Chalice Bearer is into its editing cycle, so this will be the last sneak peek before the January 2020 release. Based on popular demand, a glimpse into what Rebecca is up to.
Rebecca opens the panel by her desk and checks her appearance in the mirror. The intricate twist has not released a single lock of platinum hair.
Oyster gray linen blended with turquoise silk. The suit fits her to perfection.
Ice blue watered silk top with a demure V-neck. Elegant and enticing.
Blade metal pumps with silver heels. A bit daring but within protégé decorum.
Plain gold posts in her ears. Beyond dull, but she was appalled when Lilian informed her that she could never again use the aquamarine studs of her apprenticeship lest it diminishes her current status. They were a gift from Seigneur Trevelyan and a symbol that he values her. The first and only she has ever received from one who did not wish to bed her.
Twisting to double check her appearance, she is satisfied with the understated elegance that will please her mentor. Her mentor who has yet to ask about the estrangement between monsignor and Lilian.
Mayhap she can have the aquamarines made into drops. Rebecca turns for the door.
Gold is predictable for posts, but silver tarnishes. Reaching Monsignor’s commerce suite, she is time to see Lilian disappear into Monsignor’s office. Whatever is amiss between them, Monsignor is not so displeased that he has Lilian wait for the chimes.
Can she afford smaller gems for the posts? At Clifton’s nod, she breezes past his worksite. For all the seigneur’s executive servitor is a pompous windbag, he is dedicated to his duty. Rebecca need not wait if Seigneur Trevelyan is not occupied. Joining him at the conference table, she crosses her ankles in perfect decorum.
Setting aside his slate, Trevelyan says, “Katleen’s intelligence was excellent. The media swarmed Rimon’s Shrine at midday. It is well we moved the rite to dawn.”
“Did Tabitha learn aught?”
Seigneur shakes his head. “Naught of the source of the comment. She did identify two media operatives without emblems who pretended to be devoted in attempts to gather information from the shrine attendants.”
The shrine officials do not react well to those who violate the sanctity of the Five Warriors. “What will happen to them?”
Trevelyan flashes what Lilian calls his free-trader smile. “Keeper Kyndel was prepared to ban them from the shrines for a season and levy a hefty fine but settled on requiring they provide media support to Blooded Dagger’s at a time of our choosing.”
Rebecca returns the smile. “That will please Monsignor Lucius.”
Trevelyan sobers. “What think you of the rumor that he has tired of Lilian?”
Rimon’s saber. It was inevitable he would inquire. Smoothing the cuff of her suit, she replies, “Lilian claims it is so.”
Universe scatter it. Trevelyan knows Rebecca only fiddles with her attire when she is uncomfortable. She knows more than she voices. “Rebecca.”
Her blue eyes flash with guilt. For withholding from him or for what she believes is a betrayal of Lilian? Grasping the hand that has begun to toy with her jacket fasteners, he says, “What Katleen knows, the seer will know. It is better that I know.”
Rebecca takes a deep breath, her fingers closing on his. “Katleen believes, as do I, that Lilian has refused Monsignor.”
Interesting. Trevelyan would have sworn that Lilian’s attachment to Lucius was more than duty and loyalty. He is all but certain that Lucius’ increasing aggression in the training chambers is frustration. “It is no more than I suspected. Why does she refuse him?”
Rebecca shakes her head. “I have no notion. I have never understood her devotion to Monsignor, and I understand her refusal even less. It does not please her. She is on edge but will voice naught. She claims the decision is Monsignor’s to protect his reputation. Of that, I am certain.”
That his protégé can offer naught is disquieting. She has an uncanny ability to see to the core of a person and understand motivations. As for Lilian, for all she is an enigma it is not a surprise she would seek to protect Lucius from humiliation. “Lilian has ever been loyal.”
Her eyes glow. “She is his protégé, she would no more shame him than I would seigneur.”
Such a tease. I am waiting with baited breath for January and the release of Chalice Bearer!
It’s going to be long one. The draft is 144K words. I’m on tenderhooks waiting for first round feedback from my editor — due Thursday.