The wicked heroine, p.52
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       The Wicked Heroine, p.52

           Jasmine Giacomo


  “I can’t believe you let him split your lip like that, Salvor.” Sanych tsked, holding a cool wet cloth against his face as he sat in a chair in his quarters.

  “He’s quite the brawler. I’m sure our country would be in perfectly lawless hands, should he ever slaughter his way to the Magister’s position.”

  She gasped. “Don’t even joke about that. That’s terrible!”

  “I’m sorry,” Salvor said, his words a bit muffled as he turned to look up at her and got the cloth over his mouth. She smiled, lowering the cloth, her eyes drawn to his lips.

  “And you’re not nearly as upset as you were last time he beat you. What were you saying to each other out there?”

  Salvor smiled with the unhurt half of his mouth. “We have a bit of a challenge between us. He’s trying to best me at my style, and I’m trying to best him at his.”

  “Are you serious?” Sanych said, pausing in mid-wring of the cool cloth, water spattering out of the bowl as she turned to look at him. Seeing he was in earnest, she rolled her eyes. “Men.”

  “Dear, sweet Sanych. You’d feel differently if you thought we were fighting over you,” he teased.

  Sanych frowned. “Why in Wisdom would you do that?”

  Salvor only grinned, then winced, touching his lip. “If you were a man, you’d understand.”

  “Then thank Wisdom I’m a woman!” she retorted.

  “I do,” Salvor agreed, brushing a gentle finger along the back of her hand, making her blush. Changing topics, he asked her, “How much longer to Ha’Hril?”

  “I estimate two weeks and four days. It’ll be nice to get solid ground under my feet after this, and I can’t wait to see if it’s really true that the only reason the toothspice plant grows in Ha’Hril is because the island is dominated by a volcano.” Sanych’s eyes sparkled at the thought.

  “Toothspice is from Ha’Hril?” Salvor asked, but he wasn’t listening to the in-depth response that Sanych regaled him with. He knew he could get her to repeat it again, word for word, later on. For the moment, he was mulling over the task he’d set himself once they reached Ha’Hril. Geret’s sudden interest in their competition might prove a hazard.

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