"A heiðursmaður wishes admittance Ladye."
Without lifting her head, J'hiya said, "Please inform him that I am occupied now and may not see him" and continued packing books in the hastily assembled boxes.
The shadow's attempt to strangle her had triggered her telekinetic Talent. Half unconscious, she had had no control over the powerful mental force that had slammed Ran into the wall. Heavily anchored bookcases that had taken three men to wrestle into place toppled like plastiblocks under the psychic backlash. Books had flown through the air to pummel Ran's body. Furniture snapped and splintered. Before she had been able to regain control, the shadow had fled and J'hiya had let him go with some relief.
Though she was attracted both physically and mentally to the true Ran Mikel, part of her never wanted to see him again. He was too destabilizing. He brought chaos into her well-ordered life. Alone her telekinesis was weak, of limited scope, something she could control easily, even forget about. But their Elska bond strengthened it somehow, made it uncontrollable. She was becoming a stranger to herself.
J'hiya looked at Ishten, who had remained in the room.
"Yðar göfgi," the First Dsk repeated. "This Shi Ohn seeks the pilot Ji Dent and wishes to speak of Ran Mikel. He claims raftaugarhlíf broer kinship to the Sir."
At the name "Shi Ohn" an image formed in J'hiya's mind. A pleasant, intelligent face of the paler hue that signified an Avononian servant, it radiated warmth, wit, strength. The image came from Ran's memory, absorbed when she and Ran had connected, and there were strong feelings of trust and love associated with it. Shi Ohn was truly Ran's brother in all but blood.
"Show him to the study," J'hiya said after the briefest of hesitations. "I'll be there in a moment."
Ishten bowed slightly and exited the room.
J'hiya looked at the boxed books without seeing them. What had brought Shi Ohn here? If Ran had sent him, surely he would have asked for L'u-cif-er De'enth J'hiya. Why was he asking for Ji Dent? Did he know about Ran's secondary personality? And more importantly, did he know where Ran was now?
She rose from her knees, smoothing her gown into place with one hand and adjusting the scarf at her throat with the other. There was only one way to find the answers to her questions.
Ohn was studying the Byshen landscape that hung over the fireplace when Ishten announced "Dama L'u-cif-er De'enth J'hiya."
J'hiya saw surprise, then comprehension quickly cross his face; and after that, worry and fear before he schooled his expression to polite blandness. "Ladye," he said. "Thank you for seeing me."
"Do you know where Ran is?" J'hiya said, surprising herself with the urgency of her question. She had meant to let Ohn state the purpose of his visit.
Ohn's expression remained closed, though a note of wariness was apparent in his tone. "I know where he should be, Ladye."
J"hiya made an impatient gesture with her hand.