Blessed Stranger, what
have I done?
Daymonde shut his chamber door.
The startled manservant straightened
from laying out Daymonde’s wedding finery. As the man offered a
hesitant bow, Daymonde could see in his thoughts the observation that
the queen’s betrothed must have spent the night in solitary
contemplation of what this day would hold.
Contemplation, aye, but hardly
Would that he had.
But too late, and he had a vow
to keep. The elation of the past
hours already faded into a cold sickness in the pit of his belly.
Could he bear to take Fiona as
wife after this night?
Could he bear to face her and
all her people if he did not?
The slight tingle of the
presence of another’s Gift warned him just before the door flew back on
Altnik Pearson’s amber eyes
blazed, and though their minds remained
veiled to each other, every line of his lean form bespoke fury.
Daymonde gestured for the manservant to leave. Altnik held himself
rigid, fists knotted at his side, until the door closed again. “You
stupid, selfish fool!”
Bracing himself for a mental
blast of rage that did not come,
Daymonde retreated to his dressing table and poured a cup of mulled
wine. He swished a mouthful of wine before swallowing. “You’ve seen her
this fine morning, then?”