Chapter 27: The Lone Eavesdropper
I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; For
You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
PSALM 4:8 NKJV
Kester decided that Lemuel’s presence could be instructive. By watching a real human boy, he could better approximate the elusive “ordinary.” But within an hour of sharing their quarters with Solomon’s son, Kester gave up on his role model. A servant cannot be a prince.
But one idea kept nagging at him. Hadn’t Solomon said that to be Israel’s king was to serve God’s children? If so, wasn’t it a prince’s duty to learn a servant’s role?
“I want a drink! Bring water!”
The captain said, “Take a walk, brat. The cistern is in the courtyard.”
Lemuel wrinkled his nose. “The water from the spring is better. It’s cold.”
“Then take a longer walk.”
“Food then! Bring me a snack.”
“Give it up. I’m comfortable.” The old man tilted his head toward the door and added, “Besides, he’s back.”
Asaph entered, his arms free from their burden of scrolls. “Our day’s work is done. Our evening’s service can begin.”
Kester peeked at Lemuel, wondering if the prince thought this strange. But all he said was, “Finally!”
“Will you join the song, Captain?”
“Might as well.” From his seat on the floor in the corner, Benaiah offered a lazy wave. “Get on with it already. The kids are antsy.”
Touching Kester’s shoulder, Asaph said, “You may begin.”
A shy glance in Lemuel’s direction confirmed that he was staring. But Kester took a deep breath and let his focus shift to realms unseen. As Asaph had said, they did not sing for men. And so Kester sang to God.
After the initial call to praise, Asaph added his voice. The captain made their duet a trio, but the prince never joined in. Lemuel sat on the bed, arms around his legs, chin on knees, eavesdropping on evensong.
Somewhere along the way, Benaiah interrupted Kester with a gentle tap on his shoulder. “Enough, newbie,” he said gruffly. “You’ve sung the stars into the sky, and the moon as well. Look there.”
Kester followed his gaze to the bed, where Lemuel sprawled.
“He fought long if not well,” said the captain. “For in the end, he succumbed to sleep.”
Asaph sang on, and Kester drew breath to rejoin him, but Benaiah interrupted again. His strong hand gripped Kester’s shoulder, and he gave a small shake of his head and said, “Bedtime for little boys.”
The pleading look he sent his mentor’s way went unnoticed. Asaph sang with face uplifted, eyes closed, and hands outstretched. So Kester allowed the old guardsman to guide him to the bed … then into it. He lay still and pondered this new predicament. For prince and servant alike required rest. Rolling onto his side, he studied the peaceful rhythm of slumber. He could do this.
A pillow for his head. A blanket for his comfort. And a prince for his companion. Kester’s eyes drifted shut, and he dreamed of home.
Author’s Note: This story is a prequel to Christa Kinde’s Threshold Series [Zonderkidz] and updates on Thursdays. More information can be found on the Sage and Song index page. Sage and Song, © Copyright 2015 Christa Kinde, all rights reserved. If you want to receive an email whenever my stories update, subscribe to this blog. You can also watch for notifications on Twitter.