Following on from last week's Sweet Saturady Sample, I'm sharing another from my 2nd book in the Gasquet Princes series, and a Valentine novella, His Chosen Bride. Last week you met my heroine, Monica. This week, Henri, my hero receives some shocking news.
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Henri Pierre Gasquet hesitated before knocking on his father’s office door. They’d shared breakfast together less than an hour ago and talked over many things, including Henri’s killer schedule for the next several months. The king had given no indication of the need for a formal meeting this morning. With a fatalistic shrug, Henri knocked, hesitated a second, then turned the handle and entered the room.
“You wanted to see me?” he waited for his father to indicate he should sit before dropping into the chair in front of the king’s desk.
“I have not been unaware of the burden you have carried since my heart attack a year ago.” Shocked, Henri watched as the king flipped through the pages of his diary and sighed before stopping at today’s entries. He pointed to the itemised list, cast Henri what looked like a disappointed stare and turned it round for Henri to read the list of his appointments on the page displayed. Who’d passed his diary to his father?
“Combining your own commitments with those you took over while I recuperated would have felled a lesser man.” The king’s voice hardened.
Feeling the heat burn his cheeks, Henri shifted in his chair. The past twelve months had been tough, and for the last six, his advisors almost competed with each other in counselling him to slow down unless he wanted to occupy his father’s hospital bed.
“I am also aware you have ignored all advice to cut back. So I am decreeing that as of this moment you are on indeterminate leave of absence.”
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