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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Dreams Made Flesh (Chapter 67)      Page
  • Dreams Made Flesh(Black Jewels,Book 5)(67) by Anne Bishop
  • Even hunger couldn't compete with exhaustion, and neither of them managed to finish the soup. But Marian roused enough to insist on putting the food away properly, then stumbled with him to his bedroom.

    It smelled clean. Fresh. He wasn't sure how she'd managed to air the room "when it was still so wickedly cold outside, but he was grateful the thick musk of sex was gone.

    A few minutes to add fresh wood to the fire, add more power to the warming spells, and get Marian focused enough to call in a nightgown.

    Then he bundled them into bed, set his teeth, and shifted his legs until she could warm her feet on him. Damn, they were cold!

    She curled up against him and sighed in contentment.

    Lucivar brushed his lips against her forehead and smiled. If sex wasn't enough incentive for his little hearth witch to share his bed, having a man who would keep her feet warm this winter would be.

    NINETEEN

    After a hard winter, nothing lifted the spirits in quite the same way as the warmth of spring thaw, Marian thought as she went from shop to shop to do the marketing. Even Riada's muddy streets couldn't dull her pleasure…especially since Lucivar had taught her how to air walk and she could keep her boots above the mud.

    He'd taught her a lot of things over the winter months.

    As she considered stopping at The Tavern to chat with Merry and have a quick bowl of soup or stew before going home, she almost ran into the woman who stepped out of a shop directly in her path.

    She hadn't seen Roxie all winter. Didn't want to see her now.

    "Lady Roxie," Marian said, stepping to one side to go around the other witch.

    Roxie stepped into her path again. "You'd better start looking for a new position. When I move into the eyrie, I'm not sharing Lucivar with the likes ofyou." She gave Marian one scathing look from head to toe. "I suppose using you for relief was better than using his own hand, but not by much. Once I'm there, Lucivar won't have any interest in you, and I'm not going to have a servant working for me who doesn't know her place."

    A chill went through Marian. "What are you talking about?"

    "Lucivar s going to bemy lover. I'll be moving into the eyrie with him any day now."

    Marian shook her head. "He doesn't want you. He'd never invite you to live with him."

    Something ugly glinted in Roxie's eyes before she smiled. "He's not going to have a choice. He's going to have to do everything I want."

    "He's the Warlord Prince of Ebon Rih," Marian protested. "You can't force him to do anything he doesn't want to do. He doesn't serve you."

    "He's going to," Roxie said smugly. Then she leaned close to Marian. "I'm going to tell everyone he tried to force himself on me but came to his senses before it became an actual rape. The Queens in Ebon Rih won't demand an execution…they wouldn't dare, considering who he's related to. But I'll insist that he be made to serve me for a year as the price for the trauma inflicted by his unbridled lust. And they'll give him to me."

    Marian stared at Roxie, stunned. Accuse Lucivar of rape? The accusation alone would require going before a tribunal of Queens to determine the man's innocence or guilt, and even if he was declared innocent, the taint of being accused could shadow him the rest of his life. It had happened to a friend of her father's. Despite being falsely accused, the Warlord had been dismissed from the court…and had ended up leaving Askavi because even his closest friends had turned away from him, afraid their own reputations would be smeared if they were seen with him.

    Even though it still chilled her to think about it, she understood why the Warlords who attacked her had planned to kill her. If she had survived the rape and accused them, at the very least, their standing in society would have been ruined. If a nobody hearth witch could ruin aristo Warlords in Terreille, what would an accusation made by an aristo witch do to a man in Kaeleer, where the laws and Protocols were upheld far more strictly?

    And if the people in Ebon Rih thought Lucivar was freed because of his family connections rather than because he was truly innocent, it would shatter his life. The Blood here would never continue to accept him as the Warlord Prince of Ebon Rih.

    "You can't," Marian said. "Even if they believed you, even if they did demand that he serve you, he's an Ebon-gray Warlord Prince.You'd never control him."

    "He'd have to wear a Ring of Obedience," Roxie replied. "I've heard those Rings can controlany male."

    Roxie didn't care that this would ruin him. She just wanted to enslave him, wanted to force him back into that pain he'd endured when he'd lived in Terreille. Lucivar would never obey Roxie willingly, so she'd have to use the Ring to hurt him…and because he'd never shown any interest in her, she would enjoy hurting him.

    "You can't do that to him," Marian said as something inside her strained to break free.

    "Watch me." Roxie turned and started to walk away.

    "No!" Dropping her basket, Marian threw herself at Roxie.

    Lucivar pushed his way through the crowd, cursing under his breath. A brawl on the main street of Riada. Just what he needed today. He'd hoped to convince Marian to set aside her chores for an hour to go flying with him since it was a lovely day and she hadn't had much of a chance to enjoy her recovered skills during the winter. Although that icy free fall they'd performed one sunny afternoon had ended with an enjoyable evening keeping each other warm in bed.

    First he'd take care of this mess, then share a midday meal at The Tavern with Jaenelle as they'd planned. After that, he'd go home and see—

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire