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 previously fallen foul of her new boss, Mabbwendig ap Terlion, Master of the Emperor’s Domestic Household, and is confronting her again in the cavernous staff dining hall. Mabb has been tormenting a series of unfortunate individuals among the hundreds of people crowding the hall.
A waiter removed Shayla's barely-touched plate, and returned with a dish of mousse molded in the shape of a swan.
"Is it always like this?" Shayla asked Jojo.
He frowned. "She normally picks on more people, but her barbs cut unusually deep tonight."
Mabbwendig looked up from her plate. Her eyes roved across the sea of faces like a hawk surveying a meadow. "Time for music, I think." Her face creased into a smile. "Tanya."
Jojo groaned under his breath. "Poor Tanya, not again."