Ehren is very good at playacting. He's been acting one part or another for years—anxious schoolboy, bored slave, disgruntled soldier, loyal, competent spymaster—so it is almost shamefully easy to coax the new princeps of Alera into an open confrontation with his wife: all it takes is a diffident word, a careless shrug, a brush of an idea so light that if Aquitaine manages to figure it out at all, it will be too late.
Ehren steps lightly out of the command tent and ghosts into the night. He fingers a knife he keeps hidden in his right sleeve, and thinks of treason, of duty, and of the rather dubious and rather terrifying future.
Then he thinks of Tavi grinning at him in the middle of the night while orchestrating a mad scheme, and Max slapping him in the back hard enough to knock him over, and stops thinking. He grips his knife harder and hopes instead.