Continuing a scene from my first book, Ghosts of Innocence.
Shayla has stolen the identity of a newly-appointed senior public servant, and infiltrated the Palace in disguise. She has already fallen foul of her new boss, Mabbwendig ap Terlion, Master of the Emperor’s Domestic Household, but has since kept out of Mabb’s way while she establishes herself in her new position. However, she’s decided to face Mabb on her own turf - in the cavernous staff dining hall.
Brynwyn is Shayla’s stolen identity. Kurt, Jojo and Bo are members of her new staff.
That she had continued to eat in her office these past two days had been a simple matter of practicality. There was too much work to do. To the ever-observant Palace gossip mill, it had appeared an act of defiance, but to persist would soon be seen as an act of fear. That last piece of analysis had come from Kurt. She needed to face Mabb once more on Mabb's own turf.
As she sat next to Jojo, she looked around and caught glimpses of hastily-averted eyes. She also noted that many of her own staff had congregated in this corner, as far from the high table as possible.
Bo Branson sat across from Shayla and Jojo. Kurt Weiler approached from the other side of the room and sat next to Bo.
A bell chimed, and a hush descended on the gathering.