Between the repairs to Warrenhold and the patrols around the city, Hector had plenty to do. It was a rare moment when Garovel allowed him to just relax and eat a quiet meal like this. And even more than the food, Hector was looking forward to sleeping. The bed in his temporary room was waiting for him, he knew.
But as he sat across from his guardsman, Hector recalled a question that he’d been meaning to ask ever since they left Sescoria two weeks ago. He wasn’t sure when he might get another opportunity to pose it. “Mr. Easton... why did you volunteer to work for me?”
“There were many reasons, sir.”
“...Well, I’m listening.”
A woman’s voice interrupted. “Oh, are we sharing our stories now?” The Lady Carthrace entered through the door behind Hector. Her silken pajamas bore wild streaks of bright red, and for a second, Hector thought she was covered in blood and was duly relieved to realize it was only the woman’s vivid taste in clothes. She made her way to the counter for a glass of water. “Do go on, Mr. Easton. I would like to hear this as well.”
Jamal leaned back in his chair. “Only if you promise to go next, milady.”
She smiled. “Little old me? How could I be of any interest?”
“I’m curious why a member of the richest family in Atreya would accept a job babysitting a teenager.” He glanced at Hector. “No offense, sir.”
Hector laughed faintly with a raised eyebrow. “None taken... I guess.”
Amelia joined them at the table and sipped from her glass. She nodded and then motioned for Jamal to proceed.
Jamal looked at Hector again. “Milord is from Brighton, yes?”
It still took Hector a moment to realize who milord referred to. “Er, I... yes?”
“That is where I am from as well,” said Jamal.
“As it happens, I have a very good friend who still lives there. We haven’t seen each other since we were about your age, but she and I have stayed in touch all these years. And grown quite close, I suppose. I still consider her to be my best friend.”
Hector exchanged uncertain looks with Garovel.