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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Dreams Made Flesh (Chapter 6)      Page
  • Dreams Made Flesh(Black Jewels,Book 5)(6) by Anne Bishop
  • "Well, Hell's fire, she's yourhousekeeper ."

    "She's also a woman in her prime who is, in fact, only a few centuries older than you."

    Lucivar stared at Saetan. "Shelied to me?"

    Saetan's gold eyes gleamed with suppressed laughter. "Let me put it this way: Your floors won't be swept, but you'll have the cleanest windows in Ebon Rih…at least on this side of the eyrie."

    Lucivar spun around. Female faces were pressed against every window, watching him. Oh, there were cleaning rags pressed against the windows, too, but nothing was being done with them…until the women realized he'd seen them.Then there was a lot of vigorous polishing.

    Swearing under his breath, he used Craft to vanish the coffee mug and call in a pair of leather trousers. As he pulled them on, he snarled, "It was easier when I could use my fists. If this was Terreille, I would have thrown the lot of them off the mountain."

    "You still can."

    It surprised him that the words hurt.

    "You're the Warlord Prince of Ebon Rih," Saetan said quietly. "You are the law here and answer to no one but your Queen. If you want to use your fists, there's no one who will stop you. No one here whocan stop you since you wear the Ebon-gray Jewels."

    "What happened to that code of honor you live by and insist is followed in the court?" Lucivar snapped, letting temper ride the crest of wounded feelings. "What happened to the lines that are drawn for what a Blood male can and can't do? If I hurt them for no good reason, what does that say to every other man? That he can strike out for the least little thing?We serve. We're the defenders and protectors. I've hurt women, and I've killed women. They were the enemy and the court was the battleground. But I willnot be the kind of man women cower from because they're afraid of being brutalized."

    "I know," Saetan said. "You'll decide what is and isn't acceptable in Ebon Rih, and you'll stand as defender and protector. As volatile as your temper is, as physical as your responses are most of the time, I've never worried about you hurting the coven. If you're pushed, you push back. That's not a bad thing. I'm sure there were times in the past three years when something scraped a nerve and reminded you too much of what it was like living in Terreille, but you didn't lash out automatically. You won't now."

    The temper faded, but his feelings were still raw. "Then why did you say that?"

    Saetan smiled. "Because you needed to hear yourself draw the line. You're the strongest living male in this valley. The strongest Blood, regardless of gender, when Jaenelle isn't at the Keep or staying at her cottage. Having that much power isn't easy."

    He would know, Lucivar thought. Saetan wore the Black Jewels. Until Daemon made the Offering to the Darkness and came away wearing the Black, Saetan had been theonly male in the history of the Blood to wear that Jewel. If anyone knew the price that came with that much power, it was the High Lord.

    Lucivar glanced at the eyrie. "What should I do about them?"

    "Hire a housekeeper."

    He winced. "Hell's fire. Then I'll have a female underfoot all the time."

    "From where I'm sitting, your choice is one hearth witch who works for you or dealing with this lot two or three times a week."

    Lucivar felt his knees weaken. "Two or three…Why? How many times can they polish the same few pieces of furniture?"

    Saetan just looked at him pityingly. "If you hire a housekeeper, your home is her domain, and if she's worth what you pay her, she'll be territorial enough to take care of any unwanted help without you having to do a thing."

    That didn't sound bad. But he sighed. "I don't know how to hire a housekeeper."

    Saetan stood up and arranged the folds of his cape. "Why don't we go to the Keep and discuss it over breakfast?" He looked back at the eyrie. "Or were you planning to stay here and get in the middle of the tussle over who would cook it for you?"

    "I can cook my own damn breakfast."

    "You could try, boyo, but the odds are against you."

    Oh, yeah. If he walked back in there now,somebody would be pissed off at him before he even got close to a piece of toast, let alone something more substantial. "Let's go to the Keep."

    "A wise choice."

    As they walked back to the eyrie to inform Helene that they were leaving, Lucivar said, "If I'm so wise and so powerful, tell me again why I have to hire a housekeeper I don't want?"

    "Because you're not a fool," Saetan replied. "And given your choices, only a fool would put up with this any longer than he had to."

    "This is more than I bargained for when Jaenelle appointed me the Warlord Prince of Ebon Rih."

    "Everything has a price. This is yours. Deal with it."

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire