“That was your backup plan?!” exploded Gwain the moment they were out of sight among the hedges.

Silveo didn’t answer for a moment. Gwain looked at him and realized that he was laughing too hard to speak.

“You might have said!”

Silveo responded with a strangled sob of mirth.

“You have ripped the buttons off my best shirt!” Gwain stopped walking, satisfied that they were far enough from the stable, and tried to make some sense of his clothing.

Silveo gulped in air. “Oh gods, I can’t breathe. The look on your face…”

“Why didn’t you tell me?!”

“Because it wouldn’t have been as convincing. Trust me, you were perfect.”

“Thanks,” snapped Gwain. He had finally located his neckcloth. It had fallen down the back of his shirt, into his pants, and halfway down one leg.

“You’ve got straw in your hair,” said Silveo.

Gwain pawed at his hair.

Silveo fished in his pocket and produced a clean handkerchief. “And my kohl all over your nose.”

Gwain groaned and took the handkerchief.

--Jager Thunder, coming in two days!