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.That was her name—Reah.It was a lovely name—to speak and to hear."Reah is mated to my son—the Prince-Heir," Kaldill grinned, his eyes lighting with mischief.Reah swatted at his shoulder, deliberately missing.I could tell they were old friends, as well as related by marriage.I wished I knew others like them, I realized.Friends who might tease one another and share many things without fear.Dena joined us in the kitchen and stopped short at the sight of Reah and the others."This is Reah," I began my introductions."This is her mate, Torevik, his father, Gardevik, Kordevik, a guard, and this one—I know not his name." I stopped at the last man inside the kitchen, realizing that I couldn't see what or who he was; that had never happened before and I wondered at it."I am Kifirin," he nodded to me and smiled."If the Elf King has you under his protection, then I shall uphold and strengthen that.""Thank you, Lord Kifirin," Kaldill gave a respectful nod."Your offer gladdens my heart.""All of us have mindspeech," Reah continued."Do not be afraid to speak with us in this way.No matter how far away we are, we will hear."Good, I responded.Something terrible has happened in Kondar's Sector Two.I felt it while bathing.I fear Lord Dorthil has a terrible ally at his side, and an even worse ally to hide behind.* * *Le-Ath Veronis"I think I scared her to death when I disappeared like that," Reah said, lifting the cup of tea Lissa offered."You think she can see through a Sirenali's fog?" Lissa shook her head."I hope that's what this means," Reah agreed."Kaldill is sending mindspeech, telling me he is attempting to calm her, with Daragar's help.She thinks she did something wrong.""That poor girl," Lissa rose to pace.Reah had arrived in the middle of the night, but then darkness was the rule on that half of Le-Ath Veronis.The planet rotated on its side to produce constant darkness for the vampires.Lissa and a few other vampires were able to walk in sunlight, but that was a tiny exception in the vampire world."She can read most anyone, but she couldn't read Kifirin," Reah went on."These scones are good—who made them?""Cheedas—he found new recipes somewhere," Lissa mumbled, naming her chief cook."Do you think I should come and take a look at this girl?""I don't want to frighten her more than she already is," Reah said."She hasn't had an easy time of it, and those fool Avii tried to kill her when she was dumped on their doorstep.""You say Kaldill is trying to help her?""He and Daragar both.""Then I'll hold off—Ildevar is planning to approach the Kondari High President in two days—is there any chance we can clear the way on that?""The High President's son is there in Lironis, now, sending messages to his father.""Then we'll use that," Lissa sighed."I'll let Ildevar know.Kooper intends to travel with him, along with a few others.""I'd ask him to choose his companions carefully," Reah said."I will."* * *LironisQuin"I didn't want to make a mistake," I assured Kaldill, who fussed about me as if I really mattered.Wolter waited to bring me dinner, telling Dena that she'd worked hard all day and asking her to sit at the table in the kitchen to be served with me."Reah made this," Wolter set a wide bowl of food in front of me."She calls it noodles in mushroom sauce.I've tasted it—it's wonderful."Dena was served a fish course with her noodles, and both of us were in raptures at our first taste of the food.Whatever Reah was, she was also a master cook.I'd never tasted anything I liked so much.Wolter, a fine cook himself, was very impressed by her skills.Kaldill continued to sit beside me while I ate, and Wolter offered a cup of watered wine with our meal."This is worth cleaning out dusty old rooms any day," Dena smiled and sipped her wine.We weren't finished with the physician's quarters, or even half finished.It would take two more days to clear everything out, and then another day or two to scour it and make it clean enough for Master Ordin's patients."We've made good progress," Ordin nodded his thanks to Dena and me."It won't be long before everything is cleared away and cleaned well enough.""When we get the bedroom and sitting rooms clean, I'll move equipment into it and start seeing patients," Ordin said."Not without a guard present," Justis said, striding into the kitchen [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]