“You are not eating,” Captain Rogers observed. “You do not care for the food?”
“Not the food,” Hawkeye said, pushing his plate out of the way. He glanced toward the head of the table, watching the queen sip from her goblet, a slight smile on her face as she met his eyes. He almost glared back, but what would be the point? The people considered her a martyr, as they considered him a hero, and he did not know what he would do if he was to change that.
“You said she was a killer,” Rogers said, and Hawkeye turned to him, waiting for that statement to be finished. “You think she did something to the food?”
“She gave me this plate special, insisted on me having this chair at the table. It would be stupid to think she had no reason for it.”
“I do not understand. If you suspect her, and if she has killed, why do you let her remain queen?”
“Captain,” Hawkeye almost laughed. “How many times has a king or queen ordered troops into battle? How many times have they led those same troops? Show me a king or queen without blood on their hands. Please. I know of none outside of myth.”
“You have a point.”
Hawkeye did laugh then. “I am known to be an archer. I always have a point.”
The other man stared at him for a moment before joining him in laughter. Phillip frowned at the two of them, but Hawkeye just shook his head, rising from the table. He passed around the head of it, where the queen sat, and bent down near her ear.
“Next time, be less obvious about the poison. I hate having to miss dinner.”
She turned her head, that same slight smile on her face. “Hawkeye, there was nothing in the food.”
“The wine, then.”
She just laughed.