Gavril stared down into the most beautiful eyes he had ever seen. Their pale honey color shimmered as she met his gaze, and even if it hadn’t been for the way her slender body quivered, he would have known she was terrified of him.
Her breaths came in ragged little gasps, and before he could do or say anything, her eyes went hazy, and her knees buckled. Gavril caught her as she collapsed, and though she was so petite, her insubstantial weight surprised him as he lifted her into his arms.
Alarik exchanged words with the Patriarch, who directed them to the next room, where Gavril laid the unconscious female on a soft lounger. The Patriarch spoke frantically, but Alarik held up a hand and said a few words in that calm voice of his.
Gavril could see the man shift uncomfortably before speaking again, and Alarik whispered, “Gavril, you must assure him. He thinks you take offense.”
Gavril looked down at the unconscious female. He’d spent his entire life having people fear him, and it never bothered him before. But for some reason, the fear he’d seen in this female’s pale eyes made him angry. The last thing he wanted was a female to be tied to, but if he had to have one, why did it have to be one so delicate? Why couldn’t the Patriarch have chosen someone tougher? Why couldn’t he have offered him a gypsy woman like the ones he was accustomed to? This was it, though. This pale, slight creature was what he’d been offered, and he couldn’t refuse a gift from a Patriarch no matter how much he wanted to.
“Gavril,” Alarik whispered.
Finally meeting the Patriarch’s eyes, Gavril told him precisely what he wanted to hear. “I understand that most fear us. No offense was taken. I will gladly accept your gift, and she will learn there is no reason to fear me.”
Gavril saw the skeptical expression on Alarik’s face, but he ignored his friend and gave one more lingering look at the female before leaving the room. He suddenly felt trapped, and he had to find a little fresh air before his beast made an appearance.