The Tea Room (FRP part nineteen)

A knock was heard upon the door to the Advisor’s Office.

“Come in!” Andrew Fordham called.

Kirill Voislav, stepped inside. “You wanted to see me sir.”

“Yes, sergeant, I’m moving the boys camp up to Kitteridge, you’re their commander so obviously you will be going with them.”

Kirll remained silent.

“You have your orders, if there is nothing more you are dismisseded”

Kirili managed to speak. “Your pardon sir, my other duties?”

“I have already taken care of that Sergeant Menchovick will be guarding the princesses, you are free to concentrate on your new orders.”

Outside the office Kirill was met by Uri who had several boys with him needing assistance to get ready for the move North. He looked to the direction he had been contemplating but was forced by duty to turn and head in the opposite direction.

With the unit dispatched Kirill used the final moments to run to Irina’s chamber to at least say goodbye. Menchovick was there outside her chamber door.

“Menchovick, I need to talk to the princess Irina.”

Menchovick knocked on the door and Elizabeth answered.

“Why no sir, she is not here, she is … ”

A nervous Kirill interrupted her. “Please Elizabeth, I need the truth, I am leaving and I must see her.”

Heidi felt the wet cloth hit her back, Irina was doubled over in laughter. They both saw the red uniform jackets lined outside the Inn, her father engaged amongst them.

Irina turned to run but Vasilly made haste to step inside.

“Ahhh, Irina, I finally find you where I want you.”

“Vasilly, Captain Starostenko,” she changed to a more formal address.

“No, its still Vasilly to you my dear princess.”

He grabbed her arm to keep her from slipping away as she has been known to do.

“No, guard today?” he requested.

He gestured to the guards to bring Gordon inside and sit with his daughter, he then dragged Irina into the back room.

“No, Vasilly please, she then uttered the name Dobrynya Nikitich.

Vasilly laughed, “You hopeless child, Katrina and her ilk did a number on you!”

He grabbed her face and proceed to squeeze her cheeks till they hurt. He then tore at the apron and ripped it off but before he could react he was hit in the back of his head with a thick iron skillet.

Irina saw the face of her champion as Vasilly crashed to the floor. Sergeant Menchovick and the Royal Guard had surrounded the Inn and took the wayward Streltsy into custody.

Heidi ran to Irina’s side and saw the concern on Kirill’s face. She knew Irina was in capable hands and hugged her and left. Menchovick poked his head in.

“Sergeant we’re heading back to the palace. Are you staying?”

“No, he replied but leave my horse. I will be riding back with Princess Irina.”

Up on the charger, in the arms of her knight Irina finally felt safe. “I am sorry Kirill, I defied you.”

“Not really Irina, you defied Sergeant Menchovick, he is your new guard.”

“You have removed yourself from the duty of our protection because of me”

“No Irina, I could never do that. I have been ordered to take the boys up to Kitteridge, I am not sure for how long.”

Irina’s tears began to flow, not only for her but for Elizabeth who had another attachment that was about to be ripped away, — Pietro.

Kirill’s embrace became a little tighter and Irina turned her face into his arm, closed her eyes and tried to imagine this feeling, it would have to last a long time.

Katrina paced the war room after the announcement that Vasilly and his entire guard were now being held captive in the cells of the Wooden Palace.

“I should leave them to hang!”

Fedor Rankowsky was a little more reasonable. “You will have to meet with Uri Piolotsky and arrange some kind of exchange. I will neither subject my men to your impetuous plans, nor sacrifice them to your disregard for your former lover.”

Katrina was on shaky ground she knew some compromises will have to be made.

Kirill pulled Irina into the alcove outside the passageway leading to the bailey where the unit waited for him patiently. Fordham pacing back and forth in anticipation.

He bent to kiss her and she had no problems this time. He handed her a button he held in his pocket that reminded him of an incident in which his uniform was shredded and he retained the button for some unknown reason, this must be it.

She held the gold button in her hand as she listened to the last of the unit leave the bailey and the massive gates closing after them.

The Tea Room (FRP part sixteen)

Kirill Voislav watched as the lone figure left through an obscure section of the grandiose Wooden Palace. The diminutive figure quickly moved along so as not to be seen. He saw her however. Once deep within the foreigner’s village the errant figure stopped and removed a letter from the pocket of the over-sized cloak, double-checked the address of the storefront to that on the missive.

Once inside Braeden’s Bookstore, Irina found the book she desperately sought. Beautifully bound, masterfully colored, but most importantly — blank. She fingered the binding and pressed it to her breast while taking a deep breath and hoping her contrived plan worked. She had no money and was completely dependent on the Royal Financier to get the items she needed. A diary is not something she could acquire through those channels.

At the top of one of the papers she had removed from the Accountant’s Office at the Royal Residence, was the balance due sheet for Braeden’s Bookseller’s who never credited the accountant with some books and supplies that were returned. Her plan was to forgive the debt in exchange for the diary.

“Well Miss, where did you get this?” Braeden asked the nervous but determined patron.

“Please sir, if this is agreeable to you I will just give you this in exchange for this book I desire.” Irina explained.

The debt that was owed was substantially more than the worth of one small diary. He liked the girl whom he had a good idea was the feisty young princess who would no longer remain in her ivory tower. He agreed to the exchange and threw in some paper, a quill pen and ink.

The bell on the bookstore door rang and broke the quiet agreement of the irregular transaction.

“Dobrynya Nikitich,” Irina called out without thinking. “What are you doing here?”

Kirill Voislav smiled being very familiar with the folk hero Irina had just associated him with.

“I am following you, of course.” Kirill explained as he nodded acknowledgement to Master Braeden.

Irina’s gaze upon Braeden let him know to keep their exchange quiet. Kirill stepped toward Irina as if she would slip away from him again. Having the main objective of her excursion completed she acquiesced to the demands of her “dragon-slayer” guardsman.

As they stepped outside the bookstore and Kirill was satisfied they were not being watched, he looked to her for direction.

“I would like to go to see Heidi at the Inn if you would escort me there, it’s on the way, I promise I won’t be long.”

“Princess Irina, for the record my name in Kirill …”

So embarrassed by her slip-up she interrupted him and repeated his name, as if it were butter melting off a hot roll.

“Although I am quite flattered by being referred to as the great hero of all time.” he piled it on just to watch Irina squirm. “I will take you to the Inn and feed you there as well, I am partial to their pea soup, it is a luxury I don’t find anywhere else.”

Irina smiled, he was kind of sweet. They entered the Inn and sat at a corner table. Heidi came hurriedly around the counter and stopped in her tracks to embrace her friend, she hadn’t seen for awhile, and give a look of appreciation to her escort.

Almost immediately a group of Streltsy guards entered theĀ  establishment that was-known for it’s loyalties to the young Tsar. The obvious leader of the gang who’s sole purpose was to cause trouble, Vasilly Starostenko, who had hesitated outside to heckle a passerby, delayed long enough for Heidi to move Irina and her escort into the back room and out the alley door — unseen.

“Irina I am afraid your clandestine activities are no longer a secret. I would have picked up that book for you. What are you reading that you had to risk so much to get it?”

Irina looked at him and didn’t quite know how to explain.

“You wouldn’t understand.” was her response.

Kirlli had several sisters himself and knew not to touch that with a spike man’s spear.

Her afternoon adventure had left quite a story to tell in the first entry of her new diary, but she hated to part company with the real-life, quite capable and handsome warrior dragon-slayer.

“I will be out by the lake tomorrow with the Tsar, perhaps you and Elizabeth could come by and watch the boys launch their sailboats.”

Knowing that any more time spent together within the walls of the palace could damage any future meetings she gleefully accepted his invitation and ran to tell Elizabeth the good news.

Dear Dobrynya,

Today was wonderful, I look forward to talking with you again. I am so torn by what has been my past existence and the thrill of this new one. To look someone else in the eye and be on equal footing is glorious to me. I am no better than anyone else, I am just as important as everyone else. And you my dear knight, I will not put you on a pedestal, but you have come along at a time when I needed you most. You have restored my faith in life you have inspired me to write again. Today we went to the word store and climbed the stacks of books to the top and looked out over the world. We flew on the eagle’s wings to the cave of dragons and were cloaked in magic so we could escape. Then you gave me hope for another fine adventure.

Till I see you again,

Always, Irina

Pause for Thought

I have come to a part in my Tea forthRoom story that I need to pause for a moment. I am researching some ideas that I feel need to be implemented correctly. I have become bored (for lack of a better term) with the story I had imagined from this point on. I want to make it dynamic and I must put forth some new ideas that are not readily available in my brain.

I have been torn between what is true blogging and what is not. Putting down raw ideas that may be incorrect or lacking or only blogging about things that you have all the facts at hand? When I read through everything I blog, I find mistakes that I am able to go in and correct. At what point will there be “perfection”?

I don’t really believe that is possible. The way my brain works my stories come out in one long sentence or incomplete sentences, it’s funny for me to see them, as long as no one else does. I had the experience of letting a first rough draft out, the story was marred by choppy sentences that interrupt the reader’s ease. I won’t do that again. I was so anxious to have my story critiqued that I failed to realize that the syntax was just as important as the story.

I am also going through something with my query letters. I finally stumbled upon some actual query’s that had success in securing an agent. They are amazing but really don’t follow any of the templates I had seen to date. They are almost like a synopsis rather than a typical query letter (to my mind at least). I have made three submissions and I am now assuming my work has been filed in the circular (cyber) file next to the desk-top of each agent I have submitted to. But, I am not daunted I will submit a few more letters before the end of July when I go to the WDC 2015 in NYC to pitch my book.

Okay princesses, I will be back with some more vibrant tales for Ludmilla and a romance for Irina; while they take their younger siblings under their wings in their respective palaces across the city.