter 97                                                                                               Chapter 99 >

At long last, our hero is about to come face-to-face with Prince Rupor, heir to the throne of Tarteg and would-be husband of Princess Callan!

            Prince Rupor ascended into the waning light.  In appearance, he was around my age, tall, handsome, with long black hair and piercing blue eyes.  A smile spread across his lips, extending to his eyes.
            "Callan," he said, his voice deep and warm, "I feared you might never see your home again!  And I feared I might never see you again."
            Callan clasped his hand in hers and said, "Had it not been for the valiant actions of David Rice, the captain of my guard, I would not be here to see and been seen."
            Rupor was quick on the uptake, "And Captain Vonsteader?"
            Callan shook her head.
            "I am truly sorry for your loss, Callan," Rupor said.  Turning to me, he continued, "Captain Rice, I am eternally grateful to you for protecting my bride-to-be."
            Looking into Rupor's eyes, I saw nothing but sincerity and honesty.  Damn, Rupor was as likable as Raoul was dislikable!
            "It is my duty, Your Highness," I replied.
            Rupor held my eyes, "Quite."
            "Rupor," Callan said, "could I be escorted to my room?  I wish to freshen up before meeting your father and the regent."
            Rupor took Callan by the arm and led her down the stairs, issuing orders for ladies-in-waiting, food, drink, and all the other things a princess expects to find in her room.  Moments later, Callan was embracing old friends and being led into her room.
            "Captain Rice," Rupor said as I took up station at the door, "a word?"
            "Of course, Your Highness," I said.
            "Tell me true, Captain Rice," Rupor said.  "You love Princess Callan, do you not?  And not as a subject loves his monarch, but as a man loves a woman."

Our hero's most closely held secret has been discovered in a matter of minutes!  How will Prince Rupor react to a potential rival?  Find out in Chapter 99, coming Friday!