Partners in Crime
1070 words long
It would have been just fine with someone of noble birth, but....
Notes from the author:
The question was, what other things besides the whole sex-love-marriage spectrum might two people of vastly different social classes get in trouble for doing together? Because that whole sex-love-marriage thing has been done.
The birds came about because I wanted new swear words. Apparently when you create new swear words and phrases, you wind up hinting at new religions. Sorry; hints are all I’ve got so far, too.
Rumor ran laps around the villa: “That valet of his got stinking drunk last night.” Except to call it rumor was to cast doubt upon its accuracy, or at least accuse the gossip-mongers of exaggeration. “Stinking drunk on the Lark’s day, and to hell with the manor’s honor.” In point of fact, it was owl’s honest truth. “How,” everyone wanted to know, “is Sir Farleigh to show his face?”
But Sir Farleigh did show his face, just as he always did. He greeted his vassals at their work and in the tavern. He visited the stables and the kennels. He continued making preparations for the upcoming ordeal that would complete his training as both a knight and a mage.
He felt a grim satisfaction as the gossip made the rounds. Things were going according to plan. That didn’t make the plan easy, mind you. It didn’t make him feel good. Nothing felt good about opening himself and Paul to the villa’s disapproval. But they’d known what they were letting themselves in for, and there was a certain amount of relief in seeing things proceed according to plan.
“I took care they all saw me,” Paul had sent to him that night. Lord Broggart’s men-at-arms had dragged him home from the tavern. They’d beaten him, doused him in cold water, then confined him to his room to sleep as best he may. The telepathic link, as forbidden as it was unbreakable, carried the ache of his bruises and the chatter of his teeth; Sir Farleigh jolted to his feet, appalled. “No. No, stay there. For the love of little sparrows, Lee, do you want to ruin everything? I’ll be fine. But I do fear I may have overdone things.”
Sir Farleigh forced himself back into bed. “How do you mean, ‘overdone’?”
“Mm. Well. You know that song they sing, next villa to the south, about the little wrens and what they did to the big bad cat?”
Sir Farleigh covered his face in the dark, groaning aloud. He knew the song well. There was a sanitized version that children sing in the nursery, but Paul wouldn’t be referring to that one. “You didn’t.”
“I did. Pitch-perfect and word-faithful. I even acted some of it out, fledgling-naked in the square. The fieldhands were particularly amused.”
“So that’s my bit done. The next part of the plan is up to you....”
This has been an excerpt from the Friday Fictionette for July 1, 2016. Subscribers can download the full-length fictionette (1070 words) from Patreon as an ebook or audiobook depending on their pledge tier.
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