King Philip: "Lovely, indeed!" *kissy face*
Sarnai couldn't quite stop the stiffening of her shoulders as Philip's arm wrapped around her and there was no doubt that a perceptive guest would pick up on her discomfort as she leaned in to reluctantly accept the kiss. This wasn't the sort of reaction she'd been hoping for when she'd sought to get his attention. She should have just continued to ignore him . . .
That regret was felt keenly, coupled with her thudding heart and queasy stomach, and as he released her Sarnai lowered her eyes. It took a staggering amount of effort to bring that pleasant smile back to her face and, of course, it ended up not mattering much anyway because Philip was still talking . . .
King Philip: "Do you know, my queen-to-be is a talented rider. I hope our child will be, as well!" … "You are a commoner?" And then shook his head. "This man has pleased my Consort. Give him a manor!"
Francesca: "I have a manor in need of a lord." … "If this man has pleased… the Consort, I would be honored to have him."
Sarnai turned surprised eyes to the King, unsure of what to make of his sudden generosity. If she had known that he would bestow gifts on those who'd pleased her, perhaps Sarnai's reactions would have been far more enthusiastic!
Her eyes narrowed slightly though, when the Duchess of the Plains spoke up. Altansarnai didn't care that Francesca was Philip's lover - it kept his hands off of her, after all - but there was something about the way the Duchess spoke that left the Consort feeling just a bit uncomfortable. As if she were the butt of some joke or there was an ulterior motive that she wasn't privy to.
"That is kind of you, m'lady," Sarnai spoke up, her gaze steady. It was easy enough to channel her discomfort into an icy sort of anger and maybe a tinge of spitefulness. "This man has an impressive talent, though. I'm sure any of the duchies would be pleased to have him." She turned to Philip, fixing him with a hopeful look as she continued, "My King, I would prefer he stay nearby, so I could easily commission him again . . ."