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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Dreams Made Flesh (Chapter 78)      Page
  • Dreams Made Flesh(Black Jewels,Book 5)(78) by Anne Bishop
  • Only one way to find out.

    Lucivar closed the ring box and vanished it. Then he spread his wings and glided down to the eyrie. As he went through the kitchen, he snatched a nutcake cooling on the metal racks, took a large bite, then paused and looked around. Were they having a party tonight that he'd forgotten about? She seemed to be cooking enough to feed ten people to the stuffing point.

    He winced. A husband should remember if that many people were coming to dinner. Then he cheered up. Maybe she'd planned to invite some of the women from Riada to a female gathering…a couple of

    hours to eat and chat about… whatever it was women talked about when they booted men out of the room. Since he was usually gone for at least part of the day, she wouldn't necessarily have mentioned it.

    He winced again. He hoped she hadn't mentioned it. Even if it had nothing to do with him, he should have remembered.

    Maybe that's why she was moody. Nerves, most likely, about hosting her first gathering…which would make it clear to anyone who wasn't a fool that Marian was acknowledging her place as his Lady.

    And what better way to celebrate a marriage announcement than with a party?

    Grinning, he stuffed the last of the nutcake into his mouth and went out to the garden.

    The lift in his own mood suffered a blow when he saw her gently touch the petals of one of the spring flowers. She looked so sad, so lost.

    "Marian?"

    She jumped at the sound of his voice. "Oh. I didn't think you'd be home."

    "I want to talk to you about something."

    He watched her pale as he walked toward her. Something was wrong here, something that pricked at him in warning, but he couldn't sense the source.

    "What?" Her voice came out a tortured whisper.

    He looked away for a moment. He'd thought this would be easy, just a formal step to acknowledge what was already between them.

    "I'm in love with you," he said, watching her eyes, trying to read what he saw in them. "I want to make a life with you, have children with you if you want them, see the seasons turn with you. I want to marry you, want you to be my wife as well as my friend and lover. I want to be your husband."

    She shook her head and took a step back.

    He felt the sharp edge of rejection slice his heart. "Won't youat least consider it? We've done well together these past months and…"

    "I can't." Marian turned away, her shoulders hunched as if he'd delivered a hard, unexpected blow.

    "Why?"

    "Because I'm not what you need," she said, her voice filled with pain. "I'm just a Purple Dusk hearth witch with little formal education, no accomplishments that count for anything…"

    "Wait just a damn minute."

    "…and I'd just be an embarrassment to a man who is the High Lord's son."

    He took a step back, his head reeling. "You won't marry me because Saetan is my father? Hell's fire, woman. He adores you."

    She shook her head fiercely. "I'm not going to diminish the SaDiablo line. I care about you, Lucivar. I care so much. I'll be your lover as long as you want me, but I won't marry you."

    He took another step back. Then he laughed bitterly. "I'm good enough to bed but not good enough to marry? I don't think so, witch-ling. Fine. You don't want to marry me, that's your choice. You want to stay and keep working as my housekeeper, that's fine, too. But you'll move your things back to your own room before I return. I'm no one's toy, and without love, I'm no one's bedwarmer."

    He leaped over the flower beds, lightly touched down on the stone wall, then launched himself skyward toward clean air…and away from a place that now filled him with pain.

    "Lucivar," Marian whispered as she watched him slice the sky before he caught one of the Winds and disappeared.

    What had she done? And why? She was doing it for him, wasn't she? Doing what was best. But… Her head felt stuffy, like it was full of cobwebs. So hard to think. But something wasn't right.

    He'd been so hurt. He shouldn't have been hurt. Good enough to bed, but not good enough to marry? How could he think that? How terrible if he believed that. How could she leave while he was hurting so much?

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire