Celta Thursday: Barton Clover plot/Heart Fortune cut continued
"Get to your places." T'Willow put enough snap, enough command in his voice to have Glyssa moving to her former seat, and her parents striding over to the other twoseat, and the Willow woman closing the door.
Jace took a step or two, then stopped and headed for the no-time. Brows raised, T'Willow opened the unit and handed a large tube to Jace.
The tube with the pink foamy stuff that he wouldn't want to drink was warm in Jace's fingers. He met T'Willow's gaze and the man nodded. "Give it to him and wait ten minutes."
Jace shrugged and strode to the door, stepped out of it just as a tall, muscular guy who moved like a fighter turned a corner and started down the hallway, still swearing vividly under his breath. His hair was dark and his eyes blue. He wore an embroidered patch that should have clued Jace in to his name, but didn't.
He stopped a pace from Jace, shot a forefinger at him. "You aren't T'Willow."
Like Jace had never looked like a GreatLord in his life.
"Jace Bayrum." With a grin he offered the tube of sloshing pink stuff to the man.
"Heard of you," the guy said. Jace didn't think so, but didn't contradict the man. "What's that slop?"
"A potion GreatLord T'Willow wants you to drink." He withstood an intense scrutiny.
"You aren't trying to poison me, are you?" the fighter asked.
Jace laughed and laughed.
The man rolled his eyes. "Fine, fine. What's in the slop?"
"T'Willow said it's a potion to make you more receptive to love. Lust, too, I guess."
The man snorted. Jace opened his mouth to ask the guy's name, then figured it would be more fun if he didn't.
Brows lowered in a scowl, the man said, "You can't make me drink that."
"Who wants to?" Jace said, waved to the entryway. "You're free to go back to your...brother."
The guy showed his teeth, paced toward the nearest end of the hall that showed a glass door to a conservatory and back. "He's given me no peace. 'Get a wife. You want children, don't you?' he says. Nothing but nag, nag, nag." He ran his hands through his thick hair. "The whole Family, nothing but nags. Wears on a man."
Jace sloshed the potion around some more, watching milky pink bubbles rise to the top, break. "You gonna drink this or not?"
"There's a woman in there." The fighter jerked his head toward the door to T'Willow's ResidenceDen.
"Three," Jace said affably.
"Three?" The guy brightened. "I'm getting a choice? That's better."
But when Jace thought of the guy preferring Glyssa to Enata, he tensed and regretted the teasing.
"Gimme that." The potion was swooped from his hand, the top squeezed open with ease, and the pink contents downed.
Jace wanted to go back to Glyssa, block her from this man's sight when he walked in, all open to attraction and love and with his inhibitions lowered. He studied the man, admitted that he wasn't sure that he and T'Licorice and T'Willow could take the guy in a fight.
He tapped the man's wrist timer. "Wait ten minutes and come on in."
"Three," the guy said. "A choice of three, at least. And T'Willow's supposed to be a good matchmaker. Good results."
"Ninety-eight percent," Jace said, and hoped the GreatLord was right about the fighter and Enata. Jace, himself, couldn't see it.
"Not so bad," the man said philisophically, taking a seat in a wood and velvet chair that groaned under his weight. "Beats being nagged to death."
Jace gestured to the Willow woman who'd been hovering near the opening to the entry hall. She came up and Jace said, "Ten minutes."
Smiling, she nodded. "I know the procedure even though this doesn't happen often. It's exciting!"
"Uh-huh." Jace opened the door and slipped through, the man stood and craned to see in, then frowned and began to pace again.
Jace closed the door and went to Glyssa, eyed her very red-orange locks. How could anyone miss her? And she wasn't wearing a flowing gown like Enata, but something more form fitting, showing the curves of her breasts and hips, the smallness of her waist. She was more delicate than Enata, her bone structure more refined. Definitely more beautiful.
Continued next week, if not sooner...