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Part 25A

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Allarick was waiting at the front entry of the palace when Philomina and Arabella returned from their shopping. He had been informed that the two of them had left the palace that morning by an anxious Nechemya. It seemed that he had been unable to keep a vigilant guard upon the two women since they did not inform anyone of their plans to leave. They also had chosen to walk rather than ride one of the beasts from the stable, so even Tamarin had been unaware of their jaunt outside the palace walls. Nechemya had finally gotten the information of Philomina’s idea to go shopping from a female servant she had passed as they were leaving.

“Did you enjoy your shopping? I hope that all is well,” he gave Philomina a sharp look as he spoke. There was no mistaking the warning there. Mina knew better than to leave the palace unprotected, but perhaps the dangers beyond the walls had not been stressed enough. She had been foolish enough to leave unguarded, and she had taken his unaware mate with him.

“All was splendid at the market. I helped Bella choose many fabrics to be made into clothing,” there was no apology in his sister’s tone, but she smiled with pleasure to see him draw Arabella near and place a kiss on the crown of her head.

“We had an amazing time. I never imagined that the market would be so vast, and I loved the opportunity to see more of your town. As long as I am here I would like to se my new home.”

“As long as you enjoyed yourself tamore, I am pleased that you were able to go. All I ask is that the next time you tell someone where it is that you are going. We were unable to find you at the midday meal, and I was worried. If it had not been for Philomina’s absence and a young servant girl who watched the two of you leaving the palace, I would have been much more worried.”

Allarick watched the wicked smile bloom on Mina’s face. She was trying to hold in her amusement at his diplomacy, and her shoulders were shaking with humor. She knew very well how unhappy he was with them, and couldn’t help but goad him.

“We will be much more cautious the next time my darling brother. I am sorry to have worried you, but I did not think that a walk to the market and a day spent shopping would cause you such concern. Who would have thought that you could become so protective,” a laugh escaped as Philomina added, “I have been shopping at the market alone for cycles.”

“Mina, do you mean to tell me this is not the first time you have left the palace without a guard?” The sharpness of the question should have been a warning to Philomina to have care what her answer would be, but caution was not one of his sister’s virtues.

“It is simple really; I just walk out of the palace. No one has ever stopped me, and I know that while dear Nechemya would like to follow me, he does not have the time. As for why you are unaware, I suppose it might have something to do with me bribing the rest of the servants to keep it from you and Nechemya.”

Allarick was only able to stand there and sputter as his sister’s brilliant smile and dismissive attitude. She had been diverting his attention with such tactics since she was a child yet it still worked. If Mina shocked him or displeased him, she would always bait him by taunting with some behavior that was much worse. Then with a smile she would kiss him on the cheek and be off before he was able to regain any control of the situation, which she promptly did, yet again, with a wave.

“I shall see you at the evening meal Bella.”

Long silence filled the room as he stared after Philomina’s retreating back. Years of raising her after the death of heir parents should have given him some immunity to her machinations, but it seemed he was as easily manipulated now as he was ten cycles ago.

“I think I know who it is I should take lessons on how to manage you from. Does Philomina have that affect on everyone or is it just the people closest to her?”

“I think it is something she does to everyone. I am not certain how she does so when we all know that it is happening, but the little terror just keeps on. I suppose it is what I get for spoiling her outrageously when she was a child. Since we have some time before the evening meal, why do you not come with me to our chamber? I have something that I would like to show you,” the wicked heat in his eyes gave a ready indication to why he really wished to go to heir chamber.

“Is it something that you wish to show me, tamir, or is it something that you wish to do with me?”

Reveling in the fact that she had called him tamir, the masculine form of tamore, Allarick pressed a gentle kiss the side of Arabella’s neck as they traveled toward their chambers.
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Updated 05-02-2009 at 08:45 AM by applepie