The Day Job is having a slow week, and my vacation balance is fairly comfortable, so I took some extra days off. I spent about half of yesterday at Panera writing and shipping the hot guys sitting next to me. (The one guy was wearing a rainbow bracelet and a pink ear stud; I don't think it was an entirely outrageous notion on my part.)
Which means that you get a snippet today!
Tae Chen was not present in the dining hall for the mid-day meal, Zhan noted with something like relief. He spent the meal chatting with several others, but lost the thread of conversation several times, victim to the distraction of his own thoughts and his hyperawareness of Wen Fai hovering nearby ostensibly awaiting his command, but also listening to every word and absorbing impressions of Zhan and the other heirs. What would be in that report? That Ma Jin was likable and easygoing, but not overburdened with intelligence? That Deng Sen's grasp of military tactics was formidable but that even the simplest political maneuverings escaped him?
That Li Zhan had pretensions of nobility, but was too easily distracted?
He stood abruptly, interrupting the conversation. "Excuse me," he said. "I am fatigued; I believe I will retire." He left the hall, aware of more than one set of eyes following him. He wondered how many of the others had heard about the incident with Tae Chen, and how they had interpreted it.
"Master?" Zhan looked up, startled to note he was already back in his apartments. Wen Fai knelt before him, his hands wringing together in distress. "Are you unwell, master? Shall this one fetch the physician?"
It's moving slowly -- I know where I want it to go, but I'm having trouble with focus. Alas, experience tells me that the best way to help my focus is to write more often. The more I do it, the tighter my focus gets -- and it fades away far too quickly when I let that discipline slack. It hardly seems fair.