He watched her again, going still, intent. She could see his thoughts turning, his curiosity honing on her. She didn’t think she could stand it any longer when Liv’s voice drew his attention back inside. Sable shifted slightly, but he didn’t go to her.
“Where’s Sable?” Liv asked Roar.
Aria saw her through the gap in the drapes. Liv looked like a different person from the girl she had seen earlier. She wore a Grecian dress in a burnished orange color that enhanced the bronze of her complexion. A green rope looped around her waist, and she’d swept her thick blond mane up off her shoulders.
“What happened to you?” Roar asked her.
“I couldn’t figure out the belt,” Liv answered blithely.
“I wasn’t talking about the dress. ”
“I know. ”
“Then why are you—”
“Roar, stop,” Liv said sharply. She moved to the table and sat.
Roar followed, crouching at her side. “Are you going to ignore me? Are you going to act like there’s nothing between us?” He’d lowered his voice, but Aria could hear everything he said. The stone room was like a stage, amplifying the sounds and pushing them outside to where she and Sable stood, watching in the darkness. She wondered if Sable could hear him too.
“Olivia,” Roar said urgently, passionately. “What are you doing here?”
“I’m waiting for food,” she said, staring straight ahead. “And Sable. ”
Roar cursed, jerking away from her like he’d been pushed.
Sable laughed softly at Aria’s side. “Shall we?” he said, returning inside. He went to Liv and kissed her on the lips.
“You’re beautiful,” he whispered before he straightened.
A blush crept over Liv’s cheeks. “You’re embarrassing me. ”
“Why?” said Sable, taking a seat by her side. He looked at Roar, amusement in his eyes. “I doubt anyone here would disagree. ”
Aria’s stomach twisted. Roar looked ready to spring forward and rip Sable to pieces. Pulse racing, she glanced at the guards standing by the door. Both men locked eyes with her. They were watching everything.
When Roar took the seat beside her, she brushed her arm past his and sent him a quick warning. Roar, stay with me. Stay calm—please.
Across the table, both Sable and Liv noticed the gesture. The room had no secrets. Every whisper was heard. Every shift in emotion scented.
Darkness settled in Liv’s green eyes. Was it jealousy? How could she dare feel that? She was marrying Sable. She had no right to feel possessive over Roar.
Servants brought out platters of roast ham and vegetables. Aria somehow felt both hungry and nauseated. She took a piece of bread.
They ate in uncomfortable silence for a few moments. Aria’s gaze kept returning to Roar’s hand on the knife beside her. Roar and Liv wouldn’t look at each other. Sable watched everything.
“Was Perry happy with the food we sent?” Liv asked finally.
“The other half of the payoff?” Roar said, surprised.
“It’s called a dowry,” Liv said sharply. “You sent it, didn’t you, Sable?”
“The day I promised,” Sable said. “The Tides have received it, I’m sure. It must have arrived after your friends left. I sent forty of my best warriors there as well. They’ll stay and help however your brother needs them. ”
Liv looked at him. “You did?”
Sable smiled. “I know you worry about him. ”
Aria felt her last trace of hope for Roar fade. The deal was done. Liv belonged to Sable. They just needed the wedding ceremony now. It seemed like a formality.