Feel the Burn Page 119

“Vipers!” Gwenvael accused the women, yanking his arms free. “Horrible, vicious vipers!”

He stalked to the door, stopping beside Dagmar. “And you!”

“I know you’re angry, but Bercelak will never allow you to lead one of his legions with all that hair.”

Gwenvael pointed a damning finger. “This betrayal will never be forgotten.”



“So pretty,” Nika said to her sisters. “But such a big baby about a little hair.”

“Shut up,” Dagmar snarled, yanking the hair from the Rider’s grasp. “And never speak of this again.”



Elina watched in fascination as Gwenvael the Handsome sobbed on Talaith’s shoulder.

“His hair?” she asked Celyn again.

“He loves his hair.”

“Yes, but—”

“You’re thinking again. Logically. When it comes to my royal kin. Why? Really. I mean . . . why? Logic . . . not involved here. Even in a little way.”

“Then I shall stop.”

“It’s for the best. You’ll just give yourself a headache.”

The sobbing grew louder, and Elina was about to leave just so she wouldn’t have to see any more when Kachka walked into the hall, followed by the other Riders who’d accompanied her.

“Sister!” she called out. “You are not dead!”

“Not yet.”

Celyn shook his head. “That’s a lovely greeting between sisters . . . and what were you thinking!” he suddenly bellowed at his younger sister, who’d walked in with Aidan the Divine of the Mì-runach and King Gaius.

“Are you yelling at me?” Brannie demanded. “At me?”

“Yes, at you! First off,” he said, shooting out of his chair and storming over to his sister, “you don’t ask Mum if you can go off with this idiot to fight the battles of Irons!” He glanced at Gaius and muttered, “No offense,” before yelling at his sister again. “And second, I’m in charge of you! Me! Not him! And not Mum!”

“She’s my general! I take orders from her! Not some idiot who used to fly into walls.”

“I was still learning!”

Unable to stand a second more of this, Elina stood and walked out of the Great Hall, grabbing Kachka’s arm as she passed and pulling her along.

“You are part of that now,” her sister reminded her.

“I am . . .” Elina’s words faded off when she realized that King Gaius had followed them out. If he’d kept walking, she would have assumed he’d used their exit as an excuse to leave such a ridiculous argument between siblings. But he didn’t keep walking. He stopped by Kachka’s side. Looking as if he rightfully belonged there.

That’s when Elina asked, “Have you two been fucking again?”

Before Kachka could reply, Gaius leaned down, smiled, and said, “Yes!”

Kachka rubbed her forehead.

“She won’t admit it, Elina, but it’s been great.”

“Go away.”

“To our room?”

“It is not—” Kachka stopped. Took a moment. “Just go,” she said finally.

Gaius leaned in and kissed Kachka on the cheek. He started to walk down the stairs, but suddenly turned around and fled back inside. Elina didn’t know why until Keita charged up the stairs after him, yelling, “Yoo-hoo! King Gaius! You must see the new colors of patches I have for you and your missing eye!”

“So,” Elina said, trying not to smile, “a king husband. That is impressive, sister.”

“He is not my husband.”

“No. But I have seen that look before. Fearghus has it when Annwyl screams at the walls that she will not be forced to hire the stonemason. Briec has it when he argues with Talaith about damaged fruit. Gwenvael has it when he watches that tiny, weak Northlander order big soldiers around and they listen. She cannot even take down an elk, but there you go. And King Gaius . . . he now has that look for you.”

“I do not want to have this conversation.”

“Because you know I am right.”

“Because you need to shut up.”

Trying to pretend that she wasn’t bonded to that Iron dragon, Kachka motioned to all the activity in the courtyard.

“They’re getting ready?” Kachka asked in their native tongue.

“Yes. They will be going to war. As will you, I’m guessing, sister. Now that you are the Scourge of Gods.”

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