Part 2562 – Eschia’s Request And Her Queen’s Response.

Preyuna calmly took her seat in the bay window and waited for Eschia to close the door. “Well?”

Eschia went down on one knee. “Your Majesty, I have a request to make.”

“Go on.”

“This is for my own sake. Not for anyone else. Not even for Isellta.”

“Understood. Keep going.”

“I know that this is none of my business and you have the right to tell me so. But, if it is possible, I would like an answer to this question.”

“The question is…?”

“Is Robin here?”

Preyuna quietly considered the advantages and disadvantages of honestly answering that question. “Why do you ask?”

“Because I want to look at him.” Eschia rested her arms on her raised knee. “I want to look at him and talk to him and try to see what Isellta sees in him.”

“That would be a waste of time. I’ve talked to Robin before and trust me. There is no reason for Isellta to be attracted to him. Robin is a loud-mouthed lout. He is coarse, unrefined, barely civilized. He is a great many other things, but I don’t want to turn this into a full rant.”

Eschia nodded. “I understand that. All the same, I am curious about him. Is Robin here?”

Preyuna looked down at Eschia. She has always been loyal to me. She has earned my trust in so many ways. But if I tell her, there is a risk that she will tell Isellta in a moment of weakness. Isellta has a powerful ability to make people sympathetic to his plight. She could easily fall victim to it. Plus, isn’t it better if I’m the only one who knows that answer? “There are two answers to that question. One is the truth. The other is a lie. If I told you the truth, would you ever reveal it to Isellta?”

If Eschia unraveled Preyuna’s meaning, she didn’t let it show on her face or in her words. “My loyalty is solely yours, Your Majesty. Your secrets are my secrets and I will reveal only what you give me word to reveal.”

It was a good answer, but not quite good enough for Preyuna. “What if Isellta were to manipulate you with his pretty face, his soft voice, his tear-filled eyes?”

Eschia shook her head without any hesitation. “It won’t happen, Your Majesty. But if it will ease your mind, I will avoid any and all conversations with him. As a matter of fact, I’ll avoid him altogether.”

“That would ease my mind considerably. And, of course, it goes without saying that you will be unable to share this information with anyone else in this household. That includes everyone, even our fellow fey members.”

“Understood, Your Majesty.”

Preyuna paused, partly for dramatic effect, but mostly to indulge in some last minute pros versus cons. She smoothed a crease in the skirt of her dress. “Yes. Robin is here.”

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