“You almost died. And our son might have lived if you had not disobeyed.” Elinas slapped Caliburn’s scabbard against his leather trews.
Pressine had not seen him so upset since the first day he’d barged into these very rooms, after she had cleaned and rearranged them, erasing all traces of his departed queen. Even the roaring fire in the hearth did not dispel the chill.
“I did not think the child would suffer. At the time, I had to save the villagers.” Still, the guilt weighed heavily on Pressine’s chest, robbing her of the will to defend herself.
“Endangering your life and his, to confront a pack of hungry beasts… alone?” Jaw twitching, Elinas locked his hands behind the back of his purple coat and paced like a caged wolf, eyes ablaze with simmering fury.
“I had the power to stop the carnage. No one else could.” Heart racing, Pressine smoothed her blue dress, trying to sound convincing. “In my vision the wolves slaughtered many women and children. It was my duty to help.”
Elinas rolled his eyes toward the wide beams holding the ceiling. “Do not talk to me about sacred duty!”
Walking the length of the table, he ignored the untouched breakfast of pea flour bread, boiled duck eggs, and fresh goat cheese. If Elinas infuriated so easily, now would not be the time to tell him that Mattacks had tried to kill her. He would never believe it.
“Maybe you did as you pleased among the Ladies of the Lost Isle…” Elinas turned fiery eyes on Pressine. “But in my castle, I am responsible for your well being. You should never have endangered your life. No duty of yours is worth dying for.”
Pressine’s chest tightened at the harsh tone. Where had all the love and tenderness gone? Was this the same man who had pleasured her all night on this very bed, whispering sweet words in her ear?
“You deliberately endangered your life!” A heavy fist slammed the table.
Pressine jumped along with the breakfast food, the pewter cups, and the ewer of mulled ale. Elinas’ anger hurt so much, she wanted to cry, but she steeled herself against the onslaught.
Although deeply shaken, she managed to keep her voice calm. “I am not just your wife, not just a queen. I am a Priestess of the Lost Isle. I belong to the Great Goddess. I thought you understood, since you have some Fae blood in you.”
“So I am told, but it does not affect my judgment.” Elinas glowered from across the table. His dark stubbled jaw tensed.
Pressine braced herself to weather the storm.
“After three years of marriage, you still remain a mystery to me. What are you really?” The feral eyes narrowed to slits. “How many deadly secrets are you hiding from me? Would you leave me if the Goddess demanded it?”
Pressine remained silent. Would she? Could she?
Swords, Romance with a Kick