During the ride back to the palace, when they were alone again, Lynnette asked, “Are you sure that was wise, Your Highness? Didn’t you just make a lot of new enemies?”
“They were already my enemies,” said Helen. “They were embezzling disaster relief funds. I would have preferred to imprison them, but I currently have no physical proof of their misconduct--only Garovel’s word.”
“Why not wait until you could gather proof, then?”
“They threatened to go after me in the media, unless I granted them more funding today.”
“Wow. You’d think they’d know better than to mess with you by now.”
“These are times of political upheaval. Corruption and betrayals are to be expected. They probably believe that if they do not gain an advantage now, I will eventually destroy them.”
“They are probably right.”
“I have a special place in my heart for those who steal from disaster relief. I think I will sic David and Meriwether on them. With any luck, they will be in prison before they can find jobs elsewhere. If not, perhaps I will ask Hector for a favor.”
“Speaking of Hector, I believe he is leaving for the Gray Warren tonight. Shall we go bid him farewell?”
“I thought he was still sleeping,” said Lynnette.
“He is, but Garovel will awaken him for us.”
Lynnette was still hesitant from earlier. “Please, tell me you’re not... trying to... mgh...”
“Ha. I can go by myself, if you would prefer. We may not see him for quite a while, however.”
Lynnette just grumbled under her breath.
“I hope I have not accidentally jaded you to the idea. You should not let me influence your feelings in either direction. I was only teasing you before. Truly.”
“I’ll try to keep that in mind, ma’am.”
When they arrived at the palace again, it was still a while yet until Hector was slated to leave, and the Queen of course had more business to attend to. Lynnette couldn’t help being slightly distracted through it all, and by the time they went to visit Hector, she was annoyed by the anxiety she’d let build up in her chest.