Harrison & Sylvia, Part Seven

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Part Seven
Strolling along one of the bookshelves in the library, Harrison smiled when he found the book he wanted. Pulling it from the shelf, he added it to his growing stack. With a glance to the bookshelf, Harrison bit his lip before he turned away from the shelves and walked to one of the wooden tables. He sat down and began reading through his collection of tomes. But every time he started to read, his hand reached for the letter in his breast pocket.

This time when his fingers touched the thick paper in his pocket, Lucius re-entered the room and cleared his throat. Harrison swiveled in his chair as pulling the letter from his pocket. Lucius nodded his head, saying, “Master Harrison, a messenger, has arrived to speak with you.”

After a brief glance to the paper in his hand he eyed the steward, “A letter and a messenger all in one day, I wonder what I could have done to garner this much attention?”

“Sir?”

“Never mind Lucius, it was a bad joke at my expense, just tell me who sent the messenger?”

Lucius placed his hands behind his back and rubbed his hands together, nervously replying, “He wouldn’t tell me, master Harrison.”

Scrunching his eyebrows together, Harrison tapped the letter against the back of the chair as he asked, “He wouldn’t tell you who sent him?”

“No,” Lucius began as he dropped his hands to his sides. “He was steadfast in his position that he only give you the message or the details behind it, master Harrison.”

“Well, then please send him in,” Harrison said as he struck the table with the letter. Glancing at the paper, he folded it back up and tucked Kylee’s letter back into his coat pocket. Then he positioned the book’s ribbon into the book before he closed it and began pacing around the library, while he waited for Lucius to fetch the messenger. He stopped his pacing when his eyes caught sight of the remaining embers glowing brightly at the bottom of the fireplace opposite the bookshelves.

Harrison stood there motionlessly studying those embers as if his life depended on knowing them perfectly until he heard some rapping coming from behind him. Harrison spun around and Lucius standing in the library with the messenger behind him. Straightening Harrison waved the steward forward. Lucius took a step into the library and addressed his lord’s eldest son, “Master Harrison…”

With a snort, the messenger pushed past the steward, knocking him into the door. The distance disappeared as the messenger stalked to Harrison. He folded his arms behind his back and spoke with a gruff tone that brooked no argument. “I’ll take it from here steward.”

Harrison just managed to catch his retort and to soften his expression as he glanced over to the steward and said, “It’s all right Lucius, you can leave. I’ll be fine.”

“Master Harrison,” Lucius replied as he looked between Harrison and the messenger before bowing deeply and departing.

Harrison waited until Lucius left the room and pulled the door closed behind him. And before the messenger could say anything, Harrison loosed the retort he had kept to himself moments before. “I normally don’t care about decorum whoever you are, but I will not have you disrespect my family, nor any in our employ. Especially our stewards, is that understood?”

“I will do what I’m required, sir.” The messenger replied, unfazed by the rebuke.

Harrison pulled in a deep breath as he recognized a kindred spirit, and knew it would not help to try to argue with this man, so he pushed it out of his mind for the moment and asked, “Very well, who sent you then?”

“The king of the Isles.” The messenger answered, frankly.

As soon as Harrison heard those words, he unconsciously stood a little straighter in thought. If the man carried the king’s message, then this man possessed the clout not to worry about any disrespect, he showed people while following any of the king’s orders. Harrison raised his right hand and tapped at his chin, studying the man. After a few moments of scrutiny, Harrison spoke softly, “From the little I’ve heard that’s not something I would claim if you couldn’t back it up. The king does not like people pretending to be in his employ.”

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