June 10, 2016 by Lyn Thorne-Alder
Lady Ilonilarrona narrowed her eyes. Enrie smiled, although she was beginning to feel as if her lips were made of stone. Saydrie and Taikie moved forward a step on either side of her.
“You really don’t know, do you? You’re stupider than I thought, and that little heel was lying to us. Well, he’ll have to be instructed in why that’s a bad idea.” She turned on her heel and stalked away.
Enrie didn’t let out her breath as she watched the woman push and intimidate her way through the crowded lunchroom, nor as she watched an older woman walk up to Lady Ilonilarrona. From the distance, it was hard to tell much about this second woman, but her clothing hung in folds of expensive-looking fabrics and her hair had gone steel-grey with age. The woman looked unhappy; once, she glanced over at Enrie and her friends. Seeing them looking at her and Ilonilarrona, she held out an arm and seemed to steer the younger woman out the door by sheer force of personality.
Only then did Enrie feel as if she could breathe. She took in a quiet, measured breath and turned to look at her team and at her friends. “Well,” she murmured quietly. “That…”
“What was she talking about?” Kekdela demanded. “What treaty? What?” she added, as her teammates stared at her. She dropped her voice down to a quiet murmur. “En… Enerenarie has a tell, a show when she’d lying. Her back gets straighter. That… that honored idiot might not be able to see it, but I’m not that stupid. Enrie was lying through her teeth.”
It started with a little snort, Enrie both amused that Kekdela had seen through her and mortified. The snort seemed to lead to a giggle and soon Enrie had to sit down as she tried and failed to keep in the laughter.
For a moment, they all stared at her as if she was insane. Then Riensin started chuckling, and then Kekdela , and then everyone was laughing.
When the laughter settled, Enrie found herself smiling cautiously at Riensin & his team.
“So.” He cleared his throat and looked uncomfortably away from her. “What are you going to do now?”
“Now?” Enrie gave it a moment of thought. “Well, I’ve given Ulunumani a day and then some to talk to the House Monitor. I’m going to go see if she has.”
Kekdela blinked owlishly at her. “But… the treaty?”
“There isn’t a treaty, not really.” Enrie chewed on her lip. “Urm.” She peeked at Taikie. “Taikie?”
Her friend shook her head. “This is your project, Enrie. I’m not going to… it’s your decision.”
Enrie swallowed. “Well… if you meet us in the library in an hour, in the Fashion History section, we’ll explain.” They were going to tell everyone, after all. They might as well start with their friends.