Regent & Duke
afternoon, sir. Can I help you find anything?”
the old newspaperman asked the man standing in front of his newsstand.
“Yes,” was the reply, “Do you have today’s edition of the Mearan Herald?”
“Sure do, right there” the proprietor pointed to the front of his stand.
Upon seeing the paper the he wanted, the blond man then nodded his thanks as he paid for it.
**Darn it**, the old man thought to himself, as the other began walk away ** he reminds me of someone but who is it? **.
As he continued down the sidewalk, away from newsstand, Adam Arms looked down briefly at the front page of the paper he had just bought, the headline read ‘Regent of Llannedd to visit,’ smiling indulgently to himself he folded the paper and stuck it underneath his arm. As he moved farther away from the newspaper stand Adam glanced at the building that sat on the opposite side of the street from the newsstand.
The building had been built during early part of the twentieth century. Being that it had been situated between two parallel streets that intersected at one point, you got the general impression that it looked like a giant triangle. Long picture windows lined the bottom floor the full length of the building, it gave the diner seated inside, a good view of the cobblestone street on both sides.
Shaking his head in disgust Adam carried on down the street.
“I don’t know how you do it,” Matt commented as he cleaned his cook’s station.
“It comes with practice, Otto,” Bart said with a slight smirk, ”and a lot of patience.”
“I suppose you had something to with choosing of my name?” Matt whispered.
“I had something to with it,” Bart snickered, ”it was either Otto Ludwig Pivel or Bristle head.”
“How are you doing, Dianne?” Bart asked cutting Matt off before their conversation could go any further.
“Fine, and you?” as her face appeared on the opposite side of the heating window.
“Pretty good,” he responded, “Otto’s training is going better than I had hoped.”
“Anyway the reason I came back,” she leaned in closer, ”Mikos would like to know if you’ll work tomorrow night? He has some special guests coming into town for an after hours party he has planned”
“I don’t have any plans,” he replied he then looked at Matt, ”I will need some help though, being as this is such short notice, I think it would be a good idea for it to be Otto, so he can get some experience.”
Dianne eyed Otto suspiciously.
“Can you be discreet?” Dianne asked Truth Reading him.
“Certainly,” Otto answered truthfully.
“Good,” she said smiling.
“Do you want me to come get you when we are ready to check out?” Bart asked.
“No,” Dianne said as she started out of the kitchen, ”I trust you.”
“She trusts you, huh?” Matt asked, ”I noticed she didn’t Truth Read you?”
“I helped with her training when she first started here,” Bart said absently staring at the door that the exited the kitchen, ”and I have cooked after hours for Mikos before and not said anything.”
“Is something up?” Matt asked noticing Bart still looking at the door.
“I am not sure yet,” Bart replied after a few seconds, “but I think there maybe more than a little dinner party going on.”
“I think,” Matt observed after a minute, “She should have Truth Read you instead of me.”
“No?” Bart asked mockingly, ”why would you say that?
“It’s just this feeling I have,” Matt said with a smirk.
“Do you need some help with those?” Dianne asked Mikos von Furstan as she approached his table in the raised dining area.
“No thank you,” Mikos replied, ”I have everything under control, but you could help with the payroll.”
He picked up a stack of papers from the chair next to him then handed them over to her.
** So will he do it? ** He mentally sent her as she sat.
** He said he would, but he wants to bring his trainee here as well, ** Dianne sent back, ** I Truth Read him and he appears trustworthy. **
** Watch when and where you do that son, ** Mikos sent back, as he continued his work his slightly balding head never looking up, ** I don’t want you to draw undo attention to yourself. **
‘Dianne/Anthony’ sent, ** it’s sort of fun,” hiding in plain sight like this. **
**Don’t get cocky, ** Mikos sent back, **that’s when mistakes happen. **
**I forgot to ask you, ** ‘Dianne asked, ** who did you invite? And what’s this all about? **
** The usual suspects. **
**And what is it about? ** She/he insisted, ** and have you invited Alroy? **
Looking up from the paperwork his blue eyes twinkled as he whispered, ”No I haven’t invited Our Dear Prince, because this concerns a rather nasty piece of his family’s past.”
“Okay everybody timeout!” Duncan Morgan exclaimed standing up from his chair.
“We’ve had important visitors before,” he said leaning forward, placing his hands on his desk surveying the castle staff before him, ”how did this suddenly become difficult?”
“We haven’t had somebody as big as the Regent of Llannedd in quite some time,” one of his security officers put in, ”and this is sort short notice.”
As Duncan plopped back down into his chair he asked, ”so what you’re telling me that we are not ready? “
“That’s not what were saying, sir,” the officer replied, “its just that with the attempt on Our Duke’s life plus that his brother we will be spread a little thin security wise.”
“Prince Kelson is bringing his own security force,” Duncan sighed sitting back down in his chair, ”which Robert, by the way I want you do coordinate with his head of security.”
“Yes sir, “ the officer responded, ”I will contact him as soon as we are done here.”
“Is there anything else?” Duncan asked the rest his officers, “if not, you are all dismissed.”
“They certainly have worked themselves into a frenzy,” Melissa commented, she had been standing next to Laura against wall throughout the meeting, “Can you imagine what they would be like if they found out the real reason for Kelson’s visit?”
“And that would be what?” Camber Haldane, the bishop Of Corwyn and Carthmoor, asked standing up from his chair at far corner of the room, ”and more to the point why am I here?”
“I am sort of curious myself, why is he here?” Duncan asked
“Can we tell them?” Melissa asked Laura.
“I don’t see why not,” she replied, “Prince Kelson specifically asked that the bishop Corwyn be told.”
“Tell me what?” Camber asked, looking first to Duncan then to Melissa for an answer.
“That Nigel,” Melissa sighed after a minute of silence, “is going to abdicate the Duchy of Carthmoor in favor of Kelson.”
Both men stiffened.
After several minutes of quite contemplation, Camber finally asked, “I assume that Nigel is abdicating because of the attacks on him and the one on his brother?”
“That is my understanding,” she answered, “yes.”
“So, am I also to assume from what you have said that Brion as well as Kelson’s older brothers are excluded from the ducal succession?” Camber asked Melissa.
Melissa replied uncomfortably, “Yes.”
“May interject for a moment, Your Excellency?” Duncan asked.
“When I talked to His Grace, last night, he made no mention of any of this to me. Where are you getting your information?
“The only thing we can tell the two of you is that are contacts close to both who have given us this information,” was the only thing Melissa could say.
“And you can’t tell us anymore than that?” Duncan asked after almost minute of silence.
“I am sorry no,” Melissa replied bluntly.
“Excellency, do you have anything else you wish to ask?” Duncan asked the exasperated bishop, since it was apparent both women were not about to give up anymore details.
“The only thing I have Colonel, is I hope that these ladies at least let us know when he arrives.”
“That went well,” Laura said sarcastically as she and Melissa exited Duncan’s office.
With raised eyebrows Melissa looked at Laura.
“That was sarcasm,” Laura indicated, trying to put Melissa back at ease.
“I know,” Melissa replied as they continued down the corridor towards her office.
“Do you think the rest of the council would mind if we told them all we know?” Laura whispered as they got closer to Melissa’s office.
“I guess we will have to ask them …” Melissa started to say, but was interrupted by an approaching palace guard.
“I am sorry to disturb, you ladies,” the young sergeant said bowing to both, “but Major Arms, but you have visitor and a note from the medic that drills here sometimes.”
“Did he give his name?” she asked as she took the note.
“I’ll see you tonight,” Melissa whispered in her ear as she entered her office.
“No I am sorry, Ma’am,” he replied as they began to make their way to infirmary, “but he does appear to have a high enough clearance to get into the castle.”
“Adam!” Laura exclaimed upon entering the infirmary and seeing an older blond haired gentleman.
“And how is my favorite daughter in law doing?” Adam asked her as she gave him a hug.
“What are …?” she started to say, but her face darkened in anger as she suddenly realized something.
“I see that you know,” he sighed.
“I take it Craig wasn’t supposed to tell me who he really was?” She asked curtly. “Or was that even his name?”
“We agreed long before he met you,” Adam replied reluctantly, “that his family if he were to ever have one should not be told about his true identity to protect them until the time was right.”
“And let me guess the time wasn’t right yet?” she asked angrily.
She glared at him for a good minute before asking, “Would you care to tell me what both yours and my husband’s real names are?”
“My real name is Adama Alroy Arion von Furstan, and his was Lionel Liam Lajos von Furstan.”
As her eyes began to mist over she whispered, “Lionel.” Turning away from Adam she absently focused her attention on some medical utensils on a nearby countertop.
“Laura,” he said in an effort to comfort her, “it was never Craig’s intention for you to find out like this.”
“Cut the crap Adam or Adama or what ever your name is, what is the real reason you are here?”
“I need yours and the council’s help,” he said, “in bringing my nephew to justice.”
“I don’t know what you talking about?” she said without turning around.
“Come now Laura, I think you would agree that the time for games must end. I know that you are member of the Camberian Council in good standing.”
“How do you know that?” she asked whirling around to confront him.
“Let’s just say my dear daughter,” he replied with a smile, “Kelson Haldane is not the only one with connections.”
“Okay, okay,” she said leaning back against the countertop, “How you purpose that we go about catching him?”
“Getting me in to my brother Mikos’ restaurant,” he said bluntly, “where else do think Anthony is hiding?”
“He wouldn’t be that arrogant?” her eyebrows rising in question. “Would he?”
“What do you think?” he answered with knowing smile.
“Laura,” Adam said as he came towards her placing his hands on her shoulders, “Anthony von Furstan can not get away with what he has done to our family as well that of the Haldane’s, he needs to be brought to justice.”
“I’ll talk to them,” she stated flatly.
“Good,” he said, ”I am staying at the Corrigan’s hotel downtown,” he began writing the phone number down on a small sheet of paper, ”please call me as soon as find out anything.”
Taking the piece of paper from him she once again leaned back against the countertop.
“I will come by and see my grandchildren once this accomplished,” he said as exited of the infirmary.
As she looked down the piece of paper with the phone number on it, she suddenly remembered the other note. It read,