King Harsin approached the morning room in a slight state of dread. He was used to breakfasting alone, and preferred it. It gave him a chance to read the newspapers before his morning meetings with his ministers and his afternoon work reading and answering reports with Winmer. His time would not be his own again until after tea.
But today, his oldest child, a girl he hardly knew, would be joining him. Sedra had come to the capital the day before, just turned 16 and ready to face adulthood and her father. Her father, however, was entirely unsure he wanted to face her. “Do you have my papers?” he said to his secretary, a small dapper man named Winmer who habitually trailed two steps behind him.
Winmer handed over the stack of newsprint. “Are you sure, Your Majesty, that you wish to read the news this particular morning?” he murmured diplomatically.
“Better she should get used to me now,” said Harsin. “While I am willing to take my part in polishing her up for whatever alliance she’ll seal, I can’t imagine we’ll have much to do with one another otherwise. She was a bright, studious young girl--I always enjoyed her on my visits to Whithorse. But I imagine she’s changed. She’ll be going to parties and dances and some such--fussing with her clothes, probably. Besides, I’d wager she’s not even awake yet.”
But when he stepped through the morning room doors, there she was, dark eyes peering above a copy of The Morning Capital. Beside her was a thick stack of newspapers, equal to the one he carried under his arm. She gave her father a friendly “Good morning,” took a long, delicate pull on her coffee, and turned back to her reading. Slightly unnerved, Harsin sat down opposite her and picked up his own copy of the Capital; Sedra didn’t even look up.
Causes MeiLin Miranda Supports
Electronic Freedom Foundation, Doctors Without Borders, Oxfam, Habitat for Humanity, American Civil Liberties Union