“Get up,” Hecura said, kicking Lord Uldrige with her foot and sending him across the courtier’s debating floor.
Uldrige coughed blood onto the arm of his white jacket as he staggered to his feet.
“I have told you before,” Uldrige growled, “you do not own those lands. They were my family’s heritage, they were stolen from us!”
“Nice try,” Hecura said, stepping forward and putting the hand on the hilt of her gun at her him. There was a murmured whisper throughout the room, there hadn’t been a killing in the Courtier’s Floor for at least 3 years.
It wasn’t something that Hecura was wanting to break.
Yet, she thought. She might make an exception for Uldrige, a vile slip of a man whose youth gave him enough arrogance to challenge the Speaker of the Floor herself to give up lands that her family had owned for generations.
She bit back the retort about Uldrige’s parentage – it was obvious to anyone with a pair of eyes that his mother was not, in fact, his mother. The family trait of red hair was rumoured to have missed his particular gene structure, instead he inherited the sharp cheekbones and lime green eyes of Lady Caatrina. Why Caatrina hadn’t tried to claim Uldrige as her own child, heavens knew. Linage might be matrilineal but having another child in your court for the political games always helped.
“You know those lands are off limits,” Hecura said, taking a step closer to Uldrige as he squared up to her, eyes flicking down nervously at her hand on her gun.
“Yes,” he said, licking his bloodied lips. There was an advantage to being the best shooter in the Floor, Hecura always enjoyed the fear that her opponents hand when she put her hand near her gun.
“And you know they are my family’s,” Hecura repeated, “not yours. Not Lady Ulara’s. Mine.”
She spat the words at him, hoping that it would be enough to make Uldrige back down.
Uldrige looked at Hecura in the eyes. She could see the rage inside him, she could feel it positively emanating from his every pore.
Good, she thought, let him know what it feels like to be powerless.
“Fine,” Uldrige said, turning on his heel and sulking back to his seat.
Hecura fought to keep the grin off her face.
“Motion, closed,” she announced to the Floor, turning away. The loud roar of her supporters filled her with joy, she had succeeded, –
She felt the bullet enter her side before she saw the blood.
What, she thought, looking down as her golden cloak began to darken with blood. She looked behind her, to where Uldrige stood. His face was sheet white in terror.
Someone had set him up. Someone had set them both up.
Damn, Hecura thought.
She collapsed to the floor.