I tried to let the frigid temperatures of flying home cool my overheated head. I needed to set my household on it immediately. The moment my feet hit the roof of the Marble Palace.
My stomach twisted, even if I was not going to let it out on anyone. I planned all day… in my head, in the air. We didn’t relay, stopping for the overnight and I just couldn’t let go of Ky’s arm as I offered it to her. Then I had to plan all the next day as well.
I’d been letting my fear stop me. Comb and fan be damned. I was going to be the arbiter of the fashion. The Fortunate Fifty would follow what Kall did, what I did.
I turned my head back and looked up to where Kall flew, next to Laisa’s wing. He was whooping with laughter at something in a way that was just so unlike him. I was so happy to see him so. Her too. She… yes, she was giggling too though it was harder to hear. The sound just flowed back toward us. I turned my head to look over at Ky who still had her smile on. Oh my love. Yes, I love you.
If she snuck into my bed that night… more strength to her for seeing what she did and seizing hold. We had an agreement and it was up to me to do it correctly. Itzan’s mamoka had been dyed red and gold and had been given his back garden for its home. She’d liked it. I couldn’t propose while flying… I wasn’t good enough to pilot a double, and neither was she and we actuall needed all four of us there… so… I’d do this mamoka picnic.
My apologies. This fellow seems to have followed me home and I return him forthwith. He showed up in the Marble Palace coops the morning after we arrived, much to the consternation of the pigeons. Wish me happy, my picnic is about to begin.
I tied the note to the squawking, shaking parrot basket and handed it off to the wing courier. The bird had followed us to Arko and not only did it know how to say ‘I love you’ in seven languages, it also knew how to curse in all seven as well. Perhaps eight.
“So Sparky’s finally getting out of the garderobe?”
“Shh, don’t be so disrespectful.”
“I’m not disrespectful. Chef Irinen has just had a prostrated collapse over the menu. It's been changed eight times -- Flung himself right on the floor tearing his hair. We all knew what it was about because himself’s chamberlain Antras came down grinning like a fessas tooth polisher advertising his work and then Sparky HIMSELF showed up and hovered for a while… before he rushed off to change his clothing for the third time.”
“That horse for Rosy… beautiful… I’ve never seen a horse given a spa bath before.”
“Hand brushed dry and combed into perfection, wrapped in sheets with a boy to catch the hind end leavings in a bucket so nothing splashes. A necklet of emeralds and the leathers hand tooled. It's not like he hasn’t been planning this since he were elected… the leather makers had some faint idea of what he wanted.”
“Heh. Rosy’ll settle him down. He’s ordered a barrel of scent to be combed into that monster.”
“Nice monster. It’s very gentle.”
“Heh. You fed that thing orange roots all night at the election party.”
“Yeah, I didn’t have to shovel up the results!”
“Sweetheart you work at the Marble Palace, you shovel stuff up all the time!”
“Who’s with the picnic party? – oh, shen, send out a boy with a basket… they forgot the butter, they can’t have rock-fish tails without butter! They’ll be rambling for a bit, you take the straight route… run, boy! Don’t ruin this! Sparky’s depending on us!”
“Heh, I like working with Rosy’s staff. Good people.”
“Yeah, good people hire good people or get good people.”
“Gef! Tidy up your uniform, Silinen sprained his ankle in a rabbit hole – forzak gamekeepers can’t keep a greensward neat – you’re out there to serve when they get there…”
“What? I’m allergic to the woods!”
“So stuff a paper up your nose and don’t drip. Hop!”