Predatory Marriage — Chapter 88. The Blood Of A Wolf (1)
Translator: Atlas / Editor: Regan
Leah hesitated. She wanted to ask Ishakan many things, but more than anything she just wanted to walk away. It was hard to look him in the face when moments from last night kept flashing through her mind, visions of endless and frightening s3x haunting her.
She had cried and struggled like an overwhelmed child. Her senses had been pushed to their limits. It had been primal and raw and Ishakan had succumbed completely to primitive impulses she couldn’t begin to understand. The ordeal was seared into her mind, and the memory of his touch made her writhe with embarrassment. It was too much, all of it. Clenching her fists, her nails bit into her palms as she spoke.
“Whatever it is, I don’t need to know.”
She tried to summon her regal bearing as she pushed him away, her legs wobbling beneath her, but she had barely gone two steps when something caught the hem of her dress. It wasn’t Ishakan. He was standing by the bed, silently watching. Her dress was caught on something, a nail in the floor, and even bending over to free it was simply beyond her.
She gave up. The frustration was evident on her face as she fell back toward the bed, and Ishakan smiled down at her.
“You can’t go back alone. You can’t even walk.”
Wrapping Leah up in his arms, he carried her to the bed, shaping a backrest from the pillows and tucking a blanket over her. Content with his efforts, he gently kissed her forehead.
“Wait a moment, okay? I’ll get you something delicious.”
He shrugged into a coat and slipped out the door, his footsteps fading into the distance. With the room empty, Leah took the opportunity to observe her surroundings. It was a fairly large room, so she assumed it must be one of the finer inns, furnished with heavy furniture, opulent and grand. Beside her on the bed was the paper Ishakan had been reading when she woke.
All of it was in Kurkan. He must have been writing while she slept; the ink was still fresh, shiny with moisture. Leah studied the text. Though Ishakan’s penmanship in the language of Estia was poor, his calligraphy in his native tongue was impeccable. The lines were bold, and fierce, but there was still a sense of artistry.
The door opened and Ishakan reappeared, carrying a tray laden with plates piled high with food. Fruits, meats, breads, sweetmeats, an enormous variety and to her eyes, enough to feed the change of guard at the palace. She had to stifle a gasp as he set it down before her.
Was she supposed to eat all that?
Maybe he meant for her to take a small bite of each dish, like at a banquet. The Kurkans were almost ostentatious in their consumption of food, but there was no reason to eat so much, especially in the morning.
“I brought you something light,” Ishakan explained. “Just to break your fast.”
Leah stared. The table beside the bed was all but groaning under the load.
“But tell me if you want more,” he added. “You burned a lot of energy last night.”
It reminded Leah of Genin’s breakfast. Apparently the Kurkans were used to eating this way.
Ishakan nudged the table closer to the bed and dragged over a chair for himself, sitting down opposite her. Leah scooted forward on the bed to eat from her own small plate, accepting a knife and fork from Ishakan. They were small, as if they had been created specifically for her hands.
Ishakan plunged his hands into a bowl of water and then tore into the bread with them, ignoring the niceties of plate and utensils. Watching him eat with such enthusiasm stimulated her appetite. The food was unfamiliar, but it tasted delicious, and her fork and knife neatly sliced and transferred her portion to her mouth. Vegetables, and then a thin slice of flat toast with cheese on top, salty and savory. There was a steamed dish rolled inside leaves, finely ground meat with fragrant spices, stuffed with grape leaves and cooked in a pot. The rich odor nearly made her salivate, and before she knew it, she had eaten three.
She had already eaten too much, but each dish was more curious than the last. Another dish resembled yogurt, but it was a strange creamy color, and when she tasted a spoonful, it had a smoky flavor that wound its way down into her throat. After five more spoonfuls, she identified it as some variety of eggplant.
She almost took a sixth bite when she realized how much she had eaten and set her spoon down, startled. Ishakan glanced at her as she pushed the dish away.
“Are you done?”
“Too much.” She really shouldn’t have eaten any of the yogurt-thing, but all of the food was so delicious, and unlike anything else she had ever eaten before. But it was no excuse. She regretted her lack of self-control.
“Well, eat some fruit.”
He wasn’t making a suggestion. He was giving her a command.