Third Husband – a ficlet of Jaco (Lady Taisiya’s Third Husband)

Set early in Jaco’s marriage to Taisiya


Some part of Jaco wanted to cringe. His wife – his wife, the only wife he’d ever have – was glaring at him with exhausted exasperation.

He took all of that desire to cringe and lifted his chin up defiantly. “The egglings are all safe. I waited until every one of the bandits was dead or bound and locked in the closet. I waited until I hear you and Onter give the all-clear.”

“You took care of the egglings, good.” She didn’t sound like she thought it was good. She sounded like of course you did the bare basics required of you by decency.

Jaco had to admit that was true.

“I wasn’t going to leave them in danger,” he tried anyway. “I’m not a monster.”

“And for that, I’m sure we’re both grateful.” She looked him up and down with a gaze that had no sympathy or affection at all.

Jaco couldn’t help a small gulp. He shifted his feet a little further apart and tried to look her in the eye.

Tried. He wasn’t quite able to manage that.

If he was a monster, rather, if Taisiya thought he was a monster… he knew what happened to monsters.

That was a line too far.

“So. You waited until it was safe. You made sure the bandits were bound and locked away. And then…”

He forced himself not to quail away. “And then I snuck out the back door, stealing a shirt of Onter’s and some pants of Callum’s on the way.”

“And then you ran away.”

“I did.” He had gotten an embarrassingly short way. He had shirt and pants, yes, but he had no shoes, and his feet were already going soft.


“Again.” This time he managed to meet her eyes.

She sighed and grabbed onto a handful of his hair. He didn’t stop her.

“Let’s put you in your room. I’ll deal with you in the morning.”

She wouldn’t, of course. There was only so much dealing she could do.

He was going to be a Bad Husband until she got rid of him. The trick was not being so bad that she thought he was a monster.

He let her steer him by his hair with no argument. He’d pushed the limits enough for tonight.

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