Chalice Bearer: Sneak Peek 4

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Sevenday 9, Day 3

Heady with success but weary from periods of unrelenting social graciousness, Lilian follows Monsignor into a windowed alcove where they can observe the exuberant crowd without being approached. “Monsignor, may I be permitted to know how it was designed that Monsignor Hercules would have Monsignor Persia so well positioned?”

“Hercules’ task was to have the most conservative monsignor he could locate engaged with the governor when we arrived. That it was Persia was the Luck of the First. I am aware that she and Lady Tobi insulted you in Jonathan’s Museum.”

What says he?

Monsignor’s eyes hood. “Katleen said something about it to Cesare. It was not difficult to discover the whole. We can do little to answer the past insult, but I do not believe you will be subject to such again.”

The evening has been beyond her expectations. Had she remained a warrior she would not have been better received. Monsignor’s care for her sets off a warm glow that morphs to desire, muscles contracting low in her abdomen.

Master desire. Lucius’ sex throbs in response to the combination of admiration and desire in Lilian’s gaze. He forces his attention to the throng. A handsome blond warrior passes them, his eyes wandering over Lilian’s form before rising to her face. With a start, and remarkable speed given the packed chamber, the man forces his way to the nearest exit. Hidden from the chamber, Lucius runs a hand between Lilian’s shoulder blades. “Know you that warrior?”

Lilian arches against his fingers. “That is Patrick Volsted.” Three years prior, Patrick Volsted capped his campaign of torment and insult with assault and attempted rape. “Did Monsignor note the length of his hair? He keeps his ears covered.”

“The piece you took was lost and could not be reattached,” Lucius recalls, dropping his hand to cup one buttock.

Lilian’s shoulders twitch with mirth. “It was night and there was much confusion.”

“What know you of that lout’s ear?”

“Naught for certain, Monsignor.”

Tightening his hand on the silk-clad mound, he warns, “Woman, do not try me.”

She wriggles in his grasp, her flush indicating pleasure. “Mr. Hidaka has a mongrel dog with a regrettable fondness for street debris. In the confusion of the militia’s arrival, she wandered free for some moments.”

“Are you giving me to understand that Hidaka fed that lout’s ear to his dog?”

Lilian protests with mock shock. “That would be a serious transgression. I assure Monsignor, Mr. Hidaka is the most upright of citizens.”

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