Friday, January 11, 2013

Scout's Honor - Chapter 99

< Chapter 98                                                                                              Chapter 100 >

Prince Rupor knows our hero is in love with Princess Callan!

            "What gives you that idea, Your Highness," I asked, working hard to maintain a neutral tone.
            "The look in your eyes when you spoke of your duty," Prince Rupor said, "and the challenging stance you took when I arrived.  You looked as if you were facing a rival, not your future king!
            "Her Highness is a beautiful woman, Captain Rice, and I suppose certain fanciful notions are unavoidable in such situations."  Rupor gazed at me for a moment.  "Should I have you removed from duty, do you think?"
            "I made my oath to Princess Callan," I said.  "Only she can release me from it."
            Rupor's face hardened, "You would defy me?"
            "I would," I said.  "In matters of Her Highness's safety, I would defy you without a second thought.  I would defy Princess Callan, if I deemed it necessary."
            "You're in a palace filled with guards," Rupor said.  "Do you really believe you can protect her better than all of them?"
            I looked directly into Rupor's eyes.  Rupor took an involuntary step back as I said, "Yes, I do."
            "Bold words, but words you obviously believe," Rupor said.  "And your devotion to Callan is equally evident.  I suppose you may retain your current post."
            "It is a wise man who accepts what he knows he cannot change," I said.
            Rupor burst out laughing, "You're a refreshing man, Rice.  No one ever speaks to me with such candor, not even my father.  And I would request more of that candor from you, Captain."
            "I shall endeavor to please, Your Highness," I said.
            "Good man!" Rupor said.  "I am worried for Raoul.  What can you tell me of his fate?"

If there's one topic our hero doesn't want to discuss -- particularly with someone as perceptive as Rupor -- is Raoul, Rupor's half brother!  How will our hero respond?  Find out in Chapter 100, coming Monday!