LeiLei

Chapter 16 Part 1 | Son in Sorrow | IHGK Book 2

Harsin sat at breakfast the next day, alone but for his eldest daughter. Ansella's robin's egg blue morning room, cheerful even in the weak winter sun, served as consolation and goad to them both; they sat silent, picking at their eggs and coffee. The butler appeared, arms full of newsprint, but set the stack before the King alone. "Affton, where are my morning papers?" asked Sedra.

"There'll be no more of that," growled her father. "I'm done with you ruining your mind. All this reading will stunt your ability to bear children."

"Papa, you know that isn't true! Many educated women--"

Chapter 8 Part 9 | Son in Sorrow | IHGK Book 2

Sedra let her horse pick its way down the steep trail back to the main road through the King's Woods, but on the clearer track she urged the mare to a faster pace. Once on the King's Road itself, she tore away at a run, giving free rein to LeiLei's spirits and her own rage.

The King's favorite child, kept in the dark about her own impending marriage! How much worse could it be were she his least favorite? She was the firstborn, she should be the one to rule Tremont, she was better suited than her feckless brother!

Chapter 8 Part 8 | Son in Sorrow | IHGK Book 2

A whisper ran through the Hearth that night, carried from one sympathetic mouth in the Healer's House dispensary to various sympathetic ears until it reached a young Sister who worked in the kitchens; she nodded, setting her stubborn black cowlick bobbing. When she returned to her work, she picked up a dinner tray and walked the long stairs into the basement to Sister Ibbit's chilly cell. She gave the renegade her evening meal and murmured, "She is with child, Blessed Ibbit," before she turned away.

Ibbit tore her bread into hunks, the hunks into chunks, the chunks into shreds, the shreds into crumbs. She threw them into her soup and ate with deliberate intensity until the same black-haired Sister came back for the tray. "Tell our friend in the dispensary I have a task for her. Carry it out, the both of you, and then flee," said Ibbit.

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 7 Part 3 | Lovers and Beloveds | IHGK Book One

The next day, Temmin wore his riding clothes to breakfast, going straight to the morning room from the stables and returning there straight after, as Jenks discovered too late. "He's gone, Mr Jenks, sir," said the Riding Master when the valet searched for his errant charge. "He wore the chestnut oot this morning an took another horse--Inchari mare, a rare fine un. T'was odd for him to be goin back oot, but it's not fer me to decide what a Prince should do, eh? We'll tell him you want him, sir."

"I'll tell him more than that when I see him, Pagg damn him for a headstrong boy," rumbled Jenks to himself on the way back to Temmin's rooms. "Tempted to chase him down and turn him over my knee."

The "headstrong boy," however, was in fine spirits, and not in the least repentant. Whatever admonition he might receive for skipping his studies was worth getting out of the Keep, and away from Fennows. He couldn't avoid the lordling at breakfast, and Fennows's endless fawning over Ellika enraged him; it was all Temmin could do not to vault across the toast rack and throttle him.

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