The soup is served, starting with my dad and my brother. Light orange in colour and delicious but it's far from filling and I'm starving. I haven't eaten since last night.
“Food so pretty its forgotten its main purpose is to fill our stomachs, hey Twitch?” Nate is grinning at me. “I'm going to accept that Soc needs to do this and pretend he isn't flirting with a man with no morals. Heard you had a pretty rotten day?”
I’m relieved to have Nate back from whatever miserable hell he was in. “It was kind of OK in places. Just wish I hadn't got Dad shot.” My hunger is replaced by a queasy feeling. “I'm such a selfish bastard.”
“Nah. You're sixteen with the world watching you.” It was good to have at least one person understand where I’m coming from.
There's a crash. I get to my feet. Lady Aya has her face in her soup. I check her pulse and with Nate's help I lower her to the floor and take out my PC POCKET.
“Thought that was confiscated,” Nate has his eyebrow raised and sounds amused.
“It was. I… I… well let’s just say as long as I've got the right bits I know how to build myself one.” I dial 666. “Ambulance.”
There's a whiff of the most rancid BO as my PC POCKET is grabbed from my hand. “There's no need. Cancel it.” The fat man who was sitting next to my sister is behind me. His chins wobble as he speaks into the phone. “No it’s a false alarm. Dumb kid with a prank call.” He drops the phone on the floor and stands on it, breaking it into tiny pieces.
“Hey. There's only three of them in the world.” There's no need to tell him I can make my own from electrical detritus. “Hope you're planning on paying for it.” I look round the room. “This lady needs a doctor.”
Nate is moving her into the recovery position.
General Obnoxious prods Lady Aya with his foot. “She does this all the time. She's just trying to embarrass me. Get up...”
Her eyes don't open. He clicks his stubby fingers. “Men. Take Lady Aya to our quarters to recover. I'll deal with this later.” The way his tongue licks his lips disturbs me. His eyes remind me of toad eyes and he looks at her with disdain. Wow his halitosis is ripe! How can my sister even think about flirting with him? The thought turns my stomach. Mind you he’s about what she deserves.
Dad comes up behind General Obnoxious. “What is going on here?” There is no hint of the King Mouse the media portray him as.
“These young men are out of control. They touched my wife.” His finger is jammed right into my chest. It hurts. “Men do not touch married women where I am from. They should be disciplined.”
“I assure you they will be. Warriors.” Dad waves over two Soaring Warriors. “Take Prince Angus and Sir Nathaniel to His Highness’s bedroom. Both are to be held under heavy guard until I am able to deal with the situation. Please remember Sir Nathaniel’s abilities.” He addresses the banquet, “Please continue the matter is under control.”
Dad, if I’m not mistaken, looks back and winks at Nate; he does a military turn and goes back to his seat, leaving his warriors to escort Nate and I out of the banqueting hall.
Nate places his hand on my back and whispers in my ear, “Just go with it, Titch. Trust me.”
“You're not going to even listen to my side are you?” I yell at my dad. If he hadn’t been shot earlier I’d have shouted it before we left the banqueting hall.
Updated Thursday - I've changed the days round to fit a change in lifestyle since the start of a new school year. Even though we don't do school it still affects us.