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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Daughter of the Blood (Chapter 100)      Page
  • Daughter of the Blood(Black Jewels,Book 1)(100) by Anne Bishop
  • He clenched his teeth. "The walls remember, Cassandra. I'm a Black Widow, too. Do you want me to pull it out of the walls and replay it, or are you going to tell me yourself?"

    "There's really not much—"

    "Not much!" Saetan swore as he rolled away from her and leaned against the headboard. "Have the centuries addled your mind, woman?"

    "Don't . . ."

    Saetan looked into her eyes. "I frighten you," he said bitterly. "I've never harmed you, never touched you in anger, seldom even raised my voice at you. I loved you, served you well, and used my strength to keep a vow to you through all those desolate years. And I frighten you. Since the day I returned with the Black, I've frightened you." He leaned his head back and stared at the ceiling. "You're frightened of me, and yet you have the audacity to provokemy son into a murderous rage and try to dismiss it as if nothing happened. What I don't understand is why this place is standing at all, why I'm not trying to locate your remains, or why he wasn't standing on the threshold waiting for me. Did you tell him about me? Was I your trick card to make him hesitate long enough for you to try to smooth it over?"

    "It wasn't like that!" Cassandra pulled the sheet around her.

    "Then what was it like?" His voice sounded flat with the effort to keep his temper in check.

    "He came here because he thought I—we—wanted to harm Jaenelle."

    Saetan shook his head. "You, perhaps. Not me. He already knew about me." He looked away. He didn't want to see her confusion, didn't want to consider what might happen if that tenuous link between Daemon and himself shattered.

    "Saetan . . . listen to me." Cassandra reached out to him.

    He hesitated a moment before holding out his arm and letting her settle on his shoulder. He listened, without interrupting, while she told him about her meeting with Daemon, suspecting that she had blunted far too many edges, had given him the bone without any of the meat.

    "You were very lucky," he said when she finally stopped talking.

    "Well, I realize he wears the Black."

    Saetan snorted and shook his head. "There is a range of strength within every Jewel. You know that as well as I."

    "He's not really trained."

    "Don't mistake ability for polish. He may not do everything he wants to with finesse, but that doesn't mean he can't do it."

    She fidgeted, annoyed because he wasn't soothed by her rendition of the meeting. But there was still all that meat he hadn't gotten.

    "You sound as if you're afraid of him," she said crossly.

    "I am."

    She gasped.

    Saetan suddenly felt weary. Weary of Cassandra, weary of Hekatah, weary of all the witches he'd known who, no matter what they did or didn't feel for him as a man, all looked at his Jewels and saw the potential to achieve their own ends. Only the one with sapphire eyes saw him as Saetan. Just Saetan.

    "Why?" Cassandra asked, watching his face intently.

    Saetan closed his eyes. So weary. And there was another man, a far more desperate man, who had seen only seventeen centuries and was just as weary. "Because he's stronger than me, Cassandra. And not just because he's living. He's stronger than I was in my prime, and he's . . . more ruthless."

    Cassandra bit her lip. "He knows about Jaenelle. I had the impression he knows where to find her."

    Saetan let out a sharp laugh. "Oh, I imagine he does. It's probably not that far a walk from his room to hers."

    "What?"

    "He's serving her family, Cassandra. He's living in the same house." He leaned toward her, taking her chin between his fingers. "Now do you begin to understand? He knows about me because Jaenelle told him, completely ignorant, I'm sure, that it would make him climb the walls. And I know about him because he sent a message to me, through Jaenelle. A polite message, basically warning me off his territory."

    "He doesn't want to be Steward of the court."

    Saetan laughed, genuinely amused. "No, I wouldn't think he would. He's in his prime, virile, living, and well trained in seduction. That twelve-year-old body must be driving him out of his skin."

    Cassandra hesitated. "He thought you wanted to be her Consort."

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire