* * * * * * * * * *
Alarm, almost to the point of terror, flashed over Lady Mildred’s face. It didn’t look good on her. “What is going on?” the courtier demanded.
“Specifically? I don’t yet know,” Morgan replied calmly. “We should know shortly, though. More tea?”
“How can you drink tea at such a time?” one of the unintroduced bodyguards demanded harshly. Morgan smiled pleasantly at her.
“I heard the growl of some great beast,” her lady said, shuddering. “I would not have thought you would be so cavalier about a monster in your castle.” Morgan shrugged and topped off everyone’s tea cups anyway. Judging by the sounds, Black was herding his quarry this way. They would have their answer soon enough. Considering how the knight had ended up in his service, he already had a good idea of what they’d see.
“What game are you playing?” Lady Mildred snapped. Their eye’s locked. Morgan allowed the humor in his gaze to bleed away. The lady looked away first, ceding the challenge to him.
“I don’t play games,” he said softly. “I never have. It would seem that someone needs reminding of that.” He forced himself not to rant about the rash of break-ins at the castle in the past week.
She may know something about it and she may only know about her part in it. Judging by the look on her face, she did know that a member of her entourage was supposed to have planted something in the State Rooms, the wing of the castle kept for royal visitors. That’s what Black had been hired to do, though he didn’t know the identity of the person who had actually hired him. He’d picked up the job from a third party broker who specialized in mercenary contracts. There hadn’t been any point tracking down the broker to find out. Morgan had suspected whoever it was would try again.
“Are you implying that I have anything to do with the monster?”
“It’s coming this way,” the other body guard murmured softly.
“You have nothing to fear from him so long as he doesn’t find you someplace you have no business being,” Morgan said, still watching Lady Matilda closely.Lady Mildred gasped. The gasp was because the “monster” and his quarry had arrived in dramatic fashion. A dark haired man dressed in her lady’s livery stumbled into the room, frantically trying to get away from the four-hundred pound black tiger that was stalking him. Morgan noted that Sir Orlo, the captain of the castle’s guard, was a few paces behind Black. Sir Orlo was not making any attempt to hide his smirk