Ten Minutes

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A girl rushes; red faced and flustered into the hall. Loud shouts and angry voices are muted as the door slams shut. She is not thinking about anything but getting away, she does not see the silent figure until she slams into him. She kneels quickly, her skirts billowing out around her, to gather the dinner rolls of the floor back onto the tray she dropped. “I’m sorry,” her voice is gentle and calm. She curtseys, then steps out of the way against the wall. Grumbling the man brushes crumbs off of his suit. At the sound of his voice, she looks up, startled. Her eyes follow him as he walks on, still murmuring to himself. Suddenly, aware of her gaze he spins around. He checks the hall for people then, pushes her against the wall. “If you breathe a word of my presence, to anyone…” he hisses. “Your presence, sir?” The girl is startled by his face, his voice and his ruff handling of her.
He looks at her, is she lying? “If you truly don’t know who I am, then why were you staring at me?”
“Please sir, I did not mean any harm, I simply,…you make me think of a dear friend.” Her last words are spoken wistfully, and she flushes a deeper pink.

He is still harsh, “Do you blush when you lie?”

She looks up at him, earnest, beseeching him to believe her. “No sir, I am really quite good at lying, but I usually have better control of myself then.”

“You’re good at lying? Well, that could come in handy; tell me, would they miss you to much around here?

She is scared by this question. Mustering her courage, she continues to answer him truthfully, “I do not think they would, very much, sir.”

He sees her fright, and is pleased by her truthful answer. His face relaxes into a smile, “Follow me, there is someone you need to meet.”

“Oh sir, I do not think I could, I have duties, and...”

He interrupts, “Duties can wait, I carry the power of the prince. What is your name?”

She pales, “The Prince…I, I am called Letty.”

“Letty for Leticia?” She shakes her head. “No, sir” she breaths.

He nods briskly, “Right, Letty, come with me.” He holds up his hand to silence her protest, “you can spare ten minutes.”





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