Excerpt from “The Warlord’s Heart”

For #LineByLineTime : Jealousy

Betsy watched, her eyes wide, as Marissa paced back and forth across their bedroom.

“You don’t know how lucky you are,” Marissa proclaimed, waving her arms as she stomped. “Edward’s attention was fixed the moment he saw you. You’ll never have to watch him talk to other women and know he’s more interested in them. You’ll never wonder if you’ve become suddenly invisible. You’ll never have to hide your emotions lest others laugh at you.”

“Um, you have feelings for Edward?”

Marissa stopped and stared. “Edward? Are you mad? Of course I’m not interested in Edward! Of all people…” She shook her head and began to pace again. “I never had a chance, of course. He prefers blondes, wealthy, from a powerful family. It makes me ill to watch him fawning over her. Just like all the others, blast them.”

She whirled on Betsy, her fists clenched before her, her jaw set, her eyes intense. “You have to teach me how to use my sword like you can! I can’t let her humiliate me in every way! I have to best her in something!”

“Wait, are you talking about Benedict and Clarisse? Are you jealous of Benedict’s attentions toward Clarisse?”

Marissa flung herself across her bed and stared at the ceiling, blinking hard. “He is so handsome, so noble. I’ve known him all my life. I’ve had feelings for him since we were children. But he grew up into a fool!” She rolled to her stomach and pounded the mattress. “‘Clarisse is so beautiful!’ He had the nerve to say that to me! To me! All he can see is that pretty face and figure and her fine clothes! He’s totally blind to her ugly nature! He’s a fool! All she wants is to control him! Why can’t he see me? What’s wrong with me?”

Betsy winced and moved to sit beside her. “There’s not a thing wrong with you.” She patted Marissa’s back as her roommate sobbed. “I will teach you as much as I can, and we will teach those foolish men to recognize a REAL woman! Especially Benedict!”