A Court of Silver Flames (A Court of Thorns and Roses #4) - Sarah J. Maas Page 0,1

a handful of words. Most had been at the barge party last month. They’d consisted of:


Hello, Nes.



After months and months of nothing, of barely seeing her at all, that had been it.

He hadn’t even understood why she’d shown up to the party, especially when she knew she’d be stuck on the water with them for hours. Amren likely deserved the credit for the rare appearance, due to whatever bit of sway the female held over Nesta. But by the end of that night, Nesta had been at the front of the line to get off the boat, arms tight around herself, and Amren had been brooding at the other end of it, nearly shaking with rage and disgust.

No one had asked what had happened between them, not even Feyre. The boat had docked, and Nesta had practically run off, and no one had spoken to her since. Until today. Until this conversation, which felt like the longest they’d had since the battles against Hybern.

Cassian said at last, “Feyre is High Lady. She’s busy running the Night Court.”

Nesta cocked her head, gold-brown hair sliding over a bony shoulder. On anyone else, the movement would have been contemplative. On her, it was the warning of a predator, sizing up prey.

“And my sister,” she said in that flat voice that refused to yield any sign of emotion, “deemed my immediate presence necessary?”

“She knew you’d likely need to clean yourself up, and wanted to give you a head start. You’re expected at nine.”

He waited for the explosion as she did the math.

Her eyes flared. “Do I look like I need two hours to become presentable?”

He took the invitation to survey her: long bare legs, an elegant sweep of hips, tapered waist—too damn thin—and full, inviting breasts that were at odds with the new, sharp angles of her body.

On any other female, those magnificent breasts might have been enough cause for him to begin courting her the moment he met her. But from the instant he’d met Nesta, the cold fire in her eyes had been a temptation of a different sort.

And now that she was High Fae, all inherent dominance and aggression—and piss-poor attitude—he avoided her as much as possible. Especially with what had happened during and after the war against Hybern. She’d made her feelings about him more than clear.

Cassian said at last, “You look like you could use a few big meals, a bath, and some real clothes.”

Nesta rolled her eyes, but fingered the hem of her shirt.

Cassian added, “Kick out the sorry bastard, get washed, and I’ll bring you some tea.”

Her brows rose a fraction of an inch.

He gave her a crooked smile. “You think I can’t hear that male in your bedroom, trying to quietly put on his clothes and sneak out the window?”

As if in answer, a muffled thud came from the bedroom. Nesta hissed.

“I’ll be back in an hour to see how things are proceeding.” Cassian put enough bite behind the words that his soldiers would know not to push him—they’d remember that he required seven Siphons to keep his magic under control for good reason. But Nesta did not fly in his legions, did not fight under his command, and certainly did not seem to recall that he was over five hundred years old and—

“Don’t bother. I’ll be there on time.”

He pushed off the doorjamb, wings flaring slightly as he backed away a few steps. “That’s not what I was asked to do. I’m to see you from door to door.”

Her face tightened. “Go perch on a chimney.”

He sketched a bow, not daring to take his eyes off her. She’d emerged from the Cauldron with … gifts. Considerable gifts—dark ones. But no one had seen nor felt any sign of them since that last battle with Hybern, since Amren had shattered the Cauldron and Feyre and Rhys had managed to heal it. Elain, too, had revealed no indication of her seer’s abilities since then.

But if Nesta’s power remained, still capable of leveling battlefields … Cassian knew better than to make himself vulnerable to another predator. “Do you want your tea with milk or lemon?”

She slammed the door in his face.

Then locked each of those four locks.

Whistling to himself and wondering if that poor bastard inside the apartment would indeed flee out the window—mostly to escape her—Cassian strode down the dim hallway and went to find some food.

He’d need the sustenance today. Especially once Nesta learned precisely why her sister had summoned her.

Nesta Archeron didn’t know the name