glacial_queen: (Your Majesty)
[personal profile] glacial_queen
Lucivar stormed into Saetan's study at the Hall and slammed the door behind him, snarling something incoherent. Karla, alone in the study, just raised an eyebrow at him and set aside the papers she'd been reading, leaning back in Uncle Saetan's comfortable chair. "Yes?" she drawled.

"What the Hell are you doing in here?" Lucivar snapped, temper punctured by seeing Karla sitting where he was expecting his father. Also, would it have killed her to have some kind of reaction to his entrance? Back in Terreille, the sight of Lucivar roaring into a room had sent grown men in search of a change of pants. Here, people just looked at him, generally with disapproval for making all that noise.

...In fairness, though, the staff of the Hall had been dealing with Jaenelle, the coven, and the boyos for years now, and the combination of adolescence, power, and those particularly agile minds when it came to using Craft would have shattered the nerves of less strong-willed individuals.

Still, the lack of reaction annoyed Lucivar. He needed a battleground on which to vent the emotions churning inside him. His father would have been the perfect foil, all that dark power that Lucivar could throw himself against without fear. But this was Karla, and not only was she not reacting properly (and when had she ever?), he shied away from the idea of battling with a witch, even one who was his equal in a Jewel.

"Uncle Saetan is currently getting Kayla to settle down for a nap," Karla said, with a voice that warned him that if his snarling had woken the baby, it wasn't her wrath he'd be facing. "He had some papers he was going to send to my Steward to look over, but since I was here already for a visit, I figured I'd go over them now."

"He knows you're in here?" Lucivar demanded.

Karla rolled her eyes. "No, of course not, you nit," she snapped. "I let myself in through the Black locks on the door. And my High Lord impression is so good that Helene couldn't tell the difference when she brought me tea and nutcakes to snack on. Is that why you're so snarly? Because you lodged your head up your ass so far that you can't get it out again?"

Lucivar growled, the mention of the Hall's hearthwitch--any hearthwitch--reminding him again why he was in such a mood in the first place. Said mood could could also be put squarely at Karla's feet, considering she'd been part of the double-team of trouble who had saddled him with his current problem in the first place. That, combined with her snark--you know, when he stopped thinking of her as a witch and just thought of her as Karla, the pain in the ass that had been a pain in his ass for years, it got a lot easier to ignore the tugging of Protocol that said he should be respectful.

Truth be told, that tugging was easy to ignore anyway.

"This isn't going to work," he snarled as he paced in front of Saetan's desk. "It just isn't going to work."

"What isn't?" Karla asked.

"Marian."

Karla sighed, but there was exasperation underneath the sound. "It hasn't even been a month yet. The woman has barely had time to unpack. What has she--"

"I can't stand this!" Lucivar shouted. "This is my home. I don't want this in my home!" He stopped pacing and raked one hand through his hair. "She's--she's bringing out everything that's savage in me."

"Why?"

Another reason he wished his father were here instead of Karla. His father was also a Warlord Prince, he would understand. Karla's Consort wasn't Blood and her cousin was a Warlord. Could she even comprehend what he meant? Still, he had started his rant and now could no more stop it than control the Black. "Because she's afraid! She's afraid of Tassle and--" It burned him to say it. "--She's afraid of me."

It took Karla a moment to remember Tassle; right, the kindred wolf who was living with Lucivar currently. He was a gangly-legged adolescent, if Karla remembered aright, but she supposed he might still be intimidating to someone who was unused to kindred. Or wolves. Or even large dogs. But Marian's fear of Tassle might be grating at Lucivar's temper, but it wasn't the reason that it had come so close to snapping. So Karla ignored that statement and honed in on the real point. "She has good reason to be afraid of you."

[Text taken, adapted, and downright origami'd from Chapter 7 of "The Prince of Ebon Rih" by Anne Bishop. Continues in comments because I realized after writing up 3/4s of it as a post that it would work better as comments. *Sighs* NFI, NFB. Trigger warning for mentions of assault in comments.]

Date: 2015-07-10 08:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] offers-choices.livejournal.com
Oh, now. Here was that battlefield he was looking for. Lucivar stilled his prowl and his voice became quiet and deadly. "Meaning what?"

Date: 2015-07-10 09:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] offers-choices.livejournal.com
"Jaenelle brought her in." Another battleground, one that was less likely to end with him venting his fury in Karla's direction. They both knew that if he lost control and attacked her, like as not, Karla would end up dead. And the conversation about Marian was too personal and sensitive, like an open wound that flared with pain anytime someone brushed up against it. "And what in the name of Hell was Jaenelle doing in Askavi Terreille?!" he roared.

Date: 2015-07-10 09:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] offers-choices.livejournal.com
Lucivar had a feeling he really wasn't going to like the rest of this story. Fucking Terreille. "Information my father gathered?"

Date: 2015-07-10 09:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] offers-choices.livejournal.com
"Nothing important," Lucivar murmured, remembering the defeated way Marian had held herself just this morning when she'd said those very same words.

Date: 2015-07-10 09:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] offers-choices.livejournal.com
Feeling sick, Lucivar closed his eyes. "So they raped her."

Date: 2015-07-10 09:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] offers-choices.livejournal.com
Lucivar shuddered. There was nothing that turned Jaenelle lethal and merciless faster than rape. And even though he agreed with every fiber of his being that these Warlords had deserved whatever she'd done, he couldn't fight off the atavistic shudder at what she would have considered just punishment--even as he approved of whatever it might have been.

"She killed them," he said, wanting confirmation. "Though--if she intended to begin the Healing order to save Marian, it would have been a fast kill." Which meant that they hadn't suffered nearly enough to repay the debt of pain and terror they'd inflicted.

Date: 2015-07-10 09:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] offers-choices.livejournal.com
There was no better Healer than Jaenelle. She had saved Lucivar's wings when they were little more than slimy rags over bone from his time in the salt mines of Pruul; whatever damage those whoring sons of bitches had done to Marian's wings would have been less than nothing compared to Jaenelle's skill. And the knowledge of what his father could do to one of the Blood after the physical death should have frightened him, but he took a grim satisfaction in knowing that every wound Marian had received, every moment of terror she'd experienced, had been accounted for. While Saetan ripped their minds about, piece by piece, he would have found out everything there was to know about why and how Marian had ended up being attacked by those men.

"What about her father?"

Date: 2015-07-10 09:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] offers-choices.livejournal.com
Yet.

The word hung unsaid between them, and Lucivar knew with an absolute certainty that it didn't matter how many more centuries Marian's father lived. The day would come when his body died and he would make the transition to to become one of the demon-dead. He would end up in the Dark Realm--and the High Lord would be waiting for him.

Date: 2015-07-10 09:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] offers-choices.livejournal.com
Lucivar started pacing again. He couldn't dismiss her. Not just because of what he'd learned from Karla, but because it would confirm that she did nothing important, that her skills had no value. That she believed it, accepted it, chafed as much as anything else. But having her stay wasn't going to ease the other part of his frustration--especially now that he knew there were five--the bastards!--more reasons why she'd run from him.

Date: 2015-07-10 09:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] offers-choices.livejournal.com
He tried to think of a delicate way to say it, but in the end, he blurted it out. "She makes me hungry."

Date: 2015-07-10 09:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] offers-choices.livejournal.com
Lucivar glanced at her, expecting to see criticism or anger in her expression. Instead, he saw...interest. And also a kind of unholy glee that made him tense.

"I know it isn't possible," he said, half just to forestall whatever...Karla-ing...Karla was preparing to do.

"Why not?"

He stopped pacing and stared at Karla in disbelief. "For one thing, she works for me. If she thinks that's part of what I expect from her--" He raked his fingers through his hair. "I couldn't stand it if she came to my bed because she thought she had to."

Date: 2015-07-10 09:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] offers-choices.livejournal.com
Where he couldn't protect her, especially now that he knew she needed protecting? Not while he was breathing! But the question made his temper soar. "I'd follow Protocol and stake a claim," he snarled.

Warlord Princes weren't like other men. They were passionately violent and violently passionate and far more territorial than other males. And when a particular woman intrigued a Warlord Prince sexually, he had a simple way of dealing with potential rivals: he killed them.

Because that lethal response was part of the nature of Warlord Princes, the Blood had long ago established Protocols to give other males a chance of survival. When a Warlord Prince indicated interest, he staked a claim and the other males stood back, giving him time to get to know her--and for her to get to know him and consider if she wanted that formidable temper and driving sexual hunger focused exclusively on her. Because it would be exclusive. But the choice was always hers. When she'd spent enough time with him to make a decision, she would either accept him as a lover...or tell him to go. And if he told him to go, he didn't argue, didn't try to persuade her--he had to walk away. That, too, was Protocol.

Date: 2015-07-10 09:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] offers-choices.livejournal.com
"She still might think--"

Date: 2015-07-10 09:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] offers-choices.livejournal.com
That threat, which was sincere, shouldn't have cheered him up. But it did.

Date: 2015-07-10 09:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] offers-choices.livejournal.com
Lucivar clenched his fists. The coven--Karla in particular--could take anything he dished out, but... "She's too fragile to be treated like you," he accused.

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