The Comte may not have been blessed with thick hair, chiselled physique or a handsome face, but he had excellent hearing. Marc often wondered if that served the man well in life, as a way of weeding out the disloyal staff.
“Who goes there?” the Comte said.
Marc closed his eyes and held his breath, worsening the beating drums in his ears. With a little of luck the man would dismiss what—
“If you think you can fool me, Marc, you are sorely mistaken,” his father added.
For a moment Marc experienced what could only be described as a falling sensation. To keep himself from falling apart, he closed his eyes, took a deep breath and bowed his head. Once the drums subsided, alone with the tension that had built up along his forehead, did he open his eyes and pivoted into the doorway.
“An assassin you are not,” the Comte said. “A cavalry charge would have been more discrete.”
Disclaimer: This excerpt from Man of War is currently in development. There may be typos, errors, omissions, inconsistencies and so forth.