Chapter 14 Part 5 | Lovers and Beloveds | IHGK Book 1

He was the Duke of Whithorse; his word there was law now that he'd come of age. He would send them to the Estate. He would send them to Alvo. "Don't go away. Here--finish your brandy."

He sprinted to the door, and called for a footman. When the young man ran up, a discreet smirk on his face, Temmin realized that Arta was right: her reputation was already ruined. "Does something amuse you, Caid?" barked Temmin. A more sober expression quickly took up residence on Caid's face. "Find that footman Wallek, and bring him here. Then go fetch Teacher. I need him."

Chapter 14 Part 4 | Lovers and Beloveds | IHGK Book 1

The kiss edged away the misery of the day, mixing with the port that suddenly made itself evident in the languor of his limbs, a drowsiness that shifted to arousal as she opened her mouth to him. He remembered kissing her before; he'd brought himself, more than once, remembering that kiss and her slim waist in his arms. He slipped his arms around her now, and kissed her down against the cushions. She was here for him, his consolation. She was the girl who would open the road to Allis and Issak in the most delightful way possible.

Chapter 14 Part 3 | Lovers and Beloveds | IHGK Book 1

"Arta, what are you doing here? Why are you dressed like that? Not that you don't look nice--you look wonderful, actually, quite beautiful...Gods, really, really, quite, quite beautiful." She stood now, very straight and rigid, her small, shaking hand still in his. She was blushing, and she wouldn't meet his eyes. "Arta," he said more forcefully, "what are you doing here?"

"I...I am bid to say--that is, no, not bid to say..." She blinked rapidly, and began again, her voice stronger, working hard if not successfully to overcome her northern Valmouth accent. "I am here to comfort you in your disappointment, Your Highness. They--I mean, I thought you mightn' want to be alone tonight, an as you an I are friends...we might be better friends," she finished, daring a guilty glance up at his face before fixing her eyes on his shoes again.

Chapter 14 Part 2 | Lovers and Beloveds | IHGK Book 1

Temmin woke to a gentle clatter of dishes, and a savory smell of roast beef, potatoes, warm bread, and a bit of a cabbage-y smell that might be broccoli. He must have slept through tea. Did he have lunch? His stomach seemed to think he hadn't. "Jenks?" he said. He sat up and pushed the hair out of his puffy eyes.

"Harbis, Your Highness," said the valet in his irritating, melodious tenor, nothing at all like Jenks's gravel-filled baritone.

"Oh, it's you," grumbled Temmin.

"It is me, to be sure, sir," said Harbis. "If you please, sir, your dinner has been sent up. You seemed ill-disposed to dine with your family." He had perfectly appointed the little table; its damask cloth shone clean and white, and the valet's elegant, slender hands fluttered among the dishes, removing silver covers with unfamiliar gestures Temmin found annoyingly graceful.

Chapter 13 Part 13 | Lovers and Beloveds | IHGK Book 1

Temmin came out of the book sobbing. Her years of loneliness, her yearning for love: her father broke her heart, and when she finally thought she'd mended it, Warin broke it again. He felt every ache of it, but unlike Emmae, he knew what Warin had gone through, and why. "Warin loved her! Why didn't she know? She was so lonely and unhappy, how could she turn him away?"

"A handkerchief, Your Highness," Teacher said, handing it over. "You have seen this story through her eyes. Is it not possible he did betray her? Is it not possible he expected too much, too soon?"

Chapter 13 Part 4 | Lovers and Beloveds | IHGK Book 1

When Teacher found him, Temmin lay on the green velvet sofa in his study; his eyes hurt, and his hair tangled around his head. "Jenks left," he said.

"I know, Your Highness," Teacher murmured, taking up the habitual post by the hearth. "What did he tell you?"

"That his sister Justice needed him in Reggiston, something about her oldest son getting drummed out of the cavalry. I said, why can't you handle it by post? And what could a former corporal--Uncle Pat's servant!--do about it anyway? He insisted he had to go. And I need him. This is my father's doing. Why won't he leave me alone!"


Chapter 13 Part 3 | Lovers and Beloveds | IHGK Book 1

Temmin's charge down the Temple steps caught Mardus off-guard. "Your Highness," he called as he ran after the Prince, "I was in conference with the captain of the Temple's Own--I thought we were here for the day--"

"There's been a permanent change of plans. You won't need to talk with the Temple's Own for some time yet, if ever," said Temmin in a thick voice. "Where's my horse? I want to get out of here."

Chapter 13 Part 2 | Lovers and Beloveds | IHGK Book 1

"Temmin?" said Allis's voice at his elbow. She put a hand on his back; he mechanically took her on his arm, and walked toward the Supplicant's Chamber. Issak joined them, kissed Temmin without a word, and took his other arm. They left the Temple's Own at the door to the Supplicant's Chamber. Once inside, Temmin paced away from the twins into the room; Issak glanced at Allis as they followed behind.

"You're upset," said Allis. "What did Litta say?"

"Nothing of consequence."

"Ah, that explains your shift in mood from apprehensive and excited, to apprehensive and frightened," said Issak. "What did he say, Temmin?"

Temmin sighed and folded himself onto a couch, setting his hat beside him. "He knows about your life in Belleth. Pagg damn my father, he told Litta about your past."

Chapter 13 Part 1 | Lovers and Beloveds | IHGK Book 1

Temmin vacillated several times before Farrday's overnight visit to the Lovers' Temple. He talked himself back into it each time with a combination of wrath against his father, desire, pride, and the memory of the tiny voice in the stillness of the chapel.

On the dreaded and anticipated day, he took out his nerves on Jebby's legs, riding hard over the countryside through the King's Woods into the unknown fields beyond--another thumbing of his nose. He'd been ordered to stay within the safe confines of the Woods, but today he was invincible. Jebby was less so; the hectic ride had left the big horse flecked with foam, and Temmin decided to leave him at home to rest rather than ride him into town.

Chapter 12 Part 10 | Lovers and Beloveds | IHGK Book 1

Temmin withdrew from the book. He brimmed with desire, outrage, disgust and a deep need to see Emmae revenged, every hand on her, every one of Hildin's infuriating strokes imprinted on his body. That such a personal violation could bring on such ecstasy--it had to be the spell.

"You're shaking, Your Highness," said Teacher. "Take a moment."

Temmin closed his eyes, marshalling his emotions. "I want him dead, I so want to see him die," he muttered.

"You will."


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