Revin paced with #anxiety. Lidja had been with the Queen for 40 minutes with Revin enjoined from the meeting. The door opened and they looked at Revin, then looked at each other & smirked.— Steven D. BREWER 🏳️⚧️ (@author_sdbrewer) May 26, 2022
"Agreed," they said, shaking hands.
Revin did not like the sound of this at all. #vss365
The door popped opened and the King entered the Queen's dressing room to find Revin holding a knife and standing over the Queen, who was on the floor, bound and gagged, her eyes wild with rage.— Steven D. BREWER 🏳️⚧️ (@author_sdbrewer) May 2, 2022
"Please don't get the wrong #idea, your Majesty!" Revin pleaded.#vss365
Revin tried to staunch the bleeding while he & Terrier concealed themselves behind the #pillar. The assassin walked deliberately through the gallery & exited at the far end.— Steven D. BREWER 🏳️⚧️ (@author_sdbrewer) June 2, 2022
"No! Don't!" Revin hissed, as Terrier looked faint & then passed out.
"Great…" Revin muttered.#vss365
Revin handed a writ to the warden & then followed guards down into the squalid depths of the #prison. After much rattling of keys, they opened a door at the end of a dark corridor. In a tiny cell, Terrier was collapsed on the floor, his uniform stained with dried blood. #vss365— Steven D. BREWER 🏳️⚧️ (@author_sdbrewer) May 5, 2022
"Sit," Revin said. Terrier paused, but Revin only gestured again.— Steven D. BREWER 🏳️⚧️ (@author_sdbrewer) June 10, 2022
"Tell me what's going on," Revin said, turning his back. "All of it. If the evidence speaks for itself, you'll get hanged."
Revin turned & saw a single #tear roll down his cheek.
"Now, talk!" #vss365
She entered his quarters as Terrier was helping Revin into his suit coat.— Steven D. BREWER 🏳️⚧️ (@author_sdbrewer) June 12, 2022
"How did you #secure his release?" the Queen asked.
"He's under my personal recognizance."
"Is that wise?" she pressed.
Revin and Terrier exchanged glances.
"We have an understanding."#vss365
"Just who is leading this #nation?" the King asked.— Steven D. BREWER 🏳️⚧️ (@author_sdbrewer) June 3, 2022
"I am," both the Queen and Revin said simultaneously. Bemused, Revin and the Queen then looked at each other and said together, "We are!"
"Well, I'm glad we got that sorted out," the King said.#vss365
"Let's take a #break, Revin," the Queen said, rubbing her temples, after three hours.— Steven D. BREWER 🏳️⚧️ (@author_sdbrewer) May 23, 2022
Suddenly the doors were thrust open and a woman, struggling to get free of the guards, said "Let me in! Let me see him!"
Revin recognized the voice and spun.
"Tiny! What's happened?"#vss365
After hearing Tiny out, Revin turned to the Queen.— Steven D. BREWER 🏳️⚧️ (@author_sdbrewer) June 6, 2022
"We can't allow this aggression to stand," Revin said.
"You want us to #invade?" the Queen said.
"Yes," Revin replied.
"On her word?"
"Just how many girlfriends do you have?"
Revin stood his ground.#vss365
The agent named an astronomical sum.— Steven D. BREWER 🏳️⚧️ (@author_sdbrewer) June 13, 2022
"But if you want to purchase the estate the funds need to be placed in #escrow by 5 bells."
Revin passed him a slip of paper & he nodded, tucking it into his vest pocket.
"But can we afford it?" Lidja asked.
"It's the Queen's money."#vss365
"Was the #country house to the satisfaction of both you and your little horse girl?" the Queen asked.— Steven D. BREWER 🏳️⚧️ (@author_sdbrewer) June 14, 2022
"Yes, your Majesty," Revin said.
"The expense is worth it, as I get to keep you in the palace four nights a week."
"Only on alternate weeks."
The Queen's eyes narrowed.#vss365
At their new country house, Revin met the arrivals while Lidja mingled in the ballroom. The King & Queen arrived toward sunset.— Steven D. BREWER 🏳️⚧️ (@author_sdbrewer) June 16, 2022
"So, can you show me this vicious horse?" the Queen asked Revin.
"You'll need to ask Lidja, your Majesty," Revin said. "I'm not a #maniac."#vss365
The country house had become an #inferno. Revin saw armed men and considered his options when Lidja appeared. Bastard jumped the fence, somehow keeping Lidja on his back. They bore down on Revin. She reached down, pulled him up, and they charged the cordon of armed men. #vss365— Steven D. BREWER 🏳️⚧️ (@author_sdbrewer) June 17, 2022
After leaving Lidja to treat Bastard's wounds, dispatching soldiers to secure the estate, & informing the Queen, Revin let himself #slump into a chair. He heard a knock & grunted. The Baron strode in.— Steven D. BREWER 🏳️⚧️ (@author_sdbrewer) June 18, 2022
"We know who did it," he said. "Are you coming?"
"I'm in," Revin said. #vss365
Two hours before dawn, Revin felt like a #zombie after 20 hours awake. From the airship, the Baron gave the signal and launched the assault. His men were through the gate before the alarm was sounded. In 20 minutes, they had control of the estate. The airship descended. #vss365— Steven D. BREWER 🏳️⚧️ (@author_sdbrewer) June 19, 2022
Revin & the Baron bore witness while soldiers dragged the chained & hooded figure of Lord Rail, bellowing curses & expletives, aboard the airship.— Steven D. BREWER 🏳️⚧️ (@author_sdbrewer) June 20, 2022
"He always was a #charmer," the Baron observed.
"Mercy!" pleaded Lady Rail.
"I'm sorry, Milady. I can only offer justice."#vss365
It was still dark when the airship returned. Revin arrived at the stable around first light and found Lidja asleep outside Bastard's stall.— Steven D. BREWER 🏳️⚧️ (@author_sdbrewer) June 21, 2022
"She just wouldn't #move," the groom said.
Keeping an eye on Bastard, Revin scooped her up, and carried her back up to his quarters.#vss365
"Put on your #domino, dear!" Lidja said. "It's time for the masquerade."— Steven D. BREWER 🏳️⚧️ (@author_sdbrewer) June 22, 2022
"But I'm so tired."
"She'll be here momentarily!"
She helped Revin change and put on the cloak & mask. They finished as the Queen entered.
"I'll take it — and him — from here," she said to Lidja.#vss365
"Your #utopia on Havelock is struggling," the Queen said. "The commoners are poorly educated and choose their leaders by whim rather than being governed by any principle."— Steven D. BREWER 🏳️⚧️ (@author_sdbrewer) June 23, 2022
"Oh? Are aristocrats governed by principles?" Revin countered.
The Queen rolled her eyes. "Touché."#vss365
"#Freeze!" the assassin said, holding a crossbow on the Queen. The guards stopped. Revin closed his eyes & spotted an etheric stream. Not certain he was close enough, he tried to make a towline to the quarrel.— Steven D. BREWER 🏳️⚧️ (@author_sdbrewer) June 24, 2022
"Charge!" Revin cried, as the quarrel was snatched up & away.#vss365
"Ssh!" Revin said to Lidja, pulling the sheet over their heads when he heard the Queen open the connecting door. Lidja giggled.— Steven D. BREWER 🏳️⚧️ (@author_sdbrewer) June 25, 2022
"I know you're in there," the Queen said. "That's not what I meant when I said you would need to go #undercover!"#vss365
"Let's use a book #cipher," the Baron said. "But not a book you have or carry with you in case you're captured. What's a book you could get in the library on Devishire?"— Steven D. BREWER 🏳️⚧️ (@author_sdbrewer) June 26, 2022
"How about 'Throes of Her Unbridled Passion'?" Revin suggested.
The Baron raised an eyebrow.#vss365 #cypher
"#Pray do me a favor, Terrier," Revin asked.— Steven D. BREWER 🏳️⚧️ (@author_sdbrewer) June 27, 2022
"Anything, Sir Revin."
"Do you have any old hand-me-downs that might fit?"
"I'm sorry, Sir," he said. "Are you asking about clothes? Old clothes?"
"Yes. For a disguise."
"Ah!" he said. "I'll see what I can find."#vss365