Kiera's Moon (Chapter Six, page 17 of 34)

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"I think I deserve an explanation," she breathed. A'Ran's grip tightened before falling from her. He made no move to walk away.

"The babes my sisters carry will be the first birthed to Anshan in over seven sun-cycles," he said. "A dhjan's mate is bound to his people, to his birthright as he is. From the dhjan comes strength, prosperity, stability. From the dhjan nishani comes growth, birth, restoration. If a dhjan chooses incorrectly, his world suffers. If a dhjan chooses well, his world flourishes."

"Wow," she murmured. "I guess that means …" … you'll never let me go home. She frowned without finishing the sentence. He waited. "You aren't upset with your sisters?"

"They disobeyed me," he said firmly. "Despite the assurance that you will return health and life to my people."

"Glad to do my duty," she said.

"There will come a day when you must choose between duty to Anshan-- and your people-- and duty to yourself," he said. "It is the same choice I made."

She didn't want that burden. She wanted to go home, though a part of her had told her upon meeting this fierce warrior her that she'd never go home again. She met his gaze, wondering if any part of him was capable of affection or if she'd wither like a dried-out flower. She couldn't imagine spending her life with a man who viewed her as nothing more than a duty. Evelyn was right: she was too emotional for such an existence.

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