"Family doesn't end with blood," he said softly, rubbing his throat, "it doesn't have to start there either." He took a breath and a few steps back, not to try to run, but to give him some breathing room. "When I left the two of them, his plan was to skirt the letter of their contract that said he wouldn't kill my lord by allowing his sister to do it. She's apparently wanted to since their first encounter, but the boy managed to talk her down somehow. What I'm hoping is that somehow through the course of their time together, that changed, but I can't know. He'd managed to wall his mind to me by the time I got back to the hotel and all I could hear was his Grace screaming anyway. He might have decided to change his plans. He might not have. I know he's clever, way more clever than anyone seems to give him credit for and that you need to have a talk with Carrick about how exactly that night went because a slave asking? Even to try to protect him? He'd never accept that kind of insubordination."
Carrick was a ticking time bomb in a sense, one that was long overdue to explode at Hermes. "I'm sorry." He could feel Carrick approaching, a wall of cold silence and Hermes desperately wanted to be away from both of them. "May I please have leave to return to my quarters until either or both of you decides the best way to punish me?" Still not running. He was a good boy. He would wait and accept what was coming to him no matter what that was.