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. Colin and Jojo are members of her new staff.
Colin Bandolini had explained why Shayla's request to have food brought to the office on that first evening had been met with surprise. Although there was officially nothing against it, she had breached another unwritten rule of Mad Mabb's regime. There appeared to be no order to the seating in the thronged dining hall. Robes and uniforms showed a mixture of ranks and professions. But each place setting on the top table was labeled with a faded card. Shayla knew there would be one that read 'Master of Circuses'. Brynwyn bin Covin was expected to be there.
Shayla spotted the rotund figure of Jojo bin Duvin on the far side of the room. She turned her back on the high table and walked over to him. As she crossed the open space in the center of the room, the hairs on her neck prickled; a lull in conversation seemed to follow her.