“It’s like I said, Lilith, I have other things on my mind. I was thinking about how I want this band off so I can go home. There was no cause for this.”
“Yes,” Basha interrupted, “surely the band is unnecessary, Lilith.”
Lilith sneered at her. “A lot you would know about an Oathtaker’s duty,” she spat. “No Select would be safe in your company.”
Basha looked down.
Lilith glanced around the room. She tilted her head and smiled at her guests who’d stopped to watch the exchange as it had grown more heated.
When the diners turned back to their own meals and conversations, she turned back to Dixon. Her fingers touched her necklace, then slowly moved back and forth across her décolletage, as a hypnotist might do when trying to make his subject fall under his spell.
He did not succumb to her attempts at seduction. His eyes remained fixed on hers. “You’re out of line, Lilith, and you know it. Basha deserves your undying respect and gratitude.”
She glared. “Dixon. Be reasonable. Rowena is dead. Surely you can understand that it will be necessary for you to speak to the Council.” She pursed her lips.
“Lilith. Be reasonable,” he mimicked, his expression hard, resolute. “You know I always served Rowena faithfully. I’m not a miracle worker. I told you how she died. Of course I’ll check in with the Council to inform them of the facts, but no reasonable person could find fault here.”
“Oh, really? Well, I certainly have a lot of questions. Like . . . Where were you? And why were you there and not here at the palace where Rowena would have been safe? And . . . did you get assistance for her? And—well, many other things.” Her jaw set.
“The palace isn’t always safe,” Basha said.
Dixon contemplated what both women said. For the first time since leaving Polesk, he felt genuine cause for concern.
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