Leaves of Revolution

By: Breeana Puttroff

Book Six of The Dusk Gate Chronicles




~ One ~

Preparations




“COME IN,” ZANDER YELLED toward the door of his apartment as he walked out of his bedroom. “Oh, hi Mia.”

“Hello, Sir Zander. I brought your clothes for the ceremony.”

He managed to stifle his eye-roll before she saw – she was never going to stop calling him that. “Thank you,” he said instead, reaching for the hanger she held toward him. “I would have thought you’d be too busy this morning with everyone else to be bothered with small jobs like this. I can take care of myself.”

She raised an eyebrow. “You’d have shown up at the ceremony in what you’re wearing.”

“Is there something wrong with what I’m wearing?” He glanced down at his tan pants and the nicest top he’d acquired since coming here – a light blue wool sweater. He’d even ironed the pants with a strange metal contraption that had to be heated over the fireplace.

“Ordinarily, no. But you’re an honored guest of the king and queen today. You’ll need those.” She nodded toward the hanger and then looked up at him, frowning at his damp hair. “I was going to send someone in to heat the bathwater for you, but I see you’ve taken care of it already. You don’t have to do everything yourself, you know.”

He shrugged. “What else do I have to do? I’m fine, Mia, but thank you.”

“You’re expected in the main hall in an hour.”

“I’ll be there.”

“You’ll ask if I can do anything else for you?”

“I’m not making any promises.”

Shaking her head, she chuckled softly. “All right then, I’ll see you downstairs.”

Once she was gone, he carried the heavy wooden hanger into his room and laid the garment bag across his bed before untying the ribbon and pulling back the cover. He sighed. The white silk button-down shirt would have been one thing, but the green velvet tunic-thing to wear over it… He wasn’t ready for that.

The black slacks, of course, were pressed far more neatly than he would ever be able to manage. Perhaps Mia was right – he should be grateful to live in a castle with servants who were happy to take care of things.

He made it downstairs less than forty-five minutes later, only to discover he was far from the first one there.

“Zander,” Thomas said, walking over to meet him as he reached the bottom step, “I was just on my way up to find you.”

“Why? I thought I was early.”

“You are. I just thought maybe you would want the company.”

“Oh.” He still wasn’t used to any of this – this place, these people, these clothes. Thomas’ outfit was just as startling to him as his own. He wore the same kind of silk shirt and black pants as Zander, but there was a purple velvet cape over Thomas’ shoulders, secured at the neck with a silver pin. “Thanks anyway. Is there anything I can help with?”

“We’re just trying to keep the children from destroying too much while they finish readying the carriages.”

Zander looked around. The youngest princes and princesses of Eirentheos were scattered about the hall, chattering and playing, though they were hardly destroying anything. Since the arrival of both royal families at the Philothean castle two days ago, Quinn and William had set the servants to work transforming the rooms and halls to a more child-friendly environment. Breakable vases and artwork had been moved to out-of-the-way places or stored and replaced with wooden and metal decorations.

The changes weren’t only to accommodate the out-of-town guests; for the first time in decades, the castle would be home to a royal child of its own – Quinn and William’s infant son, the future heir to the throne, who would officially receive his name today.

The tiny prince wouldn’t be the lone child in the castle for long, either, Zander thought, seeing another figure approach them from across the room.

Linnea’s dark purple dress clung perfectly to her still-flat stomach, hugging her waist before flaring out in rippling folds toward the floor, but he doubted she’d get many more chances to wear that dress before the early signs of her pregnancy gave way to more obvious ones.

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