For shit’s sake, every time he closed his eyes, he saw Selena’s face. Heard her voice as she said she wanted to get dressed. Smelled the scent of her disappointment.
Tears sprang anew to Anha’s eyes. She wanted to believe him, and yet that seemed impossible—even as he wrapped her still-clad form with the blood-colored silk.You honor me, she said, staring into his face.
Not enough. With a quick turn, he stalked across to a table that had been laid with gems.The largesse of jewels had been the last thing on her mind as he had lifted her hood, but now her eyes widened at the display of wealth. Surely, she did not deserve such things. Not until she gave him an heir.Which abruptly seemed not a chore, a’tall.
As he returned unto her, she inhaled sharply. Rubies, so many she couldn’t count them—indeed, a whole tray … including the Saturnine ring which she had been told had always graced the hand of the queen.Accept these and know my truth, he said as he once again lowered himself at her feet.
Anha felt her head shake. No, no, these are for the ceremony—
Which we shall have here and the now. He put out his palm. Give me your hand.If you go in there, you’ll just make it worse, Rhys insisted gently. Come on.
He put his hand on the small of my back and ushered me over to the stairs. When we reached them, I expected him to try to push me up the stairs to my room, but he didn’t. He knew that I had to wait for Finn to find out what had happened.I peered in the direction of the dining room, hoping to catch a glimpse of something. I wasn’t sure what that would help, but I thought if I could just see what was happening, I could somehow make it okay.
That was a rough dinner, Rhys said with a joyless laugh and sat down on the stairs. I couldn’t see anything, so I gave up. Pulling my skirt underneath me, I sat next to him.Don’t be sorry. It wasn’t your fault, Rhys assured me with his lopsided grin. You just made this house a whole lot more interesting.