He wondered if years of disappointment had driven his most trusted friend away as greed did Ne'Rin's father.
His gaze lingered on her, satisfied after years of rejecting lifemates chosen by his advisors and the Council, and even Ne'Rin's sister.
Ne'Rin's response was garbled.
"We had hoped Ne'Rin's sister would be made nishani," Talal said.
Ne'Rin's face disappeared from the screen.
She went to the battle game to play until A'Ran called, wondering what he'd say when she told him her news about his sisters and wondering just how safe it would be to talk about Ne'Rin's conversation with his father.
A'Ran hadn't yet addressed Ne'Rin's own failing, that of impregnating his sister without making her a nishani first.
A'Ran pushed himself away from the table he leaned against and paced, thoughts turning to Gage, who would bear Ne'Rin's child.
He remembered the look on Ne'Rin's face fifteen sun-cycles ago, when they'd learned what happened.
There was no sign Ne'Rin's betrayal affected him at all.
Ne'Rin's father betrayed A'Ran's father.
"Ne'Rin's father?" she echoed, surprised to learn she'd overheard them plotting without knowing what they were doing.
He's asked Leyon to step into Ne'Rin's role.
She hesitated, ashamed to feel a sense of suspicion after Ne'Rin's betrayal.