Another Puzzle Piece

Prompt: Wild heart, child heart

Ezra frowned as he returned the telephone to its cradle. His first reaction when the reporter had asked him why everyone on the High Court “looked Shynian” was to laugh. He wasn’t laughing anymore. He promised to look into it more as a way to stall for time than because he was actually worried. Now, he was worried.

He looked at the documents he had gathered. The People’s Council started the process of selecting a new member of the High Court just as they were meant to: by presenting Keenan with a list of candidates. Each list had people of both typically Shynian appearance and people who were clearly of mixed heritage.

The problem lay with those of mixed heritage. Ezra looked at the candidates again. Four lists, each with a dozen people. Statistically, the lists were just as they should be. However, most of the people of mixed heritage, while qualified for the job, would never have been acceptable to Keenan. The few times he actually did something unexpected and selected one of those people, he sent his nomination on to the Royal Council, only to have it kicked back to him.

It could mean two things. The first was that it was entirely coincidental. A coincidence of this magnitude, coupled with a murder that removed a Shynian with Loyalian heritage, was just not conceivable to Ezra. That left the second: it was by design – from both Councils.

He reached for the telephone, planning to call Aidan Brennan – Morgan’s older brother. Before he could lift the handset, it rang. His brows furrowed. He lifted the handset and held it to his ear. “Pemberton,” he said.

“Stay out of matters that are none of your concern,” a low, unrecognizable voice said. Then, the line went dead.

Ezra glared. He depressed the button on the telephone and dialed Aidan’s extension. “I’ve got something you need to see,” he said, his tone brisk. Feeling just a bit angry, he added, “And someone just threatened to kill me.”

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