Quinn was a safe distance from the party. The rambling estate had a patio currently being misted with a chill rain. He sniffed his mug of cider, again reassuring himself that it wasn’t spiked, and returned to his vigil. If his lord needed him, he would be there.
“Quinn?” He turned his head and there she was. “Only a couple more hours.”
“Understood, my lord.”
“I’m sorry. It’s the holidays, I can’t get out of all of these.” Ruth Niral smiled at him, a little ruefully. “I told the guests that I insisted you patrol out here. The Kaas ladies’ auxiliary was crushed.”
He had seen them when he had trailed her into the Life Day gathering: an array of elaborately coiffed, provocatively dressed women with eyes like talons. “Thank you.”
“And some more cider,” she said, firmly exchanging his cooling mug for a hot one. “Anything else I can do?”
“Impress them. Outmaneuver them. Carry the day.” He smiled. “The usual things.”