Interlude by Krista D. Ball by Krista D. Ball - Read Online

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Summary

INTERLUDE is a collection of short stories from the TRANQUILITY series. These stories are intended for those who have read the previous books and contains huge spoilers for both Blaze and Grief.

Love Notes is about Bethany and Arrago's first month working together.

Knight's Day Off is about poor Bethany taking a day off work. Things don't go according to plan. At all.

First Day on the Job is set after the events of GRIEF and is set about a week before the events of FURY. Myra, a Knight apprentice, is assigned a simple task: get Arrago, Edmund, Bethany, and the rest of the senior staff to attend a party hosted by Queen Celeste. However, it's soon obvious that there's more than just a party in the works and none of the main players are following the rules. 

INTERLUDE is 20,000 words (about 75 pages).

Published: Krista D. Ball on
ISBN: 9781502277640
List price: $2.99
Availability for Interlude: Tranquility, #3
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Interlude - Krista D. Ball

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Ball

Tranquility Reading Order

Tales of Tranquility Story Arc

Blaze

Grief

Interlude (short stories)

Fury

Schemes

Gods of Tranquility Story Arc

Liberate

Ambush (forthcoming)

Love Notes

(Takes place during Blaze)

I’ve often regretted the several–month jump in Blaze . If I had my time back, I would split Blaze into two shorter books, and spend more time developing the relationship between Arrago and Bethany. I’ve always felt a little bad that their early days were never shown on page.

I wanted to write a short story about their budding friendship in a way that shows how well they work together. Both of them have strengths and weaknesses, and both of them are funny in their own way. This was a chance for Arrago to tease Bethany far more than he got to in the book, and for Bethany to practice her flirting skills, which were admittedly very poor.

Week 1

Tuesday, 8pm.

Arrago let out a pleased grunt. It had taken him two days, but he’d successfully organized all of the letters, papers, and ledgers in Lady Bethany’s storage room. Some of the letters were dated six months before. Had her previous aides even tried to help her, or had her abrupt manners left them cowering under the desk?

Well, he was determined to be the best aide she’d ever known. Not only had she given him a position at the Temple—a dream come true!—but she’d also agreed to sponsor him to be an apprentice for the next training class. She’d teach him everything he needed. In exchange, he’d help organize her life.

He’d thought he’d gotten the better part of the deal, though the looks of pity all day did quell some of his enthusiasm. But he wasn’t afraid of her. He’d lived in a monastery with dozens of celibate men. He could handle one high–strung half–elf.

He’d not seen her since the morning when she came to warn him she’d rarely be in her study. No doubt she would be busy. He could only imagine how much work the Lady Champion would have to do. As he glanced at the mountain of paperwork on her desk, he guessed: a lot.

He pulled out a sheet of paper from Bethany’s desk drawer and wrote:

Lady Bethany,

I’ve organized all of the papers in your office. This is how I’ll lay out everything from now on. The basket tied with blue ribbon contains all outstanding correspondence. Some of these letters are months old and require your response. I have organized them by importance to maximize your time. I can write the replies on your behalf if you include notes for each. We can go over them tomorrow at our meeting, if you wish.

The three stacks tied with red ribbon all require your signature. Some of those are for pay increases for regulars and servants, so I’ve placed those on the tops of the piles. The fastest way to deal with those is to skim them and sign.

The pile in the middle of your desk that’s taking up the bulk of your workspace is what I need signed and/or responded to by the end of the week. They need to be done as quickly as you can.

When you’re done, simply move the items to my desk and I’ll deal with sending them to messengers. If it’s confidential, please put it in the basket with the green ribbon.

I trust this new system works for you.

Arrago

TUESDAY, 11PM

Bethany stumbled into her office to grab the bottle of wine she’d left on her desk. She yawned into the back of her hand. She’d been running training drills with some of the apprentice knights and was sore all over. All she wanted to do was have a couple of glasses of wine, read a book, and pass out for several hours.

The candlelight reflected off several neat stacks of paper. She did a double take, thinking she’d walked into the wrong office. No, it was hers. The opened bottle of wine was still in its same spot, though it was besieged by the paper enemy.

Arrago had dealt with some of the paperwork while they were in the office together, but this...She thought he was just going to dump the baskets somewhere out of sight. Instead, he’d labeled everything. There were neat piles and boxes and baskets in every corner. Arrago had taken every single bundle and parcel in her study and had organized it. Like some kind of organizing machine. Rebecca, her last aide, hadn’t even managed to get through the new stuff, let alone pull out all of the outstanding letters.

She read his note, which was written in a neat hand. It was obvious he’d been educated by elven monks; she’d been, too. At least she’d hired someone who could keep up with the snobbery of the other aides.

She snorted at the idea of getting most of this done by the end of the week. This was her busiest time of the year. She knew she wouldn’t be free until the afternoon, so she decided to leave Arrago his own message. She flipped the sheet of paper over and wrote:

Arrago – end of the week? You do realize the week is half over, right? How in Apexia’s name did you even manage to sort all of this mess?

And ribbons? Seriously? We’re using ribbons?

Bethany

WEDNESDAY, 5AM

Three letters. The woman had signed three letters for him. At this rate, it would take her the next decade to catch up on this work. At least she’d signed three of the documents approving a pay increase for the personal servants of three senior knights.

Arrago snorted when he read Bethany’s chicken scratches. For a woman supposedly raised by the clergy, she had atrocious penmanship. He was from the backwaters of Taftlin and even he could manage proper cursive writing. No wonder it took her so long to finish her paperwork, if that was how she wrote.

He sat in her chair for a moment, pondering how best to reply. From what Lord Kiner had told him, Lady Bethany’s previous aides were genuinely scared of her. Perhaps she was the type who didn’t like people cowering around her. She’d want someone with a little backbone who, while not disrespecting her, could stand up to her.

Lady Bethany,

Yes, we’re using ribbons. I had to devise a system that would help us get past this initial mountain of work. If you can suggest a better system, I’ll happily implement it.

Also, where did you put the work you did yesterday? I only found three letters on my desk when I arrived this morning. I’d ask when you get in, but I have a meeting with the other senior staff’s aides to discuss how best to organize the workload we are sharing. Would you like to meet for dinner to discuss this? If so, I’ll be in the initiate’s dining hall at three this afternoon.

Arrago

WEDNESDAY, 4PM

Bethany poked her head into the office. Arrago wasn’t there. Crap. She’d been rushing around the temple for almost two hours trying to make his dinner meeting and yet she’d missed him.

That’s what she got for not