I walked into the kitchen and looked around. Belcon was drinking the mess that Clihna, our cook, had made.
I walked past Belcon and stopped at the table where Clihna had set out leftovers for A’Dyn and me before she left for the night. I lifted the lid from the tray and was greeted by the smell of under spiced steak, rare. So rare, it still dripped blood onto the silver tray. Just like last night. And the night before that. And the night before that. And so on.
“Clihna, may I cook this for a few more minutes?” I asked with a small grimace. Raw meat was no longer appetizing after seeing my father’s murdered corpse.
The grey-black shadow stared at me. “No. Tis how Master ordered it, tis how you will eat it.”
I swallowed a low growl. It’s never a good idea to anger the one that cooks your meals. With a small curtsey, I held the tray level on the palm of my hand and stalked out of the kitchen into the empty dining room.
“Eating in here again?” Belcon asked in his gravelly voice as a knife flew through the kitchen door, narrowly missing my head.
“Did I disturb your cleaning?” I asked. “Or have you recently taken to trying to kill me?”
Belcon laughed. He was one of the extremely few servants that I was still on good terms with. “No, Guardian is not done with you yet,” he replied. “Just keep your meal on the tray. I will not clean up after you again,” he warned as he eyed the dripping steak dubiously.
I watched the meat again, my stomach feeling queasy. “I think Guardian is trying to kill me,” I mused as I tossed the steak into the still-burning fireplace. “I can’t eat that anymore.”
“Then you will go hungry again tonight?” Belcon asked, a sincere trace of concern in his voice.
I shrugged. “I don’t age, I don’t need food. I’ll be fine.”
Belcon shook his head, not wanting to argue with me on this subject again. Each member of the royal family had their quirks, not eating was mine.
Belcon took the tray in his hands and tossed it through the door into the kitchen, where Clihna said something unintelligible. Most likely cursing me. Again. Ravenna always was her favorite.
I turned to leave the dining room as A’Dyn walked through the door.
“A’Zaira, Guardian wishes to speak to you,” he said with a small bow.
“And after twenty years, I thought we agreed not to grovel in front of each other, brother,” I replied as I crossed my arms and waited for him to stand again.
“Yes, but that was before…” he stopped, then took a deep breath. “Just go talk to Guardian.”
Throwing a perplexed look his way, I walked out through the door A’Dyn held open for me.
“Good luck, sister,” A’Dyn whispered as I walked past him. I nodded.