“My Ava,” Tiam says, dreamily. “Yes, you will be mine tomorrow in Merim.”
“You mean you hope I’ll accept you?”
Maybe part of being an Oath Forger is that I have to pick a husband from among The Five? Easy. I’ll pick whoever is willing to return me home.
I eye Tiam for potential. No harm in feeling him out just a little. “If I asked you a favor, to help me do something, would you?”
“I would give my life for you, my Ava,” he says without blinking.
He opens his mouth to say more, but suddenly the connection is severed, and I’m looking at a blank screen. I know I didn’t hang up on him, and I’m pretty sure he didn’t hang up on me.
The next second, Koah bursts through the door. His eyes are wild; he leaps for me and grabs me by the shoulders, searching my face. “What did he do? Are you all right?”
“Um, we talked?” I roll my eyes. “Chill.”
When I pull back, he lets me go with great reluctance. He asks through gritted teeth, “What did he tell you?”
“He wanted me to transport to his ship.”
Koah is nearly cross-eyed with outrage. He looks as if the top of his head is about to blow off.
“I said no.”
He is breathing heavily. “Thank you, Ava.” Then he calms, gathers himself, and his breathing evens. “What else did you tell him?”
“Not much. We only talked for five minutes.”
He looks as if he wants to grab me and wrap his arms around me, but he holds himself back. After another few seconds, seeing that I am all right, he calms down some more.
Is that a disappointed grunt?
I can’t stop myself from saying, “If you’d like, the next time he calls, I can chat with him while sitting in the middle of the bed, naked.”
Koah looks so poleaxed, I regret teasing him.
“Ava.” His voice is hoarse. “You would take your clothes off for Tiam, but not for me?” He sounds as if his heart is bleeding.