“I have conditions.”
Luke supposed he shouldn’t have been surprised by that. He recognized the parallel. He recognized the tone of voice, too.
Shit, Mike, where are you when I need you?
He listened to her conditions with growing worry. He didn’t know how to be any more direct than he was being. He didn’t know how to say it to her, what he needed to say.
When she got to the end: “…that you won’t make me live in it alone. …At least some of the time,” his heart nearly broke. And he wanted to say, like some teenaged student, “well, duh.”
He coughed, instead. “I’ve only built houses twice before, Mystral. For the mothers of my first two sons.” Ké hadn’t let him build her a house. In this day and age, old man, we can buy an apartment just fine.
He kept talking, before he could convince himself to stop. “I wouldn’t build a house I didn’t plan to share. And I wouldn’t build a house for you without your input.” His wings flared. This wasn’t, yet, real. This couldn’t, yet, be real.
He met her eyes. “You have to remember that I come with history,” he warned her. “Those other two houses.”
And the women he’d built them for. And the sons, all three of his sons. He was very glad Chavva was a girl.
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