Elska-Chapter 8 by Acton Bell

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Kaen's golden eyes gleamed with amusement, but he answered in House Polite in response to her comment, "Thank you, House Daughter De'enth."
The girl smiled brightly then turned to stare with apparent interest at the passing scenery. Kaen's lips twitched. House Daughter De'enth had not to his certain knowledge set foot out of the main house since her arrival; based on that he doubted very much that she was fascinated by the kyrdde fields. But she had been all that was polite during their tour of the estate, asking several questions that showed she had an understanding, if not appreciation, of the basics of estate management, equal to that of House Daughters Ka'al and Fe'nix and above that of Be'eth. Which was surprising as House De'enth was a space merchant House, not a land based Family. It was another point in the girl's favor, not that Zhazar would need convincing she was suitable. It seemed his younger half-brother had already made his Choice.
Kaen had had no intention of showing any of the House daughters about the estate, but Zhazar had appeared in his rooms pleading for Kaen's assistance. "Please, Kaen," he'd pleaded. "Find out what House Daughter Ilith thinks of me."
Kaen had raised any eyebrow. "Minn bror, are you blind? The girl's quite taken with you."
"Do you really think so?" His brother's tawny eyes had turned to gold. "She's not just being polite?"
Kaen had given an exaggerated sigh. "Trust me, Zhazar. I have some small experience with women and House Daughter Ilith is very fond of you." Unlike the other candidates, who were in Kaen's opinion, interested only in the position of Ladye L'u-cif-er and not the man who came with it. He been pleased to see Zhazar had also ruled out the others. If his brother did not want elska, he deserved genuine affection at least.
"I am fond of her also," Zhazar said, a faint blush staining his cheeks.
The temptation to roll his eyes was strong, but Kaen resisted. Zhazar had had a sheltered upbringing and very little contact with women not of close Family. This was his first mál af the hjarta. "You think she is your Choice, Zhazar?" he had asked gently. "You are not going to wait for elska?"
The younger man had looked thoughtful. "I could wait forever and never find elska, jaju?" Kaen nodded. "I will be satisfied with what I have in front of me," Zhazar said, "rather than look for something I might never find."
Which was how Kaen had come to invite House Daughter De'enth Us'guin Ilith for a drive about the estate, to better judge her appropriateness as the future Ladye L'u-cif-er. There had also been at the back of his mind a hope that he could learn something of Kara, but he had been unable to think of a way to broach the subject of the dsk.
"Kara should see this," Us'guin Ilith said absently, then flushed when she realized she had used the dsk's name, not title as was proper with a Family outsider.
Kaen slid a sideways glance at the girl, wondering if she wasn't mildly telepathic. He used polite inflection, saying, "She is House De'enth's dsk is she not? She is appreciative of desert estates?"
House Daughter De'enth relaxed slightly seeing Kaen was not offended by her lapse of protocol.

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