Chapter 117 - Authority
Robert woke Rowan, handed her a flowing caftan, and when she frowned at the lack of anything else, she could swear he was laughing at her.
She didn’t much care. A large part of her soul had died with Marcus. If it weren’t for Alena and the baby, she would go through motions on autopilot, but they needed more from her.
“Come,” Robert whispered as not to disturb Alena, who needed rest to heal. Rowan followed him to the dungeons with a feeling of reservation, but she knew that if it were not for him, they would not have defeated Belvare. Whatever he did, he did to ensure their wellbeing.
Alena was still very sick. She had ingested more of the dark blood and the poison than Rowan. If she were any other vampire, Alena would not have survived.
“There are three guards,” Robert informed her. “Release the prisoners,”
Rowan frowned as she passed the guards, but when he remained outside, she knew exactly what Robert wanted her to do.
“Hermes,” Rowan ordered, and he came quickly. He knew who she was, and that Belvare placed a high value on her presence.
His eyes daringly darted to the naked reach of skin on her side, and when he looked back up, she stared right into his eyes. There was an expression of such force in her glance that he instinctively backed away from her. For a second, it was as if he were in the presence of Belvare himself.
“The master has expressed a wish to hunt,” Rowan said as she pretended to appraise the prisoners. She allowed her gaze to linger on each one. Two of them would not make it, that was clear to see.
Rowan veiled her power as much as she could since she didn’t want the guard to sense that there was a mammoth change in her.
“Slaughter those two,” Rowan ordered in her coldest, most bored tone of voice. The vampire Alena mentioned, glanced at her with both hatred and contempt. It pleased Rowan, if she could fool a princess, then she didn’t have to worry about the guards.
“Release these wretches, keep that one back a while, release her last,” Rowan commanded with all the arrogance of a queen as she singled out the vampire princess. The guard was almost salivating at the prospect.
“The master, Alena and I, will hunt alone,” Rowan decreed, and he looked pathetically disappointed, “No interference,” Rowan instructed with a hard glint in her eye that made him look bewildered. It disturbed Rowan that she effortlessly inspired fear in this vile creature.
“The master has ordered that anyone who dares interfere with the hunt, should be made to regret it,” Rowan warned as she leveled him with her gaze. He barely dared breathe.
“Be quick about it. I’m hungry,” Rowan turned on her heel, and this time he didn’t even dare sneak a peek. It didn’t help that Rowan was testy since she was actually starving. Robert waited for her in the hallway.
“Well done, my lady. You wear authority well. You didn’t need my little distraction,” Robert complimented, and she didn’t look at him on purpose. If it weren’t for the emptiness inside her, his praise might have warmed her heart.
“Remember that the next time you dress me. I don’t like looking like a whore,” Rowan said with the ghost of a smile that never reached her eyes, and she didn’t know how much Robert regretted her pain.
“Go to bed; you need the rest,” Robert suggested, and he wasn’t wrong. Alena wasn’t the only one still suffering the aftereffects of poison, and the forbidden blood.
Her body still ached and spasmed. Nausea still plagued her at odd intervals. She suffered bouts of fever and the chills, headaches, sensitivity to light, but it was nothing compared to Alena.
The nightmares were the worst. Belvare’s memories, his life, and his bloody path through history morphed into horrific dreams where she turned into Belvare, or he chased her or she gave birth to him in endless variations.
Rowan feared going to sleep, but exhaustion always won out. Alena also had the dreams, but more often than not, she slept soundly from her sickness.