Chapter 5

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Lyn paced the bedroom floor, rocking the child in her arms absent-mindedly. She was holding Ezra, trying to get him to fall asleep so she could continue heeding the Princess. She kissed his head, which was crowned with many brown curls. She loved her child.

"I only want the best for you, Ezra," she whispered as she continued to rock him. His eyelids became heavy, and he finally fell fast asleep, completely safe in his mother's arms. She smiled before laying him down in a special crib the King had made just for him. Thankful that Ezra was such a deep sleeper, nothing would easily wake him from his nap. She quietly shut the doors of his adjoining room, going to tend to Snow. She should be waking from her nap soon.

"What...?" Lyn startled, a bewildered smile spreading across her face. She turned to see two little blue eyes staring back at her. "Are you awake, already?" She smiled, lifting the child from her crib. Snow gave a cheeky smile, which lit up those wondrous blue eyes of hers. "How are you today, my Dear? Oh, look at you! Getting so big! And, you've got another tooth coming in." She smiled, grabbing a stored jar of mashed carrots from the cupboard, balancing Snow on her hip.

"Looks as if it's carrots, again," Lyn sighed. "Do you think you'll like them, today?" Snows blank expression towards the jar almost showed otherwise. "We must get the kitchen to bring up more applesauce." That seemed to be Snow's favorite. "You like apples, don't you?" She smiled, setting Snow on her knee and opening the jar.

"Here it comes, Snow!" She made a beeline with the spoon towards Snow's mouth, but one taste and Snow made an absolute disgusted face. She was not happy. "Hmm, what if I just eat the carrots?" Lyn teased. Snow watched her with earnest eyes as Lyn fixed another spoonful of mush, proceeding to raise it to her own mouth. "Mmmmm..." She tried to make it seem appetizing. Lyn's lip curled, grimacing at the smell. "That smells...awful."

She couldn't act as if she didn't like it, she had to convince Snow it was tasty, "Well, alright." And she immediately placed the spoonful of carrots into her mouth. No more had she done that, when she nearly choked on the spoon! She gagged and had to painfully swallow the rancid carrots, as there was no where to spit them out. She coughed and choked on the horrid food all the while Snow was sitting in her lap, watching her with babe-like confusion.

"That tastes absolutely rotten!" Lyn fumed. Snow began to let out a cry. "Sorry, Snow. It's okay, It's okay..." Lyn comforted. She patted her back, thinking about the jar of food. It was completely inedible.

The kitchen can't afford to be that careless with the Princess's food. It would be their necks on the chopping block if anything happened.

Snow calmed down after a bit. Lyn placed her on the floor with her stuffed animals and rattle.

"I will pay the kitchen a visit, later..." Suddenly she startled at the sound of baby Ezra crying. Her bought with the carrots had woken him up. Nothing ever woke him up. Flustered, she hurried through the adjoining door to go check on him.

Lyn made her way through the swinging doors of the kitchen. She hadn't been there in a while, but it was still so familiar to her.

"Hey, Lyn!" The head chef greeted. "How have you been, since you left us for finer things!"

"Yeah, like changing the royal diapers," Julianna laughed heartily as she walked by, whisking a bowl in hand. The entire crew erupted with laughter, but Lyn hardly smiled. Patrick noticed and walked over to meet her.

"Hey, what's going on that has you greeting your friends in such a foul mood? You've hardly been down to the kitchen all year!"

Lyn bit her lip. "I hate to seem this way, but believe me when I say I have your best interests at heart." She exhaled, her big eyes softening as she looked at him. A slight smile came across her face, but right now Lyn knew she had certain matters to discuss.

"Patrick, I went to feed the Princess the carrot mush the kitchen sends-"

"The baby food, yes."

"Well, the food was no good. The carrots were absolutely rancid." She lowered her tone a bit, looking around. "The kitchen could face serious consequences, which I don't have to enlighten anyone of, if harm ever came to the Princess."

Patrick's chest puffed a little. "I never let any of the Princess's food spoil, and, we only use the finest ingredients for her!" He bolstered as he busily worked on chopping an onion.

"What are the most recent jars of baby food that have been canned?"

Patrick eyed her, implying exactly what he was feeling. He let out an exasperated breath before yelling out an order to Julianna. "Julie, will you please bring out a box of the latest jars of baby food we canned?"

"You know this pig won't jump in the oven by itself." She wiped her hands on a cloth.

"I know you're busy! Just- please." He spoke more calmly. Julianna was his wife.

Julie came back a few moments later, lugging a large wooden crate. It made a slight rattling sound as she heaved it onto the counter.

"Okay, my dear. What are these for?" She turned to Lyn.

"We need to figure out why Snow's food was spoiled."

"Spoiled? I made these carrots myself. See the date? These do not expire for a long, long period of time."

"Hmmm...they must have not been sealed, properly." Lyn speculated.

"I didn't do the canning, Love." Julianna threw her hands in the air. She was innocent, here. Hand raised to her mouth, her eyes scanned for a solution. "We can still fix this. Deliver back all the jars we sent to the Princess's chambers, and we'll make sure it's done correctly this time. No one get's thrown in the stocks."

"Which is exactly why I came to you first," Lyn smiled, cocking an eyebrow. "We are friends; you know that. I haven't been gone from the kitchen that long." A smile made it's way across Julianna's face, although she tried to suppress it. Patrick laughed and threw an arm around Lyn.

"The crew misses you, kid! Hurry and raise that child so you can come back down here!"

Lyn knew she had borrowed too much time, already. She needed to return to Snow. "I'll have those jars ready when someone arrives."

"Alright. Go tend to your charge, Nanny."

"Don't call me a Nanny." Lyn teased. As Lyn left, Patrick turned to Julie.

"Hmmm...who did can those jars, Julie?"

"It was that man who was just brought in from the village, Bosner. He was supposed to have experience working in the kitchen."

"He better remember quickly, or he's out of here. He can work the stables for all I care." Julie raised her eyesbrows, pressing her lips together. She didn't say another word.


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