So this short story (a prequel to Hal) is now complete and available to read on Wattpad while I edit it. Here’s a link to the last chapter:
And here’s an excerpt:
Chapter Eight: Breaking the Rules
“You’ve only got yourself to blame, Hal.”
Hal cast mournful eyes on Marc.
“I told you to be wary of Cara,” he said, dropping a summons to the palace into her hands.
“Yes, Marc.” She stared at the scroll, unwilling to break the seal. “So you did.”
Marc sat down on the bench beside her, slid his fingers beneath her chin and tilted her face to the light. “Ooh.” He scrunched up his brow. “A split lip is going to play right into her hands.”
“Yes, I think you’ve made your point.”
She drew away. If she still appeared tender and bruised from the fight with Orla, he could have no idea how raw she felt inside. It were as if she’d been hollowed out with a knife: her core cut clean away. Orla was gone; gone forever. And the impending threat of disgrace and exile was enough to drive her out of her mind.
With a long, throaty sigh, she unravelled the parchment and read aloud:
“At the behest of Lady Cara Thæc, the palace summons Halanya X, duellist and former imperial ward, to answer for her actions in bringing shame upon the court. May she present herself at midday on…Blah, blah, blah.” Hal rolled the scroll back up, leant against the wall, closed her eyes and tapped her forehead with the parchment. “What can they do?” she asked at last. “Kick me out?” She turned to look at Marc.
“Well…” he stroked his chin. “That is one option. The others include…”
“Wait!” She raised a hand. “I don’t even want to hear it.” Grabbing her coat, she jumped to her feet. “Let’s just get this over with, shall we?”