“You know exactly why,” she said tightly and turned her back on him. Mihangel sighed and came to stand beside her, turning around to lean his back against the marble balustrade.
Behzad had been opposed to bringing her family to France from the very beginning. Her father had done it as a gift to the woman who had raised his only child. He had been adamant that she spend her last days in comfort, assured that her sons would be taken care of and that the daughter she had buried was alive and well. That daughter had opposed it until nothing could be done and when push came to shove refused to let her foster mother see her.
“My brothers are human,” she said softly. “I don’t them to have anything to do with my life.”
“They want to be here.”
“This isn’t about what they want,” she scoffed and reached into her boot. He had to smile when she pulled out a cigarette and lighter.
“Then what is it about?” he asked, plucking the lighter from her hands. She glared at him until he lit it, moving the flame so that it hovered beneath her cigarette.
“They don’t need to be here,” she finally said, accepting her lighter back. “It’s dangerous and confusing and I’d rather they think I’m human.”
“Ah,” he said. “You want them to think you’re human.”
“You know, I tried to kill my first shrink,” she said leaning forward. “Don’t try to psychoanalyze me.”
“Fine. How is it dangerous? Your father is more than capable of protecting you and them.”
Behzad let out a harsh bark of laughter. “No offense to the old man, but he can’t stop everything. And nobody can protect teenagers.”
“Oh?” he asked, trying to stifle a laugh.
“Shut up,” she muttered. “He can’t. Especially when they don’t know that they need to be protected.”
“I think you worry too much.”
“You don’t worry enough. Especially for a general.”
“I have enough to worry about. Your brothers will be fine. Really,” he added when she sniffed disbelievingly.
He wanted to ask her what else was wrong but refrained. All day she had been moody, her presence fluctuating between perfect control and running wild. If most Ancients’ presence glowed with a fiery radiance, Behzad’s actually burned. It was a roaring firestorm that engulfed everything around her when allowed to run wild.
TEASER TUESDAY IX