"I hate you!" Morrigana snarled. The proceline tea set at Lord Shalafae's side rattled, but he continued reading.
"No, you do not." His voice was low and calm. The ancient Sidhehan looked youthful, crimson eyes half-lidded. A black velvet dressing fown clung to his lithe frame.
The half-dragon planted her booted feet, hands braced on her hips. "You sent that bitch Rivkah to kill the ambassador instead of me." Silver skin gleamed in the mage lights, her tail lashed violently around her ankles.
Lord Shalafae licked his finger and turned the page, ignoring the impatient hybrid. She began growling, and he arched a slender brow. "She is my head assassin. Of course I entrusted her with this mission."
Morrigana's growl increased, sensual lips pulled away from her sharp teeth. "I could have handled it."
"I'm sure you could have."
Her anger spiked. She lunged to close the distance and ripped the book from her father's hands. "Then why in all the hells didn't you send me?" Her voice rose an octave as she bellowed.
Shalafae burst to his feet, face mere inches from hers. Eyes narrowed, he hissed his response. "Because you're a petulant brat who should do as she's told."
The half-dragon girl was stunned, her anger on pause. Gulping, she whispered, "What do you mean?"
Morrigana was taller than Shalafae in her high heels, but his presence loomed over her, cold and powerful. "What word don't you understand?" She remained quiet. "Since you came back from training, you have been insufferable. Your arrogance knows no bounds, and you cry if you so much as break a nail. I needed someone dependable on this job, and that wasn't you."
Her anger surged back to life, and she bared fangs, lifting her clawed hands. "I don't cry."
Shalafae sneered, narrowing his eyes. "You can't even accept criticism."
Rage was natural to dragons, and even an unnatural hybrid could lose control. Morrigana shoved her father back, snarling, claws tearing at his shoulders. Blood welled, the scent hot and enticing, and she struck again.
He dodged back, using Chaos magic to dispell the furnishings. The Sidhehan only looked frail and delicate; Shalafae had eons of combat experience. Morrigana was ferocious and wild, strengthened by her rage, but she couldn't lay another talon on him.
The assassin howled in frustration. How could her father say sych mean things when she knew he cherished her dearly? Morrigana was his pride, his masterpiece, and she'd been passed up for some full-blooded Sidhehan bitch.
Shalafae danced away, making it seem effortless. He even yawned once, eyes indifferent.
Morrigana sobbed, biting her lip as she continued her attack. Tears blinded her more than her anger, and breathing became difficult. The hybrid's swings became less forceful, and she put less effort into keeping up with her father.
Finally, she stopped.
Closing her eyes, rationality returned to Morrigana. Lord Shalafae was right about her lack of control, about her arrogance, about Rivkah being more dependable. Somewhere along the way, Morrigana had given in to the sense of entitlement.
Shalafae wrapped his arms around her from behind. "It is not you that bothers me," he whispered, kissing her neck. "One attitude problem doesn't change your status. You know you're more than just an assassin to me, Daughter."
With a shuddering sigh, Morrigana tried to relax. She was conforted by his touch, warmed by his words. The entire outburst had been simply one more of his lessons. She would grow from it, and continue to shine for im.
"Of course you will." Shalafae held her tight, knowing the girl's heart and mind.
Everything he wanted to teach her, Morrigana would learn.