Christina smiled at him. "Sorry, I was just teasing." She giggled quietly, trying to mask how nervous she felt. "I rather wish my brothers were here. We almost always go places together. It feels weird, not being with them..."
"Maxwell Sereas, you get right back here!"
Maxwell, or Max to his family and friends, stopped, sighing, and turned to face Stephen, who was marching toward him with one of those looks, arms akimbo. "What is it brother?" he asked. "You look like I stole one of cook's pies again."
"I know that face, Max," Stephen said, shaking his head. "Where are you going?"
"To my room. Why?"
Stephen shook his head, sighing. "Your room, I believe, is in the opposite direction." He dropped his arms, putting a hand on Max's shoulder. "Look, I'm worried about Christina, but Father wants us here with him. Christina..." he grimaced. "These are father's words, mind, so don't snap at me. He believes doing this will help her become a little more self-confident, instead of relying on us all the time."
Max snorted. "Stuff and nonsense. He means well, I'm sure, but that's just stupid!"
"Maxwell, curb your tongue! He is our father, and you will respect him."
Max heaved his shoulders in a deep sigh. Stephen stared at him a long moment, then smiled sadly and hugged him. "I'm worried too," he said. "But I think Father's right. Besides, she's in the king's own castle. She'll be just fine."
"With a kitchen knife? Not likely."
"Its a stiletto, brother."
Max shook his head again. Stephen grabbed him by the shoulders now and made him meet his eyes. "Maxwell, I want you to promise me that you will not leave this place without prior permission first."
"Stephen!" Max protested. His older brother gave him a long look. Max sighed and bowed his head. "Fine, I promise, on my name," he said. Stephen nodded and walked back into the main room.
Max raised his head, slowly smiling. He turned and ran to one of the rooms, deep in the servants' quarters. "Robinson?" he said, opening a door. "My good man Robinson?"
The aging man looked up from his desk. His wrinkled hands hovered over a small book holding a quill pen. "Master Maxwell?" he said. "Do you need something?"
"Permission to leave the place. I need to go after Christina."
The old one shook his head slowly. "Getting into trouble again, Maxwell?"
"Robinson, you know me. You know I am not given to flights of fantasy. but somehow, I feel a chill in the air, like something's going to happen." He shook his head. "I want to make sure that, whatever comes, Christina is safe. I don't care what trouble I get into, so long as I ensure she's safe."
Robinson nodded slowly. "Very well then, young rapscallion. Go protect your sister. You have my blessings, and I'll do my best to stand by you, same as ever."
"Oh thank you!" Maxwell rushed back down the hall, towards the stables. Robinson, the head of the servants, had been with the family for years, and had remained a staunch friend to Maxwell, who he said had a good heart, he just needed some smoothing on the edges. Max personally thought that was nonsense, but he did feel quite close to the man.
Minutes later, mounted on his spirited stallion, he burst from the castle gates, riding at a good canter toward the castle. He needed to cover some distance now, he'd slow and resort to stealth once he neared.
OOC- that work alright, Silvanis?