‘Perhaps you could explain what is so special about this Warrenhold place before we decide,’ said Garovel.
Voreese looked over her audience. ‘Well, it’s old as shit! In a good way! Lots of history, very defensible, and tons of space underground.’ She leveled a stare at Garovel. ‘Trust me on this one. You’ll thank me.’
A silent pause followed, and Hector was left to wonder what the non-servants at the table must be thinking of this conversation, watching the Queen and Roman talk to their imaginary friends. However, Hector noticed that most of them weren’t even watching, really, instead taken to enjoying the feast laid before them. He realized he hadn’t even started eating yet, despite being utterly famished, so he decided to dig in as well.
‘Okay,’ said Garovel. ‘We’ll take Warrenhold. If Her Majesty is actually offering it to us, that is.’
The Queen tilted her head. “Are you certain? Perhaps you should visit it before deciding. Unless my memory is mistaken, the Gray Warren was forced to endure an earthquake some years ago. You may not come to find it in the most desirable state.”
‘Eh, we’ll make do,’ said Garovel. ‘No need to draw things out. We’ll take up less of your time this way.’
Helen eyed the two reapers a moment, perhaps skeptical, but then said, “Very well. You will have the papers by the week’s end.” She turned to Hector. “Do you find that agreeable?”
“Oh, um, sure... but, uh...” He faltered again under everyone’s gaze.
“Yes?” said the Queen, as they all waited for him.
“S-sorry, it’s just... maybe I’m missing something, but, uh...” His fists clenched under the table as he forced the rest of the words out. “Wouldn’t it be a problem for, uh, Your Highness, if you give such an incredible gift to... well, me? I mean, I’m pretty hated by... ah, everyone...”
“Once the public knows the truth, that will not be a problem,” said Helen. “I intend to address the matter of your innocence in front of the press very soon. In fact, I was hoping you might accompany me when I do.”