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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Dreams Made Flesh (Chapter 20)      Page
  • Dreams Made Flesh(Black Jewels,Book 5)(20) by Anne Bishop
  • *So I wagged my tail,* Tassle continued happily. *I want to be friends. I like her smells.*

    Lucivar's feet rooted to the ground.This was a statement he couldn't ignore… no matter how much he wanted to. He scrubbed his hands over his face and sighed. "Tassle… Don't sniff her crotch."

    *But… Yas…*

    "I know it's acceptable among wolves, but you cannot do it with human females. It makes them snarly."

    *But…*

    "No, Tassle."

    Tassle hung his head and looked up at Lucivar with woeful eyes. *Would she snarl at you if you sniffed her crotch?*

    The picture formed in his mind before he could stop it. Marian, sitting in the chair in the kitchen. Him on his knees in front of her, his arms around her waist, his face pressed against the juncture of her thighs, breathing in the smell of her as her scent changed from warm and quiet to hot and aroused.

    He turned away from Tassle, not sure if he should curse himself, curse Marian, curse Jaenelle, or curse the wolf for asking the question.

    Because that was the question, wasn't it? One look at Marian and everything in him had sharpened with interest, had churned toward desire. If he'd met her in any other way, he would have staked a claim. That was Protocol. That was permissible.

    Warlord Princes weren't like other men. They were passionately violent and violently passionate and far more territorial than other males. And when a particular woman intrigued a Warlord Prince sexually, he had a simple way of dealing with potential rivals: He killed them.

    Because that lethal response was part of the nature of Warlord Princes, the Blood had long ago established Protocols to give other males a chance of survival. When a Warlord Prince indicated interest in a female, the other males stood back, giving him time to get to know her…and for her to get to know him and consider if she wanted that formidable temper and driving sexual hunger focused exclusively on her. Because it would be exclusive. But the choice was always hers.When she'd spent enough time with him to make a decision, she would either accept him as a lover… or tell him to go. And if she told him to go, he didn't argue, didn't try to persuade her…he had to walk away. That was part of Protocol, too.

    Buthe couldn't even follow Protocol becauseshe was his damnhousekeeper. She had every right to expect him to protect her from any male's unwanted sexual attention…and that includedhim.

    But… Hell's fire, she was pulling at him in too many ways. Her fear spiked his temper because his instincts demanded that he defend and

    protect…and destroy whatever was causing that fear. He couldn't do that becausehe was the cause. And underneath that fear he sensed a warm, quiet strength that intrigued and aroused him, that made him want to wrap himself around her and breathe in her psychic scent as well as her physical smells. Oh, he'd been stirred by a few women over the past three years, and there had been times when the hunger inside him had been fierce, but never enough to give in, never enough for him to forget the rage and bitterness that had flavored most of his sexual experience. So it had been easy enough to turn away from that stirring, to chain that hunger. Until Marian had walked into the kitchen. Now hewanted, and he wasn't sure if he could keep that hunger chained.

    Lucivar looked toward the eyrie. Maybe, once she was settled in the housekeeper's room, her fear would ease a little. Maybe it would ease enough that she would stay, although he wasn't sure if her staying would be a torment or a boon.

    He sighed, then turned back to look at Tassle. "I'm going to get her settled in for the night. You stay here. I don't think she can handle more than one male at a time right now."

    Tassle whined but didn't follow him when he went back to the eyrie. She was still in the kitchen, her eyes too bright with fear. "I'll show you to your room." His voice was as calm as he could make it, but there was a hint of a growl that was a response to her fear.

    Silent, she followed him to a room that was on the opposite side of the eyrie from his bedroom. She shuddered when he opened the door and she realized she had to walk past him.

    Watching her look around the room, he said, "My father's housekeeper brought over the furniture and set up the room.There's a private bathroom through that door. I expect you'll find everything you need."At least for tonight.

    She still didn't say anything. She looked bruised and exhausted, and the only thing he could do to help her was to leave her alone.

    "Good night, Lady." He closed the door and stared at it for a few moments.Damn you, Cat. You really kicked me in the guts this time.

    But as he went back outside to tell Tassle it was all right to come in, he had a bad feeling it wasn't his guts that would feel the pain.

    * * *

    Marian stared at the door. No lock. No way to prevent someone from coming in during the night to…

    She could put a Purple Dusk shield around the room, but that would probably just insult him…or amuse him. It certainly wouldn't stop him if he…

    She shuddered, then clenched her hands until they ached. She couldn't think like that. Fear was already a living thing crawling inside her. If she was going to survive staying here, she had to beat it back, not feed it.

    She called in her nightgown…another piece of clothing Luthvian had been ready to discard and had given to her instead. She wouldn't think about that either. Just wouldn't think anymore. Couldn't think anymore.

    After changing her clothes, she settled into bed and called in her book, sure she wouldn't get any sleep.

    Later, she roused enough from a deep sleep to realize someone was gently pulling the book out of her hands and turning off the lamp on the bedside table, but not enough to wonder who it was.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire