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.”

Knighthood, 105

“There’s no sign he came through Techen’s Stand,” Edwin assured the small crowd of people in the Hummingbird’s Spring, which was what the townspeople had renamed their only inn after Drew had been arrested.

“How do we know we can trust that?” asked a scared looking young man with long arms, which were crossed in front of him.

“Lee says everyone’s memories are unaltered, which means Drew wasn’t here.” Edwin gestured at the mage from the academy, who’d come with him to check everyone out.

“How do we know we can trust her?” asked Rosalyn. She looked scared too. They all did. Edwin couldn’t blame them. The guy who’d terrorized their town was missing.

Warm Up

Hey! I think they jerked my race time off so it might be a while before I’m up if you want to go out and get lunch or something!

Robby felt bad lying to Edwin, but it was necessary. He sent the text, then he copied it and sent it to Erik too. It was the last swim meet of the year and Robby’s parents couldn’t take him, but Robby had really wanted to go because it was a really big meet and it was one of the provincial qualifiers, so Edwin had sucked Owen off and taken him, which was awesome of him. He’d said he’d be happy to take Robby to any of his meets that his parents couldn’t make, which was even more awesome of him.

Robby had invited Erik because Erik had been getting so much less shitty and he thought this might be a safe place for him to talk to Edwin and see if they could work things out at least a little.

But the problem was now they were both here, and they were going to see Robby.

Knighthood, 104

And the Grandpa Gerard said I reminded him of his sister, said Greg, looking at his fingers as they moved. Which was very nice of him.

Everyone says she was really nice, said Edwin. He didn’t know that much about the king’s sister because she’d died like twenty years ago or something, but the few things he’d heard people say about her had said she’d been a good person.

Greg nodded. That’s what I heard too. I wasn’t trying to talk like her and I don’t talk like that normally, I was only making a joke about the sardines.

Knighthood, 103

The weather had held for a few days after the wedding and it was still nice and springlike out as Erik and Robby dragged Edwin across half the city to wherever they’d decided was the best place to take Edwin on a shared date.

“This place is in the capital, right?” Edwin asked them. The portals hadn’t been put back up yet, so he was still staying in the city. But the wedding had gone off mostly without a hitch and the whole security team had had a really long debriefing and even though a few snarky comments had been made about Edwin staging an arrest outside the church, Sir Devin and Sir Elaine had been on his side, so it was fine.

If even the other high-ranking knights disagreed with Richard, Edwin wondered what that said about the knight commander’s ability to lead the order.

Knighthood, 100

“I will be personally overseeing the wedding’s security,” said the knight commander, hands folded on his desk. “With Sir Devin working out the specifics. Given that the whole royal family will be present for the duration of the event, you will all be put under his command. The castle guard will comprise most of the security, and the city guard will be stationed outside the First Church to ensure order. Sir Elaine, you will liaise with the captains of those two forces to ensure continuity of protection.”

Elaine nodded, and Edwin was profoundly grateful he hadn’t been stuck with that job. “Yes, sir.”

“Given the security issues at the last several royal events, we’ll be searching all guests—no matter who they are—for weapons before they’re allowed into the cathedral and again before they can be allowed into the palace afterwards. Sir Edwin will be in command of that operation, and Sir Elaine can negotiate with the captains of both guards to have them spare some people to help speed the searching along.”

Oh. Edwin nodded. “Yes, sir.” He didn’t need to look around the room to know that was the crappiest job on the security detail. The royal wedding was a huge deal and over a thousand people were attending. The city guard didn’t play well with the order and wouldn’t like being under a knight’s command. If there were delays getting people inside—which there would be—they’d be Edwin’s fault.

If there was any kind of security breach like there always was, it would be Edwin’s fault. There were easily four hundred people doing security for the wedding, but anything that went wrong would be Edwin’s fault.