Dragon's Teeth [Martis series 2]
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by Mercedes Lackey
Description: The Council sent Masterclass mage Martis and her bodyguard Lyran on what was supposed to be a simple mission. Nobody expected things to start with out-of-control--and nearly fatal--weather and then escalate from there.
eBook Publisher: Marion Zimmer Bradley Literary Works Trust, 1988 Bardic Voices
eBookwise Release Date: September 2008
97 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [59 KB]
Reading time: 34-47 min.
Trebenth, broad of shoulder and red of hair and beard, was Guard-serjant to the Mage Guild. Not to put too fine a point on it, he was Guard-serjant at High Ridings, the chief citadel of the Mage Guild, and site of the Academe Arcanum, the institution of Highest Magicks. As such, he was the warrior responsible for the safety and well-being of the Mages he served.
This was hardly the soft post that the uninformed thought it to be. Mages had many enemies--and were terribly vulnerable to physical attack. It only took one knife in the dark to kill a mage--Trebenth's concern was to circumvent that vulnerability; by overseeing their collective safety in High Ridings, or their individual safety by means of the bodyguards he picked and trained to stand watchdog over them.
And there were times when his concern for their well-being slid over into areas that had nothing to do with arms and assassinations.
This was looking--to his worried eyes, at least--like one of those times.
He was standing on the cold granite of the landing at the top of a set of spiraling tower stairs, outside a particular tower apartment in the Guildmembers Hall, the highest apartment in a tower reserved for the Masterclass Mages. Sunlight poured through a skylight above him, reflecting off the pale wooden paneling of the wall he faced. There was no door at the head of this helical staircase; there had been one, but the occupant of the apartment had spelled it away, presumably so that her privacy could not be violated. But although Trebenth could not enter, he could hear something of what was going on beyond that featureless paneled wall.
Masterclass Sorceress Martis Orleva Kiriste of High Ridings, a chief instructress of the Academe, and a woman of an age at least equal to Trebenth's middle years was--giggling. Giggling like a giddy adolescent.
Mart hasn't been the same since she faced down Kelven, Ben gloomed, shifting his weight restlessly from his left foot to his right. I thought at first it was just because she hadn't recovered yet from that stab-wound. Losing that much blood--gods, it would be enough to fuddle anyone's mind for a while. Then I thought it was emotional backlash from having been forced to kill somebody that was almost a substitute child for her. But then--she started acting odder instead of saner. First she requisitioned that outlander as her own, and then installed him in her quarters--and is making no secret that she's installed him in her bed as well. It's like she's lost whatever sense of proportion she had.
Behind the honey-colored paneling Trebenth heard another muffled giggle, and his spirits slipped another notch. I thought I'd finally found her the perfect bodyguard with that outlander Lyran; one that wouldn't get in her way. He was so quiet, so--so humble. Was it all a trick to worm his way into some woman's confidence? What the hell did I really bring in? What did I let latch onto her soul?
He shifted his weight again, sweating with indecision. Finally he couldn't bear it any longer, and tapped with one knuckle, uncharacteristically hesitant, in the area where the door had been. "Go away," Martis called, the acid tone of her low voice clearly evident even through the muffling of the wood. "I am not on call. Go pester Uthedre."
"Mart?" Ben replied unhappily. "It's Ben. It isn't--" There was a shimmer of golden light, and the door popped into existence under his knuckles, in the fleeting instant between one tap and the next. Then it swung open so unexpectedly that he was left stupidly tapping empty air.