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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Twilight's Dawn (Chapter 85)      Page
  • Twilight's Dawn(Black Jewels,Book 9)(85) by Anne Bishop
  • “And after dinner, will we talk, Lucivar?”

    The choices and decisions he was making would change her life too. He nodded. “Once we’ve got the boy tucked in, we’ll talk.”

    They ate dinner, took care of evening chores, and got their son settled in bed. Then they went to the heated pool in the eyrie, stripped down, and relaxed.

    He told her about Falonar inviting Chaosti to a sparring match and then breaking honor by changing it to a real fight at the end when he realized he wasn’t going to win.

    He closed his eyes and tipped his head back to rest against the edge of the pool. Opening his wings, he fanned them just enough to have the water clean them.

    “What did I miss, Marian?” he asked. “Until recently, I considered Falonar a good second-in-command.”

    “Maybe being second isn’t enough for him,” Marian said.

    Second-in-command—and always second best to the half-breed bastard? That had mattered to Falonar a lot when they were boys. Maybe it still did.

    “Three more years to fulfill his contract might feel like too long a time before he can fulfill his own ambitions,” Marian continued.

    Lucivar opened his eyes. “He’s not being tortured or beaten every day. He’s not chained or caged. That being the case, three years isn’t a long time for someone from the long-lived races.”

    “Depends on whether you feel that you’re being kept from something you want.”

    “What is it he wants?” Frustrated, Lucivar sat up. “I provided a place to live, basic furnishings, and a wage to cover personal expenses. If Falonar dreams of being wealthy, there are investments he can make and people he can talk to about those investments—my father being one of them.”

    “Maybe he misses aristo society,” Marian said.

    “He rubs elbows with the aristo families in Riada—and in Doun and Agio, for all I know. So he can’t say he’s got nothing but rough-and-tumble common folk for company.”

    “But the aristos are Rihlanders, not Eyriens.”

    “And that’s my fault?”

    “Of course it’s not your fault.”

    Lucivar heard the bite in her voice. His hearth witch was getting riled on his behalf. It tickled him that she was defending him against himself, but since he didn’t want to end up sleeping alone tonight, he figured it was best not to mention that.

    “We could end up being the only Eyriens in Ebon Rih,” he said. That wasn’t really true, but in a few days, there would be so many less than there were now.

    “When I came to this valley, the only other Eyriens I knew about were you and Luthvian. If our family ends up being the only Eyriens in Ebon Rih, or Askavi, or the whole Realm of Kaeleer, so be it. If they can’t figure out how fortunate they are to have you as their ruler, then they don’t deserve you.”

    She rose from the waist-high water with enough angry energy that he ducked his head to keep from being splashed in the eyes.

    “Marian? Are you pissed off at me?”

    Stepping out of the pool, she wrapped a towel around herself and stomped to the doorway. “I’m pissed off at Eyriens, and you’re the only one handy. You figure it out.”

    Lucivar stared at the doorway for a full minute after she left, then sank back in the water.

    “Well . . . damn.” He might be sleeping alone tonight after all.

    TEN

    “Stop hovering,” Surreal said as she and Rainier walked into the communal eyrie.

    “I’m not hovering. I have my own workout to do. Frankly, I want to go home, and I can’t until I’ve completed all the steps Lucivar and Jaenelle have decided are required.” Rainier shivered. “Mother Night. I never thought about it being so cold here in winter.”

    Winter in Amdarh was much milder, not to mention all the shops, dining houses, and theaters that could be enjoyed during an idle, wintry afternoon. And the lovely sitting room in the town house where she could curl up and read for hours at a time if she felt like it.

    What was winter like in Dea al Mon? She hadn’t thought to ask Chaosti before he returned home to prepare the clan for her visit.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire