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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Heir to the Shadows (Chapter 117)      Page
  • Heir to the Shadows(Black Jewels,Book 2)(117) by Anne Bishop
  • About as edible as the table leg. "Do I have any choices?"

    "No."

    "Sounds wonderful."

    She returned a few minutes later, helped him shift from the stool to a straight-backed chair that supported his back, then placed a large mug on the pine table. "It's a healing brew."

    His lip curled in a silent snarl. Every healing brew he'd ever had forced down his throat had always tasted like brambles and piss, and he'd reached the opinion that Healers made them that way as a penalty for being hurt or ill.

    "You don't get anything else until you drink it," Jaenelle added with a distasteful lack of sympathy.

    Lucivar lifted the cup and sniffed cautiously. It smelled . . . different. He took a sip, held it in his mouth for a moment, then closed his eyes and swallowed. And wondered how she'd distilled into a healing brew the solid strength of the Askavi mountains, the trees and grasses and flowers that fleshed out the earth beneath, the rivers that flowed through the land.

    "This is wonderful," he murmured. "I'm pleased you approve."

    "Really, it is," he insisted, responding to the laughter in her voice. "These things usually taste awful, and this tastes good."

    Her laughter turned to puzzlement. "They're supposed to taste good, Lucivar. Otherwise, no one would want to drink them."

    Not being able to argue with that, he said nothing, content to sip the brew. He was even content enough to feel a mild tolerance for the bowl of broth-soaked bread that Jaenelle placed in front of him, a tolerance that sharpened considerably when he noticed the slivers of beef sprinkled over the bread.

    Then he noticed she was going to eat the same thing.

    "I'm not the only one you drained to the limit in order to do this healing, am I, Cat?" he said quietly, unable to completely mask the anger underneath. How dare she risk herself this way, when there was no one to look after her?

    Her cheeks colored faintly. She fiddled with her spoon, poked at the bread, and finally shrugged. "It was worth it."

    He stabbed at the bread as another thought occurred to him. He'd let that wait for a moment. He tasted the bread and broth. "Not only do you make a good healing brew, you're also a decent cook."

    She smacked the bread with her spoon, sending up a small geyser of broth. Wiping up the mess, she let out a hurt sniff and glared at him. "Mrs. Beale made this. I can't cook."

    Lucivar took another mouthful and shrugged. "Cooking isn't that difficult." Then he looked up and wondered if a grown man had ever been beaten to death with a soup spoon.

    "You can cook?" she asked ominously. Then she huffed. "Why do so many males know how to cook?"

    He bit his tongue to keep from saying, "self-preservation." He ate a couple more spoonfuls of bread and broth. "I'll teach you to cook—on one condition."

    "What condition?"

    In the moment before he answered, he sensed a brittle fragility within her, but he could only respond as the Warlord Prince he was. "The bed's big enough for both of us,"

    he said quietly, aware of how quickly she paled. "If you're not comfortable with that, fine. But if someone's going to sleep in front of the hearth, it's going to be me."

    He saw the flash of temper, quickly reined in.

    "You need the bed," she said through gritted teeth. "The healing isn't done yet."

    "Since there's no one else here to look after you, I, as a Warlord Prince, have the duty and the privilege of overseeing your care." He was invoking ancient customs long ignored in Terreille, but he knew by her frustrated snarl that they still applied in Kaeleer.

    "All right," she said, hiding her shaking hands in her lap. "We'll share the bed."

    "And the blankets," he added.

    The hostile look combined with the suppressed smile told him she wasn't sure what to think about him. That was all right. He wasn't sure, either.

    "I suppose you want a pillow, too."

    He smiled that lazy, arrogant smile. "Of course. And I promise not to kick you if you snore."

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire