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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Dreams Made Flesh (Chapter 51)      Page
  • Dreams Made Flesh(Black Jewels,Book 5)(51) by Anne Bishop
  • "You don't have to tell me what happened," Saetan said. "I've had enough experience with Lucivar to see it all. You have duties and responsibilities that you take seriously.You would have planned for this and wouldn't be doing more than you had to. But then he comes in, snapping and snarling, so what else can a witch do except defend herself and push back, insisting that she's capable of doing more than she knows she can?" He brought the mug over to the table and placed it in front of her. "Here, sweetheart. This is a brew I make for Jaenelle when her moon-time is troubling her. Drink it up."

    Reluctant to do anything that would please him after he'd insulted Lucivar but not having enough nerve to defy him, she lifted the mug and sniffed. It smelled good. She took a sip. It tasted even better.

    "You're making stew?" he asked.

    "Yes."

    He washed his hands and began moving around her kitchen with a confidence that looked like he was used to being in kitchens. Which wasn't likely.

    "His social skills are rough, to put it kindly," Saetan said. "He just smashes through an obstacle instead of considering if there's a quieter way around it."

    Maybe Lucivar's social skills were rough compared to a slick Hayllian, but that wasn't saying much. She'd rather have rough and honest than slick any day.

    "Here, darling." Saetan returned to the table and placed a cutting board, the carrots, and a knife in front of her. "Do you feel well enough to cut up the carrots?"

    "I feel fine." As he turned away from the table, she drank the rest of :he brew and put the mug aside. She picked up the knife, then looked at :he carrots. They were cleaned and the ends were neatly cut off. She didn't remember doing that, but she must have.

    chop

    He moved around her kitchen, but she didn't dare look up to see what he was doing since he kept grumbling about Lucivar and she was afraid of what she might say if she actually looked at him right now.

    chop chop chop

    Who did he think he was, anyway? He had no right to come into Lucivar's home and criticize. She didn't care if he was Lucivar's father and the Steward of the Dark Court and the High Lord of Hell. He had no business criticizing Lucivar in public. Well, maybe not in public, since they were in the kitchen, but he shouldn't be saying these things to Prince Yaslana's housekeeper. It wasn't right.

    chop chop

    And it wasn't his business, was it? If she and Lucivar had clashed this morning, it had nothing to do withhim. He didn't live here.

    She heard a quiet sizzle, but it was gone so fast she wasn't sure she'd really heard anything, so she kept her eyes focused on the cutting board.

    chop chop chop

    So Lucivar was a little rough around the edges. So what? There wasn't an Eyrien male whowasn't. But he was kind, and if he got testy when he thought she was working too hard, wasn't that better than someone who expected her to work until she was exhausted andstill didn't think she'd done enough? If she hadn't snapped at him this morning, if she'd kept a tighter hold on her own emotions and told him she was planning to rest today, they wouldn't have argued, and he wouldn't have left because she'd made him unhappy.

    chop chop

    That wasn't the point. The point was hisfather hadno right to be grumbling about his son, and if she were Lucivar's lover instead of his housekeeper, she'd tell his father a thing or two. Oh, yes, she would. Slick Hayllian. Bah!

    "Finished?"

    The amusement in his voice confused her enough that he slipped the knife out of her hand before she realized he'd reached for it. He set another mug down in front of her and took the cutting board away.

    She sniffed. There was a lingering scent of cooked meat in the air. She looked at the counter…and frowned at the bowl of cut vegetables. She looked at the stove and saw the big kettle she used for soups and stews, the witchfire beneath it spread in a circle that was perfect for simmering whatever was in the kettle.

    "Now," Saetan said as he settled his cape around his shoulders. "Lucivar is what he is. No social skills, or lack of them, can change a Warlord Prince's nature. If you want to punish him for snapping at you this morning, you go do the kind of heavy work that will most certainly cause you pain today. But if he matters enough to show him kindness, you'll let him make the biscuits to go with the stew and you'll tuck yourself in this afternoon and do something that won't make demands on your body. You'll let him fuss over you a little. If he doesn't have to fight you to protect you, it will make things easier for both of you."

    She studied him. "What you said about Lucivar.You didn't mean any of it, did you?"

    He smiled. "He's physical, demanding, and rough around the edges. In other words, he's Eyrien. I wouldn't want him to be any other way. But it was an effective way of keeping you distracted."

    He brushed a hand over her hair, leaned over, and kissed her forehead. There was something so… fatherly… in the gesture, she felt tears sting her eyes.

    After he left the eyrie, she sat at the table, sipping the brew he'd made for her and thinking about what he'd said.

    Lucivar quietly closed the eyrie's front door, then stood still a moment, listening. No sounds. No indication of any kind of what he was walking into.

    He couldn't stay away. The worry that she'd do something foolish because he'd jumped on her that morning had gnawed at him. He knew witches tended to snap and snarl when they felt the most vulnerable. Hell's fire, he'd slammed his will against Jaenelle's enough times over the past three years to figure out aggression pitted against vulnerability only caused hurt feelings on both sides. Asking for a favor always got better results than making demands. But when he saw Marian sweeping the floor that morning, his temper had snapped the leash. Now all he could do was hope he could repair whatever damage he'd done.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire