INTERSEPTION- Savona is visiting Danric during Court Duel and a letter comes in. Danric's enthusiasm raises his suspicion.

Disclaimer: I don't own CCD. I'm not Sherwood Smith. I like her books, though, and I'm quoting in this fic, so don't sue. Or however you spell that.

&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#

I sat with Vidanric in his front room in the Residence, helping him to answer his mountains of civic mail and inquiries. A more tedious task was never invented, but he insisted on doing the majority of it himself instead of getting a scribe to do it.

We were about half way through the first "urgent" stack of letters that needed to be answered when a servant brought in a crisp white envelope, no seal, just folded together in such a way that it would remain shut. Danric's eyes flashed wide with pleasure and I knew something was up.

"You can go if you'd like," he told me, reaching for the new letter. He seemed very interested in this one, more than he had been in any of the others.

"I'll stay since you just got yet another letter asking you to do this, or solve that," I said.

"No, this is... You don't need to help with this one," he assured me. He unfolded it and started reading, completely ignoring me. I got suspicious, especially when his eyebrows shot up and he started to chuckle. He's been too tense to chuckle, or even mildly grin, all afternoon. This could only mean one thing.

I stood up as unobtrusively as possible and made it seem like I was walking to the tapestry. I passed close to him... and snatched the letter out of his hands before he could do a thing about it!

"Hey! Give-!" he tried to grab for it, but I held it out of reach.

"Not a chance!" I teased. "Who's it from, Danric? If it's Tamara, I'll have to hurt you, you know that."

"It isn't Tamara," he insisted, starting to turn red. "Now hand it over!"

"But it is a lady at Court!"

"If I admit it, will you give the letter back?"

"It's much easier to just read it myself instead of guessing," I pointed out. I looked at the hand writing and it was familiar, though not Tamara's, thankfully. I think it was...

"Life! It's Meliara's handwriting! I knew you were up to something trying to win her. Wait, it's not addressed, and it doesn't have your name in here anywhere. Danric! Does she even know who she's writing to?"

Danric charged and nearly tackled me in his desire to get the letter back. I laughed and kept it away from him and started to read the letter out loud. This was more teasing of my cousin than I'd done since we were sixteen.

"'Truth to say, I hold no grudge against Tamara.' Well that's awfully big of her," I said, rolling to get out of Vidanric's attempted headlock. " 'I'd have to be a mighty hypocrite to fault-' Ow! That one hurt!" I hit him back. "'-to fault her for wishing to become a queen, when I tried to do the same a year back-' She did, at that," I acknowledged, sitting on Danric's back and smothering my cousin's face into a pillow. "Somehow, I think that she would make a better queen than Tamara would, though. But you knew that already, didn't you, Cousin?"

"So help me, Russav, I'll-" he tried again to snatch the letter out of my hand, but I turned my back and elbowed him, skipping down to the next paragraph.

"'Which brings me to my next insight: that Savona's flirtation with me is just that, not a courtship.' Well that hurts. I meant every word I said to her, and she doesn't think I'm serious. I blame you, Vidanric."

He tried to force feed me a cushion when his father walked in. He took one look at the state we were both in and I suddenly felt like a little boy again, caught getting my good clothes dirty.

"Boys. You're supposed to be adults now. I don't suppose you could start acting like it?"

Danric got off of me and picked up the cushion, only to throw it down at my face again. I threw it back at him. He took my moment of distraction and grabbed the letter from Meliara back from me.

"If you'll excuse me, Father," he addressed my uncle, "mongrel," he addressed me, "I have a letter to answer."

"Yes you do," I grinned at his back. "Give Mel my love! Tell her I'll see her at the concert tonight!"

He turned back to glare. I love baiting my cousin. He's so easy to tease. &#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#&#

POST-A/N: Just a little one shot. Hope you got as many giggles reading it as I did writing it.