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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Twilight's Dawn (Chapter 64)      Page
  • Twilight's Dawn(Black Jewels,Book 9)(64) by Anne Bishop
  • “Did you go to another Healer in Riada?”

    Another headshake. “Wasn’t supposed to tell.”

    “Then you don’t know if you’re all right.”

    She squirmed and kept her eyes focused on his boots. “Tamnar looked at my back. He said it wasn’t bad, and none of the marks were close to my wings. He said he’d gotten worse.”

    Something Lucivar would discuss with Hallevar. As far as he knew, the old arms master was still giving out the slaps that were meant to sting pride rather than injure flesh. He’d gotten his fair share of those in his youth, so he had no problem with that bit of discipline. But if someone else had been doing more here, in his valley . . .

    “Did you deserve the strapping?” Lucivar asked mildly.

    “He said I did.”

    His breath caught. That tone of voice should not come from a girl Jillian’s age. That level of hatred should not be in a girl Jillian’s age. She should not have experienced anything that would put a knife-edge in her voice.

    Because he knew two women whose voices sometimes took that same edge, and because he knew why that edge was there, he had to ask.

    “Jillian, are you a virgin?”

    Her mouth fell open in shock, and because of her silence, the word rape hung in the air between them. She hadn’t been broken. He was sure of that. Jaenelle and Surreal hadn’t been broken either by the violence of rape, but they both carried emotional scars.

    “Jillian?”

    She didn’t answer. Then she jumped when the wood cracked under his hands.

    “I am,” she said quickly. “I am!”

    He released the table and stood up. “If I ask a Healer to look at you, will she tell me the same thing?”

    “Yes, sir.”

    Thank the Darkness for that.

    He’d been rising to the killing edge, and he took a moment to pull back and regain control.

    “All right, witchling. Listen up.You are going to school. Maybe with the Rihlander children, maybe not, but you are going to school. Weapons training will be considered an extra. As long as you keep up with your studies, I will see that you get training in bow, sticks, and knives. You shrug off one, you lose the privilege of the other. We clear on that?”

    “Yes, sir!”

    “Next, you do not get strapped by anyone but me. Ever. If someone thinks you’ve misbehaved to the point of deserving it, the charge will be brought to me. If I decide you do deserve that punishment, I will wield the leather. We clear on that too?”

    “Yes, sir.”

    “If someone else tries to strap you or hurt you in any way, what are you going to do?”

    “Kick him in the balls.”

    Lucivar blinked. Swallowed a tickle in his throat. Damn tickle. Felt like a laugh. “After that.”

    Jillian pondered for a moment. “Come to you?”

    “That’s right. Although you might consider just getting away and coming to me first. If he deserves it, I will hold him while you kick him in the balls.”

    She gave him a bright smile. Probably thought he was teasing her. Probably just as well to let her think that.

    “Anything else I should know?” he asked.

    She shook her head. “Does this mean Nurian and I can stay in Ebon Rih?”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire