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“You want me to scar your daughter?” he asked, confused.
“Damnation, no! I want you to rape her. Well, in honesty, not that, but consummate, as soon as you can, first opportunity.”
Gowan was nodding in agreement. “And repeat it often in the beginning. That's why you never had a proper hold on Helen, Victor. You had a war to deal with too soon after and she's more liberated than average. A regular woman, Russel, you take your wedding night and she stays for the most part. But a woman with the magic? They have ideas of their own, ideas that don't include you. You don't tie them to you immediately and they slip away like morning dew.”
Marcus shook his head, eyes wide.
“Of course not. Marcus couldn't handle an average woman. He's going to have the weakest milksop that will give a decent heir. You, though. You are different. You might have enough will to do it.”
“What else do I need to know?” he asked, sitting back down. Suddenly he wasn't as sure he either could or wanted do what he proposed.
“The witch,” Victor said, shaking a gnawed bone at Russel, “has an army of familiars. All kinds of creatures, regular and mythical. You will need to be prepared for those. Then there's Tabitha herself. She doesn't have many weaknesses, but the one I know is at the base of her skull. A good hit there will knock her out and leave her disoriented for hours after waking.” He dropped the bone with a clatter to his dish.
“Right. Get past the familiars, take out the witch.”
Gowan rubbed his chin. “I bet she spells the girl. Added protection that way. Can't do anything while she's cursed.”
“Cursed?” Russel asked, afraid. “I don't want any curses!”