Without a word, she held out the cup of tea. He downed it all in one long gulp.
As I rapped on the door of Yuri and Claudia’s penthouse, it was a strange feeling to be visiting the blonde vixen for advice. Throughout all the centuries we’d known each other, this was a first.But she’d known my brother better than anyone. Hers was always the bed he’d fallen into whenever he wanted an escape, and I suspected that it was with her he’d shared the most about himself. Likely far more than he’d ever revealed even to our father.
Jeramiah’s accusation of me, that I’d never taken the trouble to get to know Lucas, did hold a thread of truth. We had never been close, and I had never really understood him. But I had never been the one to instigate fights. I had always tried to resolve conflicts like gentlemen. It had been him who’d closed himself off from me, even as I’d tried to get through to him. I had given up on him in the end because he’d worn me down.I was shaken from my thoughts as Yuri opened the door. His eyes widened. Derek? What’s going on? Come in, come in.I followed him through the door and into the hallway.
Claudia—and her protruding belly—emerged from the kitchen carrying a bowl of roasted peanuts, her cheeks bulging with the snack.I still hadn’t gotten used to seeing Claudia as a human. It was hard to believe that the pregnant woman standing before me now—a soon-to-be mother—was the same bloodthirsty creature who had tortured Benjamin Hudson and countless other male slaves senseless.
What’s up, King Derek? she asked.
I took a seat on the couch and coughed my throat clear. I’m here to see you actually, Claudia. I want to ask you for… uh, some advice.Just because people are keeping quiet today doesn’t mean they will do so tomorrow, Violet said.
Francesca let out an irritated exhale. It’s not as if I’m a never-married virgin.Francesca crossed her arms. I’m sorry to speak so frankly, Mother, but it is true.
The footman arrived just then with Francesca’s coat and informed her that the carriage would be in front momentarily. Violet waited until he stepped outside to await its arrival, then turned to Francesca and asked, What, precisely, is your relationship to the earl?Francesca gasped. Mother!