Every subject of the Palace had their...special place with Majesty, so to speak. Undeniably, that of Midnight was right by her side, and well above anyone else among their ranks. However, there were certain ones that could step a little closer than most, that could get into the calico's personal space without a warning glare or growl from Midnight herself. Those were her 'favorites,' the treasures of her Palace, and in truth they did hold a little more authority than most.
Those trusted to guard her personally. Those she might trust to guard her future kits, or perhaps other merchandise to be used within her deals. They were undeniably the special ones. Likely they thought she trusted them, perhaps they thought they'd get special privileges, get away with things easier.
They were fools in that respect, but Majesty was not about to tell them otherwise.
She preferred that they adored her, thought themselves a little more worthy if it meant they had a higher loyalty to her. Those among her circle had earned her faith in them, and their abilities. Though to say they had earned her trust...well, no one but Midnight had ever achieved that mantle within the Palace, and Majesty doubted anyone else ever would. It mattered not. Full trust was irrelevant, as was full honesty.
What mattered was their loyalty, and ability to serve.
It was this that saw one of the highest - and undeniably largest - of her circle set to meet with her soon. The message had been delivered to the tom via Midnight as per usual, yet that mattered not. Majesty had been informed by her adviser that one of her favorites had apprehended a traitor, and Majesty had sent the raven molly with a message for the criminal to be brought to her.
Now the molly was curled comfortably in one of her higher plush nests as she waited, this one a pleasant shade similar to lavenders, with a softness that rivaled the nicest of feathers. She looked entirely at ease, in truth, and looked no less ruffled as she sat up to regard the feline's now entering the main room of the Palace from another area. Instead, she regarded them calmly, giving the prisoner a cold glare that easily rivaled the warm blink she offered her unwaveringly loyal subject.
"Lincoln my dear," the molly cooed, swiping her tongue over a paw, and promptly rubbing it along her forehead as she eyed Lincoln. "Midnight tells me you apprehended this...traitor. What is he to be punished for?"
the black demon had asked for him earlier in the morn with a message of a dangerous feline among them. something that had already sent anger and thirst through the larger then most feline. it had taken him but only a few hours to have the feline pinned to the ground confessing his sins that he had made to their beautiful queen. 'what filth tries to show themselves before the mighty majesty.' his thoughts had been as he had almost felt the need to end the poor felines life.
'she wants him alive.' had been the black demon's words, and had he little faith in her, his trust lay solely in the paws of his queen. it was how, with ease, he was able to intimidate the smaller feline into walking before him, to scared of the giant creature behind him to run. "don't think of running lad, i'd cut you down before you could curse our beloved queen's name." and he would, that was without a doubt the truth as he kicked out his foreleg to nudge the tom through the doorway.
there she lay, perched as if the stars had dropped her there for his eyes to gaze upon her. his eyes sparkled with eagerness to gain her affection and favor, to show that he was more trustworthy than that black demon of a she-cat she let hang around her. he yearned for her eyes to meet his, and with a warm blink set his way his strength in his action grew. he hushed his paw once more into the smaller cat, sending him sprawling before the beautiful queen, and allowing himself to take stance beside the sinful traitor.
yes, my queen. i am you're dearest lincoln. not that pesky black demon. he thought, his eyes eagerly seeking his queen's ever enchanting gaze. she was what he sought to protect and achieve. had he known of her exchanges with other male felines he might have been worried or possessive in nature. but for now, her eyes on him was all she needed. with the tom standing strong beside the weak shaking pile of sin, he listened to her words as she asked him of what this tom was being punished for.
"the act of treason." was a simple answer as the fiery and blood lust slipped through the tom, the thought of anyone doing such to his beloved queen caused a rage within him. "scouts found his scent mingled with that of the band we have heard rumors of." he meowed almost confidently so. had it been misinformation he would have looked the fool. "the black lady of the palace sent me to fetch him, and she was not wrong." he meowed.
the accused's voice tried to reach the queen, almost pleading to her that it was a mistake, before lincoln's own paw met the sinful traitor's skull. "i found him with the other feline just outside our borders. the threat was neutralized... this... scum brought back to you, my beautiful queen." he meowed, almost poetically. eagerly seeking her praise as he leaned into the area before him, eyes searching her face for any hint of acknowledgement.
'a fool she must think i am, for loving her so dearly. but a fool i will be.' he thought, flexing his claws. "i can dispose of the bodies, this traitor's included, should you so desire it, mon magnifique reine."
Perhaps such a brief answer from anyone else might have irked the molly, seeing as they were wasting her time with information she already knew - however...her favorites rarely disappointed her. They would not have such status if they did. She knew his story would continue, it was merely interrupted by the raging flame within him that burned for her, fueled by the hatred of anyone daring to betray her.
It was something the molly could certainly appreciate.
Everyone of her favorites were such for a reason. After all, Majesty never did anything without a reason. However, one binding between them that each shared was their loyalty to her. She expected loyalty from every subject of the Palace, of course, however it was those select few that showed it on a much higher level, unshakably. Those felines were the closest to trusted that anyone seemed to get from Majesty - it was not an easy thing to achieve.
Despite that, Majesty seemed as unfazed by this as she was by the situation before her. She watched on calmly, expression largely unreadable, though far softer in its mask than that of her trusted adviser and so called 'black demon.' Majesty did not so much as blink when the prisoner was silenced by a firm paw, nor did her expression so much as flicker when the tom sought her approval.
After a moment, however, it shifted to something more pleased.
"You always serve me so well my dear, don't you?" She hummed softly, gaze flickering over his as she sought out that adoration he often gave to her - he was certainly the most affectionate and loving toward her of her favorites, and she had to admit it was terribly fun to toy with. "However, before we shed more blood than those claws buried in his fur, darling...won't you tell me exactly what they were doing?"
Rising, the molly gracefully slid out of her nest, and hopped down the levels that would lead from her higher perch. It was easy enough to reach the pair upon the Palace floor with little falter, and she took a moment to rub her pelt along the side of the older hybrid tom in something akin to gratitude, before ducking her head to stare down at the traitor.
What better than deals and games?
"Or perhaps you would like to fill me in yourself?" She offered, alluring honey sweet tone rivaled by the almost malicious gleam in her golden eyes as she batted them at the felled subject. "Fate might be far kinder, if you recite everything for me now."
he stood straight and proud, something a foolish man would say would be his downfall. with her expression shifting from the watchful queen to the pleased beauty, he seemed to relax in his stance, a smile creeping up on his maw, his large nose wrinkled with excitement at her praising him. he lifted his head to her face and nodded for a moment. but before he could, the fur of the molly touched his and he froze with excitement. it was clear to many who would watch that his greatest weakness - or desire - was the queen before him. some part of him wanted to see the fate of the traitor end in death, to prove his strength once more to his beauty of a queen.
the silence drove on for a moment, before the prisoner's voice was echoed. "i met with the one called chase... he... he said he works for this cat named joker.... he wanted me to tell him all about your operation. not sure why, but he offered me sanctuary if i did..." his meow was honest, fearful in their own right.
"he speaks that much truly;" he spat out in annoyance, glaring at the tom. before turning to the beauty before him, lowering his head in deep request. "but he leaves out the details of how to enter the palace, the rotation of your guards. i am most certain as to why he wanted these details." as lincoln's claws flexed the prisoner's voice echoed out back, "he said he didn't like the deal you gave him last. he said he could give me a better deal!" in fear or anger, the prisoner spoke and lincoln had half a mind to silence the tom before he turned to his queen.
"mon magnifique reine, do not worry yourself with such filth!"
If Majesty noticed the way Lincoln froze beneath her touch, all but trilling with excitement - which she certainly did - the molly did not show it beyond a brief, knowing glance from the corner of her eye. She had more important matters to attend for the moment, and as much as she adored his eagerness and reverence, she would rather see her prisoner squirm rather than her loyal subject.
Besides, duty comes first, right?
Ears angling to catch the stilted words from the fallen tom, Majesty did not so much as flinch, even as the name he spoke garnered a flicker of recognition deep within honey golden eyes. The flicker was quickly dispelled, and Majesty took a moment to register too her favorite's respectful addition, before her gaze returned to the one who's pelt his claws had buried into.
Rather than the anger her subject showed, or the fear of the prisoner, Majesty offered a slight laugh. "Not to worry," she soothed sweetly, sitting down before the fallen tom and curling her tail neatly by her side. "Any detail he was given on guard rotations is inaccurate, and well when it comes to entering the palace...lets just say no one has made it in alive without permission."
There was no lack of certainty to her tone. In fact, amusement sparkled in her gaze at the mere idea of someone thinking she was unprepared for traitors. She would risk no one tripping her up - after all, there were reasons her trust was so hard to earn, and information harder still.
Even Midnight did not know everything.
One snowy forepaw rising, the molly took a moment to inspect her claws, before leaning down to hook one beneath the traitor's chin. Scared as he was for his life, it was easy to guide his head up to meet her gaze with little more than a single drop of blood shed. "Were you unhappy with my sanctuary? The Palace rewards those who are loyal, you know this..." she croons, almost sweetly, if not for the deadly note to her tone. "The only ones to complain of my deals never did live to tell the tale, did they now?"
Except this one, it seemed....though Majesty had always had suspicions toward the feline who was seemingly after her now. Not to worry, she had no doubt no trouble would come of this fickle little matter - if anything, let it be an example. Eyes glinting, the molly drew her claw back slowly, leaving blood to bead in its path, before lightly cleaning it off. She did not even blink at the hiss of pain from the tom, who was quick to fall back into fearful silence.
Joker was not a threat yet - she knew well enough the cats were no connected. Still...perhaps he would like to know of this? There never was any issue in having allies, and besides, if she could get someone to do some of her dirty work then why hesitate? Posers were little more than a nuisance, let him deal with them.
Majesty's gaze flitted back to Lincoln. "Tell me dearest...have we any need for a messenger?" Sufficiently cleaned, her claw was sheathed, paw returned swiftly to the ground where it settled with ease. One eye drifted back to assess the prisoner's fear with cool amusement. Oh, he already knew the answer, did he not?