Chapter Eleven - Sorrowful

The lesson didn’t happen. It must have been the horrified look on her face. Who was this man, this usurper who had neglected to install himself in the former King’s chambers?

Instead, he lifted her bodily and took her across to the bed.

“You’re freezing, little one,” he said. “Let me warm you.” He began to rub her arms and shoulders briskly.

“I forgot to look for the necklace,” she murmured. Only when she’d been gazing at the rough flagstones had she recalled its loss.

“What is it with you women? Always hankering after a bauble.”

“She gave it to me, Clara. Only yesterday. For my birthday. The first gift I’d received from her in years.”

Eithne became aware he was shaking her, though not hard. “Is it true? The raid happened on your birthday?”

“My eighteenth,” she whispered, sadly. “It should be a time of joy and celebration.”

Xander rolled onto his back.

“Go,” he said. “Get out, before I change my mind.”

“Do you really mean that?”

Eithne looked with longing at the supper tray. Was prese
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