“The little dears asleep?” Rolendis’ voice at my shoulder made me jump. I spun around faster than wise and almost collided with Rowen and the tray of breakfast leavings.
Rolendis eyed Rowen for a moment before focusing on me once again. Her expression oozed concern and sweetness. I resisted the urge to cringe.
“They are sleeping.” My instinct nagged at me that she was up to something.
“Are you going to leave them? I can sit with them if you wish.” Her smile widened into a forced grimace.
“No, thank you.”
“I am going to stay with them,” Rowen said before I could come up with a better reason for declining.
Rolendis sniffed at Rowen, nose in the air, and looked her up and down. “And you are?”
Tomas’ mother answered in completely reasonable terms. “I am the children’s nurse. We simply stepped outside to speak without waking the children.”
Rolendis apparently didn’t know what to do with the discontinuity of a servant who spoke as an equal.
While she struggled to find the right response, Rowen handed the tray to me. “I will remain, my lady.” Without waiting for my reply, she ducked back into the room, closed the door, and locked it.
“Is there anything else you need?” I asked.
Rolendis still stared at the closed door. “Did she bring news?”
“Irvaine.” She glared at me as though I was being purposefully obtuse. I wasn’t.
There were so many things that we were waiting to hear about: Loren, Wisenvale, Quaren, the battle. I was as eager for news of Tomas’ safety as I was for Loren’s, but there was none.
“He sent none.”
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