Harrison & Sylvia, Part One

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Part One
The king closed the door and waited for the crowd to be dismissed. Once the hall was cleared, Quentin walked back to the chamber and knocked on the heavy wooden door. A moment later the door was opened, and the king asked his attendant, “Did you have any difficulty in getting them to leave? I thought it would have taken longer than it did.”

“There were a few who didn’t want to leave, my lord. But with a little encouragement from the guards they were quickly encouraged to return home and wait till next year to try again.”

With a nod, Kameron smiled as he stepped out of his private waiting chamber exclaiming, “Excellent, now I can get back to more important matters.”

However, before Kameron could take another step, Quentin spoke, his voice filled with trepidation, “My lord…”

“Yes, Quentin?” Kameron asked as he spun back towards his assistant.

But Quentin’s curiosity softened at seeing his lord’s stern expression looming down upon him, so he quickly tried to reverse himself as he attempted to step away. “Never mind, my lord, we can discuss the subject later.”

Kameron knew why his attendant was cowering. After all, he had done a lot to instill that behavior in his people and attendants. However, Kameron knew just how genuinely loyal Quentin was to him, so he reached out placing a hand on Quentin’s shoulder as he gently pried into what his attendant wanted to know. “Is this about whatever it is you think you saw?”

After a momentary silence, Quentin replied, “No sire, there was one man who was very adamant about speaking with you. He tried to stand up to the guards, but he was eventually escorted out.”

Kameron nodded but studied the rafters they had inspected earlier and inquired, “Do you think something is up there?”

Quentin shook his head, “No sire, my eyes must have been playing tricks on me. Nothing more.”

With a forced smile emerging from his stoic face Kameron reached out and clapped his attendant on the shoulder. “Well then, let’s retire from this accursed hall and continue on with the affairs of state that are truly pressing.”

The attendant, whose confidence had seemed to grow as his lord’s manner had softened, risked another question. “Sire, if you don’t mind, why do you even bother hearing the petitions yourself?” Kameron’s squeezed his attendant’s shoulder in response to the question, and Quentin immediately tried to recover with a speedily, yet carefully constructed qualifier. “It is obvious you do not like wasting your time listening to them. You could appoint someone to handle this duty for you.”

The hardness that had begun to appear in Kameron’s expression vanished as he stood there in silence thinking of the attendant’s question. Pulling the man closer, Kameron spoke as if he were explaining something to a fellow conspirator. “While it is true that I don’t like doing this, it is very crucial that the people see their king taking time from the important affairs of state so I can dispense justice and, to a certain extent, extend mercy.”

“But wouldn’t it be more meaningful if more people could be heard?”

Kameron knew that Quentin didn’t understand him, so he took the man by his shoulders and pulled him squarely in front of him letting a momentary silence calm the attendant’s mind. The king pulled in a quick breath before he tried once more to explain it to his attendant. “Even though I find the whole affair to be nothing more than a tedious waste of time, the fact that I’m here and that I do give someone the relief they seek makes me more personable in the eyes of my subjects. Does that make sense?”

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