Dragon, 123

Boys, can I talk to you for a second? Gavin asked Grey Rain and Greg, sitting down at the table with them where they were drawing together.

Grey Rain nodded, putting down his charcoal. About what? Is it the mess we made in the bathroom? Because I was going to clean it up but then I forgot!

It’s not about that, Gavin promised.

Though you can clean it up after we’re done talking, Owen added, because just because they had servants didn’t mean that the kids needed to get spoiled.

Grey Rain made a face, but Owen made the same face back, and he looked at Gavin again.

Slavery, 108

Grandpa Gerard’s funeral had ended and Aunt Gabrielle’s coronation was going to start soon, but there was a little bit of time and Greg had been feeling very cramped in the cathedral surrounded by all those people, and so many of them had wanted to come up and give him condolences for his loss, so he’d gone for a walk to calm down since the coronation was supposed to take a few hours and then there was a wake after.

Gavin had been talking a lot about how things looked and how they had to look right, and how their family had to act a certain way so everything looked right, and Greg knew he didn’t mean to be scary, but he also really didn’t want to start freaking out in the middle of the coronation and make things look bad. He also knew that Gavin would feel bad that he’d accidentally made Greg feel that way, but the fact that it had been an accident didn’t make Greg feel better at the moment, and soon he had to go back in and sit down and seem calm and not just start crying, so he was taking a walk.

Not being around other people was helping. He already felt better than he had, and he was pretty sure he’d be okay to go back in pretty soon. It didn’t help that he wasn’t supposed to be sad during the coronation, only the funeral. It had been okay that he’d cried during that.

Dragon, 122

It wasn’t a long walk from the castle to the cathedral, but Gerard’s funeral procession felt long.

It was normal for rich people to pay pallbearers instead of having their family do it like normal people did, but Gavin and Gabrielle had decided they didn’t want to do that for their dad’s funeral. So Gavin, Gabrielle, Owen and Franz were carrying the casket, along with the head of Gerard’s bodyguard, Sir Pascal, and some nobleman named Bartimaeus, who was Gerard’s cousin.

The casket was made out of oak and it was heavy on Owen’s shoulder, but he knew it was heavier on Gavin and Gabrielle. The funeral was obviously a public event, so the streets were packed with people and even though the knights and city guard were keeping order, they still couldn’t exactly race to the First Church. That wasn’t how a funeral worked.

Dragon, 121

“I don’t, uh, want to be an insensitive jerk,” Twig said, sounding a bit nervous. He was glancing at the privy door, where Gavin had just gone.

Owen nodded, patting his shoulder. “Okay. What is it?”

“Um.” Twig was blushing, and took a deep breath. “What’s going to, like, happen? Like, Sir Gabrielle is going to be the queen now, right?”

Others, 53

Grey Rain couldn’t get Sky Heart’s antlers right.

Antlers were really hard to carve on a fetish and Sky Heart had really big ones that were thick and curved and had a lot of prongs and Grey Rain kept getting them wrong and that was probably why the stupid fetish wasn’t working.

He tossed the useless carving on the floor and resisted the urge to cut its stupid antlers off. Sky Heart might not like that even if they weren’t going to visit the fetish. Dammit.

A hand on his shoulder made Grey Rain look over, and Snowball was there, looking worried. “Are you okay?”

Knighthood, 106

Edwin was five minutes late for breakfast, but only because Erik hadn’t wanted him to pull out. But Robby had helped him put his armour on and now all three of them were ready to go.

Well, Robby was still sluggish and had had bad dreams last night, but he’d insisted he was okay to go back to class today and had certainly been okay for sex earlier. And Erik was walking a bit bow-legged, but he’d get over that, probably.

“Morning,” he said to Nigel, as he sat down. “You’re picking up the cats today, right?”

“Yeah,” said Nigel. “We just got an urgent message for you, from the castle.”

Dragon, 120

“It seems like he had an aneurysm,” said Georgina, after she’d come into the room. They’d all been sitting waiting for the doctor to talk to her. She’d clearly been crying, and she sat down on a couch. Gavin got up and went to go sit beside her, hugging her. “There was nothing anyone could have done.”

“That’s when a blood vessel gathers a lot of blood and breaks open,” Boey said quietly, for Greg’s benefit. Owen would have done it, but he didn’t know what an aneurysm was. “It’s pretty rare, but it is something that can happen to a healthy person.”

“He didn’t seem sick at all,” Gabrielle said. She was in a chair, but she’d pulled it closer to the couch Franz was on and was holding his hand.

“He wouldn’t have,” said Gloria. She was sitting by herself, rubbing her arms, looking distant. “He would have felt fine until maybe a few seconds before it happened.”

Grey Rain tugged Owen’s sleeve. Did it hurt a lot?