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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Dreams Made Flesh (Chapter 49)      Page
  • Dreams Made Flesh(Black Jewels,Book 5)(49) by Anne Bishop
  • The sugar on the floor vanished. He looked at her, obviously expecting praise.

    Even the furry male didn't think she was capable of doing anything today. But she petted him and thanked him. Pleased with himself and satisfied with the praise, he left her to roam the mountain since Yas was there to protect her.

    She didn't mention Lucivar might be the very thing she needed protection from. Tassle wouldn't have a chance of surviving if Lucivar decided to punish her and the wolf got in the way.

    When she heard Lucivar come back inside, she looked around for something to do. She winced as she bent over and pulled a skillet from the bottom cupboard. He liked her beef stew. Maybe knowing he'd have it for his midday meal would soften his mood.

    Trembling, she put the skillet on the stove and stepped back as he entered the kitchen. Throwing the pot hadn't eased his temper. If anything, his mood seemed darker.

    He set the pot on the counter beside the sink, and growled, "That won't do it. The balance is off." Spotting the skillet, he picked it up and took it outside.

    Returning a few minutes later, he grabbed her arm and hauled her out to the bales of hay.

    "What?" Marian said, trying to pull back. "Prince Yaslana…"

    He shoved the skillet's handle into her hand. "The pot doesn't have the balance to be an effective weapon. This does."

    He moved toward her. She swung the skillet up over her head. As his hand closed over her wrist, he shook his head. "Not that way. The move takes too long and tells your adversary too clearly what you intend. It has to be fast and unexpected to do you any good." He positioned himself behind her, one hand on her waist, the other still holding her wrist. "You need to attack with a side motion, working from about the same height as if you'd grabbed it off the stove and swung. Your own strength behind the swing would be enough to bruise bone. With a little Craft to enhance it, you can break bone."

    "I'm not going to break anyone's bones,"Marian said as he moved her arm back and forth in a swing motion. Of course, the thought of denting his head had a lot of appeal at the moment.

    "You're not tall enough to make a head shot practical," Lucivar said as if he'd read her thoughts. "But breaking ribs or a forearm would be a good first strike."

    "I'm not going to attack anyone with a skillet!"

    "Maybe not. But you're going to learn how to do it anyway." He released her and stepped back. "Now swing it and release to hit the target."

    She swung it, put nothing behind it, and let it go. It bounced on the ground halfway between her and the target. Satisfied she'd proven her point, she said, "See? It doesn't work."

    The skillet flew through the air, straight to Lucivar s hand. He just looked at her until she stepped aside. Moving into the same spot where she'd stood, he swung the skillet in that sideways motion and let it go. It hit the target with enough force to get wedged in the hay. It hung there for a moment before he used Craft to bring it flying back to him. Saying nothing, he handed the skillet to her.

    Having no choice, she swung the skillet. Damn him, thishurt. But she knew he wouldn't relent, so she tried to hit the target…and actually came close.

    Studying her, he held out one hand. The skillet came flying back to him. "Marian? Do you have everything you want for the kitchen?"

    Anger flashed through her. The insufferable prick! Of course she didn't have everything she wanted! It was late autumn now, she'd been working for him for months, and she was still working with the basic tools she'd bought out of her own wages. She'd bought all the canning supplies out of her own wages, was still buying cleaning supplies out of her own wages…and was still waiting for him to broach the subject of a household budget. Oh, he'd told her often enough that she could put anything she needed to buy on his accounts at the stores in Riada, but he only indirectly benefited from her having all the tools she'd like to have, and she didn't feel easy about running up a bill without first getting his consent, and if he wasn't observant enough to see what was going on in his own home, he'd hardly understand why having extra casserole dishes would be helpful.

    "The kitchen could use a few things," she said, working hard to keep from yelling at him.

    He nodded. "I'll make a deal with you.You hit the target three times out of six tries, you can buy everything you want for the kitchen. If you can't find something you want in the shops in Riada, I'll take you to Amdarh. Buy everything you've wanted but have been doing without and put it on my accounts."

    She stared at him. At home, she'd had to beg and plead to getanything that would have made her work easier. That was part of the reason she'd been reluctant to say anything to him. She hadn't wanted him to think she was greedy or extravagant, especially when he was so generous with her wages. But now he wasoffering to let her fill the kitchen, like paying off a wager. All she had to do was win and she could buy more casserole dishes so she could make extra meals and store them in the freeze box so she could just heat them up during her moondays.

    She took the skillet from him, swung, and threw it. Grim pleasure filled her when the skillet hit the hay bales before bouncing to the ground. It flew back to her, slowing and turning to present the handle to her hand.

    More baking sheets so she wouldn't have to waste time waiting for one batch to bake and cool before she could prepare the next. More pie plates so she could make a fruit pieand a steak pie to serve at the same meal.

    She threw the skillet and hit the hay bales.

    A good set of kitchen knives. Utensils that were actually designed for different functions.More wooden spoons.

    She swung and threw.

    When the skillet came back again, she reached for it, her mind full of the useful things the kitchen still needed. But Lucivar just held on to the skillet. He gave her a lazy, arrogant smile, but the unhappiness in his eyes ripped at her.

    "That's it," he said, leading her back to the kitchen. "You won. Three out of three. As soon as you feel up to shopping, make your purchases."

    Was that why he was so unhappy? Was he worried about the expense? Maybe she should ask him how much she could spend.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire