11 - Chapter 11 - Regent & Duke
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Regent & Duke



Chapter  XI  

One of the puzzle pieces is missing

"The man who had been scheduled to the inspection had been dead for quite some time, Your Grace, " Jackson said.

Dressed in gray t-shirt and gray shorts, and looking like he had just taken a shower, Kelson nodded.

"I could care a less about that! I want to know about my brother!" Nigel yelled as he started get up from his seat.

Absently petting Ming, Kelson turned to watch Michaela take the situation in hand.

"Relax Nigel," Michaela said from behind his chair as she gently forced him to sit back down," and remember Jackson's father and sister were there to."

"I'm sorry, Jackson," Nigel whispered.

"That is alright Your Grace," Jackson said," we all have been through a great deal today. Not being able to get a hold of your palace is not helping matters."

"And on that point. Have you found out anything more on the explosion yet?"Micheala asked gently massaging a still agitated Nigel's shoulders.

"Other than the news reports, Your Highness," Jackson said turning towards her," no I haven't."

"Does anyone in the palace have a cell phone?" Kelson asked setting Ming aside on the corner of the desk, he opened a desk drawer and retrieved his cell phone.

"His Grace's chief of staff, Melissa, has one," Jackson answered.

"She is due back from Torenth today," Nigel put in.

"Do you have her number?" Kelson asked turning towards Nigel. On seeing him shake his head no, he turned to Jackson.

"Jackson?" Kelson asked.

Jackson smiled weakly as Kelson tossed him his cell phone," See if you can get a hold of her.. You might get good reception on the balcony."

"So who else knows about you two?" Kelson asked Nigel and Michaela as he watched Jackson depart out the balcony doors.

"What are you talking about? " Nigel asked, trying to look innocent.

"Oh come on you two," Kelson said looking at them with a slight smile," I am not complete moron."

"We have been seeing a each other for a couple of months," Michaela, answered," and besides you and Allison, no-one else knows."

"If you want my advice," Kelson said standing, absently watching Jackson through the balcony door windows," I think you should keep your relationship quiet."

"It doesn't make much difference anyway," Nigel said hanging his head,"

with Brion dead there is no sense not announce it .We were only waiting so that we could ensure his safety."

"He is safe" Kelson said with a slight smile beginning to form at the corner of his mouth.

"What aren't you telling us?" Nigel asked excitedly starting to get up.

" That is all I am going to say at the moment, and other than that," Kelson said folding his arms, " his claim to the Duchy of Carthmoor is very much secure."

Kelson saw Nigel give Michaela a quick glance, "Now what are you two up to now?" Kelson asked cautiously.

"Should we tell him?" Nigel asked her.

She stared at Kelson for several seconds before she nodded to Nigel.

"To give you the short version, Kel," Nigel paused," you are next in the succession after me and not Brion. With what happened today on the river and Carthmoor, you need to know."

"Excuse me?!?" Kelson exclaimed, "and how did I suddenly get into the Ducal Succession of Carthmoor?"

"My father excluded Brion after he found out about his disability," Nigel said. "If something would have happened to me, he didn't want to subject him or Carthmoor to a long regency."

"But my father and brothers come ahead of me any type of succession," Kelson said matter of factly.

"Normally that would be the case, but" Nigel paused if as if reluctant to tell Kelson the rest," my father didn't really care for them and excluded them. There is a couple of more reasons but now is not the time for them."

Falling back onto his chair, Kelson sighing," I wish I could thank your father for this."

"Well you can thank me for this next part," Nigel said biting his bottom lip," I am considering abdicating."

"Before you loose it, Kelson," Michaela said before Kelson could object," think about it. As regent of Llannedd and Duke of Carthmoor you would essentially control the entrance to the Eirian River. Then your family will have to deal with you."

Instead of answering, Kelson glared at them both, waiting for them to continue.

"I know that you are not to thrilled with the position I've put you in," Nigel said cautiously," but with what has happened I think I need to step down for Brion's safety as well as my own."

"Have you thought this through?" Kelson asked gruffly turning away from them to prop his elbows on his desk.


"I'll think about it," Kelson said distantly," and we need to keep this conversation between ourselves."

"Don't think to long," Nigel started to say but was cut off as Jackson entered from the balcony, and Matt and Alison came in through the office door.

"Well?" Kelson asked looking up at Jackson.

"I did get a hold of Melissa, Your Grace," Jackson said turning so that he could include Nigel," her plane had not touched down as of yet, and she said that she would contact me as she hears anything."

"Keep us informed," Kelson said, indicating himself and Nigel.

"Matt?" Kelson said turning towards him.

"Safe, Your Grace," was all he said.

"Anything else?"

"Just this," Matt said handing him a piece of paper.

"Kelson before we go any further," Alison started to say," I just wanted to thank you for saving our lives."

"Your welcome, Alison," Kelson said as he started to open the note," What is this Matt?"

Kelson stiffened as he read the short note.

"What note?" Alison asked.

Setting the note down Kelson rubbed his eyes and asked, "Where is my Mother?"

"Would you quit moving," Laura chided Duncan.

With Duncan leaning back against his desk, Laura affixed the bandage to his forehead.

"I still want answers, Laura," Duncan said through his clenched teeth.

"You will get them," she said. Before she could continue a not so gentle brush interrupted her against her shields.

"Nice try," she said smiling.

"You felt that?" he asked surprised.

"What do you think?" she asked," after what you just witnessed in the hallway. You tell me?"

"I am sorry. I am not to swift with the uptake right now," Duncan said slightly embarrassed.

"Don't worry," she said understanding he had other things on his mind," as soon as Melissa gets here I can go find out about Elspeth and Brion."

"But where.?" as he started to ask he heard someone shouting in the hallway.

"What the hell are you doing?!" They heard Melissa shout," put that down and start cleaning some this up. And someone come take my luggage to my office."

"What are you two doing?" Asked the silhouetted figure of Melissa from the doorway," the castle is blowing up all over the place and you two are alone in here.""We just managed to escape the explosion, Melissa," Laura replied noncommittally, "and I was just tending to the Colonel's head wound."

Moving closer Melissa leaned in closer, " Its just a scratch! " Melissa exclaimed," you need to get up and get out there. We need to get an investigation going on who did this, get communications up and running, and get some of that mess cleaned up."

"But what about my daughter and Brion?" Duncan asked hesitating," I need to call my son to let him know what is going on."

" I already talked to Jackson," Melissa said shoeing him out of the office," and I'll contact him in a little while to let him know you are all right. Now go."

"All right Laura, what happened?" Melissa asked after he had gone.

After having been mentally brought up to speed on what had happened, Melissa asked," You haven't been to see if they are all right?"

"No, I was waiting till you came back to go," Laura said.

"Good idea," Melissa said moving towards the door with Laura following," since you are attuned to the transfer portal in my office, you can use that one. I would come too but I need to get in contact with his Grace."

"Oh, did you find out anything about Craig?" Laura asked as they walked the short distance to Melissa's office.

"Actually I did, " Melissa said smiled disarmingly as she opened the office door ushering Laura in ahead of her," but first we need to check up on Elspeth and Brion, and for the time being it is probably best if they stay put to ensure their safety."

"I will be back shortly," Laura said.

As soon as Laura had stepped onto the portal, in a curtained closet behind Melissa's desk, and disappeared, Melissa's smile vanished.

"Take your time, Laura," Melissa whispered staring blankly at the empty portal," I am in no real hurry to tell you the real reason why he went to Torenth and why you are widow."

Kneeling in front of his mother Kelson watched as she sobbed uncontrollably.

"I am sorry mother," Kelson said as grasping her hands to give her strength.

"I am sorry too Grandma," Alexandra said throwing her arms around her grandmother shoulders.

"Thank you moppet," Janette said bringing her granddaughter into her lap and hugging her tight, " that helps a great deal."

As Janette clung her granddaughter, Kelson glanced up quickly to the rest of the family. As they hardly knew their uncle and aunt Jared and Margaret McLain Duke and Duchess of Cassan, they appeared to be unsure how to react.

"Did your Uncle Adrian say, when it happened?" Malcolm asked placing on his wife's shoulder's to give her comfort and strength.

"He said sometime late last night," a somewhat startled Kelson answered, even in times of grief he was not used to seeing his parents showing any genuine affection towards each other.

From his position behind the rest of the family, Alroy tried not to smile, he had to appear to the rest of the family just as devastated at such a terrible loss.

Pity I actually liked the old fart, Alroy thought, ah well at least that part of my plan worked.


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