Lucivar stormed into Saetan's study at the Hall and slammed the door behind him, snarling something incoherent. Karla, alone in the study, just raised an eyebrow at him and set aside the papers she'd been reading, leaning back in Uncle Saetan's comfortable chair. "Yes?" she drawled.
"What the Hell are you doing in here?" Lucivar snapped, temper punctured by seeing Karla sitting where he was expecting his father. Also, would it have killed her to have some kind of reaction to his entrance? Back in Terreille, the sight of Lucivar roaring into a room had sent grown men in search of a change of pants. Here, people just looked at him, generally with disapproval for making all that noise.
...In fairness, though, the staff of the Hall had been dealing with Jaenelle, the coven, and the boyos for years now, and the combination of adolescence, power, and those particularly agile minds when it came to using Craft would have shattered the nerves of less strong-willed individuals.
Still, the lack of reaction annoyed Lucivar. He needed a battleground on which to vent the emotions churning inside him. His father would have been the perfect foil, all that dark power that Lucivar could throw himself against without fear. But this was Karla, and not only was she not reacting properly (and when had she ever?), he shied away from the idea of battling with a witch, even one who was his equal in a Jewel.
"Uncle Saetan is currently getting Kayla to settle down for a nap," Karla said, with a voice that warned him that if his snarling had woken the baby, it wasn't her wrath he'd be facing. "He had some papers he was going to send to my Steward to look over, but since I was here already for a visit, I figured I'd go over them now."
"He knows you're in here?" Lucivar demanded.
Karla rolled her eyes. "No, of course not, you nit," she snapped. "I let myself in through the Black locks on the door. And my High Lord impression is so good that Helene couldn't tell the difference when she brought me tea and nutcakes to snack on. Is that why you're so snarly? Because you lodged your head up your ass so far that you can't get it out again?"
Lucivar growled, the mention of the Hall's hearthwitch--any hearthwitch--reminding him again why he was in such a mood in the first place. Said mood could could also be put squarely at Karla's feet, considering she'd been part of the double-team of trouble who had saddled him with his current problem in the first place. That, combined with her snark--you know, when he stopped thinking of her as a witch and just thought of her as Karla, the pain in the ass that had been a pain in his ass for years, it got a lot easier to ignore the tugging of Protocol that said he should be respectful.
Truth be told, that tugging was easy to ignore anyway.
"This isn't going to work," he snarled as he paced in front of Saetan's desk. "It just isn't going to work."
"What isn't?" Karla asked.
Karla sighed, but there was exasperation underneath the sound. "It hasn't even been a month yet. The woman has barely had time to unpack. What has she--"
"I can't stand this!" Lucivar shouted. "This is my home. I don't want this in my home!" He stopped pacing and raked one hand through his hair. "She's--she's bringing out everything that's savage in me."
Another reason he wished his father were here instead of Karla. His father was also a Warlord Prince, he would understand. Karla's Consort wasn't Blood and her cousin was a Warlord. Could she even comprehend what he meant? Still, he had started his rant and now could no more stop it than control the Black. "Because she's afraid! She's afraid of Tassle and--" It burned him to say it. "--She's afraid of me."
It took Karla a moment to remember Tassle; right, the kindred wolf who was living with Lucivar currently. He was a gangly-legged adolescent, if Karla remembered aright, but she supposed he might still be intimidating to someone who was unused to kindred. Or wolves. Or even large dogs. But Marian's fear of Tassle might be grating at Lucivar's temper, but it wasn't the reason that it had come so close to snapping. So Karla ignored that statement and honed in on the real point. "She has good reason to be afraid of you."
[Text taken, adapted, and downright origami'd from Chapter 7 of "The Prince of Ebon Rih" by Anne Bishop. Continues in comments because I realized after writing up 3/4s of it as a post that it would work better as comments. *Sighs* NFI, NFB. Trigger warning for mentions of assault in comments.]
- Sadiablo Hall, Dhemlan, Kaeleer