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  • Daughter of the Blood(Black Jewels,Book 1)(7) by Anne Bishop
  • Zuultah was arrogant enough to believe her holding spells kept her slaves from using Craft to pass through the cell walls. It was uncomfortable to pass through a spelled wall but not impossible for him.

    Let the bitch wonder. When the guards found the slave in the boat, she'd suspect him of breaking the man's neck. She suspected him whenanything went wrong in her court—with good reason.

    Maybe he would offer a little resistance when the guards tried to tie him to the whipping posts. A vicious brawl would keep Zuultah distracted, and the violent emotions would cover up any lingering psychic scent from the girl.

    Oh, yes, he could keep Lady Zuultah so distracted, she wouldnever realize that Witch now walked the Realm.

    2—Terreille

    Lady Maris turned her head toward the large, freestanding mirror. "You may go now."

    Daemon Sadi slipped out of bed and began dressing slowly, tauntingly, fully aware that she watched him in the mirror. She always watched the mirror when he serviced her. A bit of self-voyeurism perhaps? Did she pretend the man in the mirror actually cared about her, that her climax aroused him?

    Stupid bitch.

    Maris stretched and sighed with pleasure. "You remind me of a wild cat, all silky skin and rippling muscles."

    Daemon slipped into the white silk shirt. A savage predator? That was a fair enough description. If she ever annoyed him beyond his limited tolerance for the distaff gender, he would be happy to show her his claws. One little one in particular.

    Maris sighed again. "You're so beautiful."

    Yes, he was. His face was a gift of his mysterious heritage, aristocratic and too beautifully shaped to be called merely handsome. He was tall and broad-shouldered. He kept his body well toned and muscular enough to please. His voice was deep and cultured, with a husky, seductive edge to it that made women go all misty-eyed. His gold eyes and thick black hair were typical of all three of Terreille's long-lived races, but his warm, golden brown skin was a little lighter than the Hayllian aristos—more like the Dhemlan race.

    His body was a weapon, and he kept his weapons well honed.

    Daemon shrugged into his black jacket. The clothes, too, were weapons, from the skimpy underwear to the perfectly tailored suits. Nectar to seduce the unwary to their doom.

    Fanning herself with her hand, Maris looked directly at him. "Even in this weather, you didn't work up a sweat."

    It sounded like the complaint it was.

    Daemon smiled mockingly. "Why should I?"

    Maris sat up, pulling at the sheet to cover herself. "You're a cruel, unfeeling bastard."

    Daemon raised one finely shaped eyebrow. "You think I'm cruel? You're quite right, of course. I'm a connoisseur of cruelty."

    "And you're proud of it, aren't you?" Maris blinked back tears. Her face tightened, showing all the petulant age lines. "Everything they said about you is true. Even that." She waved a hand toward his groin.

    "That?" he asked, knowing perfectly well what she meant. She, and every woman like her, would forgive every vicious thing he did if she could coax him into an erection.

    "You're not a true man. You never were."

    "Ah. In that, too, you're quite right." Daemon slipped his hands into his trouser pockets. "Personally, I've always thought it's the discomfort of the Ring of Obedience that's caused the problem." The cold, mocking smile returned. "Perhaps if you removed it . . ."

    Maris became so pale he wondered if she was going to faint. He doubted Maris wanted to test his theory badly enough that she would actually remove that gold circle around his organ. Just as well. She wouldn't survive one minute after he was free.

    Most of the witches he'd served hadn't survived anyway.

    Daemon smiled that cold, familiar, brutal smile and settled next to her on the bed. "So you think I'm cruel." Her eyes were already glazing from the psychic seduction tendrils he was weaving around her.

    "Yes," Maris whispered, watching his lips. Daemon leaned forward, amused at how quickly she opened her mouth for a kiss. Her tongue flirted hungrily with his, and when he finally raised his head, she tried to pull him down on top of her. "Do you really want to know why I don't work up a sweat?" he asked too gently. She hesitated, lust warring with curiosity. "Why?" Daemon smiled. "Because, my darling Lady Maris, your so-called intelligence bores me to tears and that body you think so fine and flaunt whenever and wherever possible isn't fit to be crowbait."

    Maris's lower lip quivered. "Y-you're a sadistic brute."

    Daemon slipped off the bed. "How do you know?" he asked pleasantly. "The game hasn't even begun."

    "Get out.get out!"

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire