Sorry this section is only for establishing characters so not much happens 🙂
For the next hour there was no sound other than the sighs and moans as the king and his sons ate their breakfast. The new chef had unwittingly cooked enough for four people. After breakfast, the king rolled a candy around his mouth before biting into its sweet, bitter flavor.
“Father I’d like to petition for your chef,” Lainth proclaimed in his adult fashion.
“Petition soundly denied,” Zerrin said without looking up. “I’m keeping this one.”
“That was good,” Chall said, throwing his napkin on the table.
Zerrin was amazed that there was not one bite left anywhere. Not a berry, not an egg, not any of those round disks that were crispy, and buttery and delicious. He turned to his guard. “Frenn, I want you to take this back to the chef and when you return it tell her that we want those round things every morning and find out what they are called.”
“Tell her it was delicious.”
The king laughed. “Yes, tell her my sons approve also. I know it wasn’t in our initial agreement but if she wouldn’t mind cooking breakfast for my sons also I’ll add more money to her contract.”
The guard looked wistfully at the empty tray before collecting all the dishes and putting the lid back on. It made a soft chime sealing the contents inside.
* * * *
Bella was cleaning up when the guard returned with her tray.
“Was everything all right?”
“They loved it.”
“The king bartered for some candy with your food. He said if you always prepare breakfast for all four of them he would add more money to your contract.” The guard paused. “They also want those round things every day.”
Bella smiled. “I’m not going to make the same thing every morning, but I think they’ll like the variety.”
The guard shrugged. “It’s up to you I was just the messenger.”
“Would the messenger like some candy?”
The guard smiled. “Yes I would.”
She placed a few chocolates in the guard’s hands. “Eat them soon they melt quickly.”
Bella started planning the lunch and dinner meals. She put the lunch in a package that could travel after learning the king had a meeting outside the castle. After putting his food in his platter, Bella went back to her room with a plate of her own. She needed to catch up on sleep.
* * * *
Zerrin was glaring at the Duke of Greel when a familiar silver tray arrived. Negotiations weren’t going well. The Duke watched with amusement in his silvery eyes. “Bringing your own food now. Afraid I’ll poison you?”
He wouldn’t be embarrassed, he wouldn’t.
“It’s my new chef. She must have seen my calendar and sent food along.”
“She was most concerned that you would find her negligent,” Frenn offered. Zerrin would take him more seriously if the man didn’t have chocolate on his lips.
“How many did she give you?”
“Two and they were divine.”
Zerrin glared at the soldier.
“You have a female chef?” The Duke sneered. “How very progressive of you.”
He would’ve taken more offense but he knew the duke was just trying to poke him. They’d grown up together and he knew all of the other man’s tricks.
Ignoring the duke, Zerrin lifted the lid amused when it revealed another package inside.
“She didn’t know if you’d be on the go,” Frenn offered in the chef’s defense.
Zerrin smiled as he lifted the stacked yellow box that looked like a grouping of little boxes one on top of another with a band holding them together.
Untying the band he separated the boxes. Opening each was like a little gift. There was grain, wrapped seafood, odd green olives stuffed with something he couldn’t recognize, cold meats and cheeses and fruit cut into the shapes of animals. He lifted a dragon made out of green fruit.
“It’s too pretty to eat,” the duke said looking at the assortment with amazement. “Your new chef has some major skill with knives.”
Zerrin popped one of the olives into his mouth and moaned at the explosion of flavor. If this kept up everyone was going to think he had an orgasm with every meal.
“You’re just toying with me now.”
The king opened his eyes to see his old friend glaring at him.
“What are you talking about?”
“You think I’m going to give up mineral rights because you are moaning over some food.” Zerrin scanned the boxes and saw that one of them hadn’t been opened. He lifted the lid. Turning the box he tilted it until the duke saw the little silver balls.
“What are those?”
“Little round drops of bliss.”