The work in progress is up to 70K words. The published book will about 150K words. Until then, I glimpse into what is happening with Lilian and Lucius. This passage has not been reviewed by my editor. All errors are mine.
Dazed with wonder, Lilian half listens to Lucius’ children chatter about the Nightingale’s flight. A day gone, she was wretched with the knowledge that Lucius’ love for her had made him vulnerable to attacks on his preeminence and that his mother and sister detest her.
While naught has altered either woman’s opinion, the meager nature of Jurian’s challenge was apparent during the Nightingale’s flight. The Twelve Systems elite offered naught but courtesy and admiration when she took the place of honor at Lucius’ side.
Even more dazzling, he wishes her as consort. A desire that, from what Master Chin voiced, Lady Estella approved. He shifts in his seat, a faint scent of the sea reaching her. Relaxing into the scent, she gazes unseeing through the transport window, the passing city fading to mist.
She shivers. . . her manacled hands unable to reach her shoulders to warm and comfort. Bound and on her knees, she stares into Benmyn’s hate filed countenance as he spits on her.
Lucius presses his knee to hers. “Lilian?”
His dark eyes capture hers. His compelling features fill with concern. “Are you well?”
Well? Shaking off the mist, she nods. “I beg pardon. I believe I dozed off.”
He glances down at her hand gripping the thorn. “An ill dream.”
Relaxing her fingers, she attempts a reassuring smile. “More a memory. It was naught.”
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