Eight months after the arrival of the Dane ships on Jasta, the construct of life has completely changed. Raton is living at Bastion castle, but he and Aria have yet to take their relationship past friendship.
Rife was originally created within her flesh, but is no longer her blood son. He now calls her Aria and is becoming ever more brazen about his desires.
Will the secrets hidden in Aria and Raton’s past leave them falling prey to death or clinging to one another in thankful harmony?
Would Raton and Rife actually die for her, or are the words simply a statement to describe their love?
Find the answers within the pages of Two Die For Her.
Rife tore the quilt off the bed. Aria glared at him with a grunt of anger.
“Well, Aria. Get up.”
“I don’t want to get up, Rife. I don’t want to go to the festival. I can’t face a sun of pleasantry where everyone will be scrutinizing me to see how I’m doing. It has only been a month and a half since Keir died, and this was something he specifically asked to do. I will be thinking of him all sun, and it will ruin it for me. Let the family go and enjoy themselves. I’m not up to it.”
“I don’t want to hear it. Everyone is waiting for you downstairs in the kitchen. We even dragged Raton out of bed. Please...” he begged in a droning voice.
Aria sighed, grabbing the quilt to pull it back over her head. Rife tugged harder, pitching it to the floor. “Okay, okay,” she muttered rolling off the bed. “Get out and let me get dressed.”
He walked out into the main chamber and Aria tugged on a brown, horrible, plain dress. She didn’t want to go, and certainly didn’t feel like wearing something flashy.
Rife was leaning on the back of the sofa waiting for her. “No!” he said, shaking his head. “You need a bath. Your hair is a wreck and no amount of brushing is going to fix it.” He strode around the privacy screen, and Aria heard the sound of water cascading up from the springs below.
“I don’t feel like taking a bath. If you want me to go, then let’s go.”
Rife strode over, physically pushing her toward the tub. “If you don’t do it yourself, then I will do it for you, and I swear that you are going in with that gruesome dress still on.”
Aria knew Rife would have little trouble dumping her into the tub, and she would never take a chance of physically hurting him by fighting. “You’re a pain in my ass.”
“I’ve never had the honor.”
If nothing else, the boy had a sick sense of humor. Aria chuckled, ruffling his hair. “And you never will.”
Rife backed off and she hung her dress over the screen, stepping into the tub. The water was foamy with her favorite herb sand and she inhaled deeply, visions of suns past flashing in her mind. Aria had taken many baths with Keir or Jace and on rare occasion with both of them. “Rife?” she called out, while soaking her head with water.
He walked around the screen and took the sand from the shelf to wash her hair.
“I didn’t mean for you to come in here. I just wanted to ask you a question.”
“I figured you could use help with your hair. I won’t be the first one to wash it for you, will I?”
“No. I was wondering, does Raton ever mention me? I know the two of you are friends.”
“On occasion he asks a question about you,” replied Rife. “A few suns ago he wanted to know why your hair was so many different colors. It took me forever to explain that it began as honey blonde. And then you were kidnapped, and given a dangerous root that filled it with purple streaks and changed your eyes. It was sad. When I told him the tale of Keir saving your life by tracking down the men who had taken you and killing them, he became really quiet. I think he feels guilty for not... I don’t know, taking better care of Keir in the ship. He knew of the dangers that faced them—Keir didn’t.” His hands settled in her hair, then began to massage her scalp again. “Anyway, I went on to explain that in later years you were involved in a strong spell that saved Starene’s life and also added long, blue black Bastion curls to your otherwise wavy hair. We can straighten the curls with a bit of power, but changing the color isn’t possible.”
“That it’s not, and you, my sweet, ended up with the same purple streaks in your Kamatien blond hair. Do you ever regret not looking more like your sisters?”
“I look like my father. That’s not a bad thing. You certainly thought my father was attractive. Didn’t you?”
“From the first moment I saw him standing in a pair of boxer shorts. It was all I could do not to sit and gawk, and he knew it. Jace had just gotten out of bed, his hair was rumpled, and his back was to me as he poured us cups of brew. I needed a job. I got far more than I bargained for that sun. I miss him so much, Rife.”
“I know you do.” Rife primed the tap, filling a rinsing pail with water and slowly pouring it over her head. “Finish your bath. I love you.” He leaned to kiss her on the cheek and make her smile. Rife looked so much like his father. The older he got, the more the resemblance became apparent.
Aria finished washing. When she got out of the tub, her dress was gone, replaced by black leather. “Rife!”
“Yes,” he teased from the other side of the chamber. “I’ll not have my glorious mother going out in a rag.”