Latimer walks with a brisk stride through the halls of the cathedral, late afternoon sunlight slanting through the tall windows. He nods here and there distractedly at novices and junior Priests, servants and the odd page he encounters, thoughts turned inward, a faintly worried frown wrinkling his forehead. That always happened when High Prelate Abigail summoned him.

He remembered the first time he had talked to Abigail, of course - many, many years before, just before leaving Amber as a child. No matter how old he got, he always felt the ghost of that child again when he was summoned to speak to Abigail, a feeling he didn't much like. But, as she was the highest authority in the church, he had no alternative. He had learned to simply go, talk with her, and get the ordeal over with.

Noting his purposeful stride and preoccupied look, everyone stays out of his way, letting him alone as he seeks out the small meditation chapel where she had told him to meet her. Stepping into the restful dimness, he pauses at the door.

Abigail is sitting alone in the front of the chapel and though her back is to Latimer, he can see that it is her, dressed simply, in a plain monastic gown. Though he makes little noise, she speaks as he enters. “Welcome, Reverend. How does your ministry progress?” She does not turn.

Latimer walks forward to join her, stopping to stand at a sort of parade rest with his hands clasped behind his back. “Thank you. And Fair Day to you, Prelate,” he returns. He pauses a moment, gathering his thoughts. “I believe my ministry with the younger people in the castle goes well. They are vessels waiting to be filled with the hope the Church can bring, and I am pleased to give it to them. Amongst the others… What does one say? It is difficult to avoid frustration when even one's own siblings do not understand the Way.”

“It can be hardest of all for those who are closest to Order to achieve a higher state,” Abigail notes, turning around to face Latimer. She is wearing a belt which does a lot to combat the shapelessness of her robe. She looks at the young Priest with what may be faint approval. “Your challenge is greater than most because you stand in two worlds, Church and State. How do you reconcile the two?”

He pauses to collect his thoughts for a moment. “To say that it is an easy task would not be the truth,” he admits. “It has proven far more difficult since I came back to Amber to stay. When I was away, these challenges were simply not as immediate. But now…” he sighs, frowning in thought.

“I find the only way to balance my life is to listen to what I have been taught by the Church. That is, to pursue truth with compassion in my heart, and to listen to my conscience while seeking the higher Order in the universe. I find that I meditate more now that I am here, listening to myself to find the Way. And,” he chuckles now, “I talk to the children. Theirs is such a simple view, but often starkly accurate.”

Abigail smiles again, in a slightly warmer fashion. “Your heritage is unique, as is your potential. I would like you to consider a new ministry, one in which both halves of your life would be wedded.” Pausing, she levels her eyes on Latimer, fixing him, before she continues, “I feel that your gifts would enable you to succeed in the role of Archdeacon.”

Latimer blinks, and a momentary silence ensues. “Ahh, I am… honored,” he finally manages, realizing he had to say something. He takes a calming breath, and some of his eternal humor returns to his eyes. “I would note though that weddings are only the beginning of the relationship. Marriages are works of a lifetime.” He hesitates.

Clearly amused by his answer, Abigail waits for him to speak again. “If I may be so bold, Prelate, but would not my selection be rather…” Latimer raises one eyebrow, “controversial?”

“Sometimes, the course to Virtue leads through the storms of polity,” she replies. “We shall never reach our goal if we dare not risk public ire. Archdeacon Sarpedon has served well, and has earned his rest. It is for the best if he has a successor trained in the task and equal to the strains of the position.”

Latimer nods slightly, as would be expected, eyes darkening in thought. He crosses his arms in a meditative pose across his chest as he thinks, looking up at the icon at the front of the chapel for a few moments before venturing anything more. “May I ask if you have Father's approval of this appointment yet?” he finally inquires carefully, looking back at Abigail. “Or is this simply a chance for you to see if I am willing?”

“The answer to that question has no bearing upon this discussion, Reverend,” Abigail replies in a smooth voice. “You appear to be stalling. Do you wait for an answer to present itself to you?”

Latimer doesn't bat an eyelash at her question. He shifts back into his more formal stance. “Must needs I answer a question of such gravity immediately, Prelate?” he returns mildly. “Answers only present themselves to people who ask questions.”

She looks slightly disapproving. “If time you need, then take it. The Universe moves on, though. Do not expect it to change to suit one man's needs.”

Latimer looks at her, his grey eyes considering, and then his gaze goes past her, thoughtful. He doesn't hurry, simply takes the time to think things through before answering again. He is silent for some minutes, standing still but relaxed, until finally he focuses on her again. “This would be a tremendous responsibility. But I believe the rewards would outweigh the drawbacks. At least,” and he chuckles to or at himself, “right now when I don't really know what I'm getting myself into. Tremendous responsibility, but also tremendous opportunity.”

She nods, a faint smile marking her approval. “I shall inform His Grace that you will be assigned to him as a deputy, then,” Abigail replies. “You doubtless have many matters relating to your current ministry which you will wish to settle…”

Latimer bows at the obvious dismissal, taking himself out.

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