Eversworn: Daughters of Askara, Book 3

Eversworn: Daughters of Askara, Book 3 by Hailey Edwards Read Free Book Online

Book: Eversworn: Daughters of Askara, Book 3 by Hailey Edwards Read Free Book Online
Authors: Hailey Edwards
tea at dinner and forcing him to rest, but it was a cruel risk if I trapped him in a nightmare and he couldn’t wake. I wasn’t willing to chance it.
    “Lady,” a low voice called, the tone apologetic.
    I turned. A male approached with his shoulders bunched and his head down as if to make himself appear smaller. His skin was ebony, as was his hair and eyes. His wings were dusky carmine. No glamour hummed across his dark skin.
    “Yes?” Perhaps he was a placement of mine. My hand had guided several ex-slaves boarding at the consulate into this life.
    Without glamour, I had little hope of recognizing him. Askarans had enslaved the exotic Evanti, and then demanded their appearance be altered to match that of their masters. Sthudai retained their natural state. Beauty was their purpose. Sthudal , laborers, were forced to conform.
    This male lacked the heart-stopping beauty Harper and Dillon shared. He must be sthudal .
    He scanned my face. “You’re Lady Emmaline’s healer?”
    I glanced at Dillon, who regarded the male cautiously. “I am.”
    “I’ve heard…” He lifted his hand, but Dillon’s glare made him lower it. “Are you Evanti?”
    I strained to be polite. “I’m afraid that’s none of your concern.”
    As if I’d given him confirmation, he grinned. “I never thought I’d see one such as you.”
    I lacked the heart to tell him he still hadn’t. Shivering, I noticed I held Dillon’s rapt attention as well. Would he covet me if I had said yes? I frowned. Perhaps I had been too quick in taking offense. Or was Dillon simply guarding his territory? And his kiss meant to deter other males? This one hadn’t even acknowledged him.
    “It was nice to meet you,” I said, “but it’s late for me.”
    The male leaned closer, too close. Heat tingled in my palms. Control, control, control .
    His whisper was meant to bypass Dillon I’m sure. “Would you…reveal yourself?”
    I laughed. “You can’t be serious.” My reveal wouldn’t be the one he had in mind.
    “Phineas,” Dillon interrupted. “You were at the stables earlier. You saw what happened when she arrived. If a female of our kind strutted around without glamour, it would cause a riot.”
    The smile fell from Phineas’s lips. “I may never see another female Evanti.”
    “I know.” Dillon cupped my shoulder, the gesture possessive. “But it’s not her problem.”
    Silver sparked in Phineas’s eyes, and I backed up until I was flush with Dillon’s chest.
    “She’s yours.” Phineas’s lip curled. “You have such wealth and refuse to share even a glimpse?”
    I risked a step forward. “I am not a possession, and I’m not his.”
    Dillon’s sigh brushed my ear. He’d followed me. “You’re not thinking straight, Phineas.”
    “Let me touch her.” Phineas’s gaze met mine. “Once, and I’ll leave in peace.”
    His arm outstretched, but Dillon captured his wrist. “It must have escaped your notice that there are no slaves in Askara. That means if you want something from someone, you damn well better ask them for it. I don’t own her. She’s her own person, the same as you.” He twisted Phineas’s arm, stepping into his body as he turned him from me. “You’re violating her rights and pissing me off by implying you can trade favors with me to get what you want from her.” He growled, “Don’t approach her again. If you so much as sniff in her direction and I hear about it, you’ll be expelled from this colony. Do you understand?” When Phineas nodded, Dillon shoved him stumbling forward. He found his balance and started turning. “Don’t even think about it.”
    The urge to have that last look was a twitch in Phineas’s neck. Instead, he tucked his hands into his pockets and began walking. “Take care, Isabeau.”
    He couldn’t see me, but I nodded while rubbing my hands up and down my arms. I consoled myself by saying my plan was working. Once I found the salt, if my plan failed—and it might even though I

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