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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Daughter of the Blood (Chapter 106)      Page
  • Daughter of the Blood(Black Jewels,Book 1)(106) by Anne Bishop
  • The next few minutes were all-out war, each of them pelting the other as fast as they could make snowballs.

    When it was over, Daemon was peppered with clumps of white. He leaned over, resting his hands on his knees. "I leave the field to you, Lady," he panted.

    "As well you should," she replied tartly.

    Daemon looked up, one eyebrow rising.

    Jaenelle wrinkled her nose at him and ran for the alcove.

    Daemon leaped forward to follow her, ran a few steps, stopped, and looked behind him. His were the only footprints. He squatted, examining the snow. Well, not quite. Therewere the merest indentations in the snow leading toward the alcove path. Daemon laughed and stood up. "Clever little witch." He raised one foot, placed it on top of the snow, and concentrated until he had the sensation of standing on solid ground. He positioned his other foot. Step, step, step. He looked back and grinned at the lack of footprints. Then he ran to the alcove.

    Jaenelle was struggling to push the bottom of a snowman into the center of the alcove. Still grinning, Daemon helped her push. Then he started on the middle ball while she made the one for the head. They worked in companionable silence, he filling in the spaces while she stood on air and fashioned the head.

    Jaenelle stepped back, looked at what they had fashioned, and began to laugh. Daemon stepped back, looked at it, and started to cough and groan and laugh. Even though it was crudely shaped, there was no mistaking the face above the grossly rotund body.

    "You know," he choked, "if any of the groundskeepers see that and word gets back to Graff . . . we're going to be in deep trouble."

    Jaenelle gave him a slant-eyed look sparking with mischief, and he didn't care how much trouble they got into.

    He took the apples from his pocket and handed her one. Jaenelle took a bite, chewed thoughtfully, and sighed. "It won't last, you know," she said regretfully.

    Daemon looked at her quizzically. "They never do." He looked at the sun beginning to peek out from behind the clouds. "I don't think this snow's going to last. Feels like it's warming up."

    Jaenelle shook her head and took another bite. "No," she said, swallowing. "It'll go before it melts. I can't hold it very long." She frowned and fluffed her hair as she studied the snow-Graff. "Something's missing. Something I don't know about yet that would be able to hold it longer—"

    That you can do it at all is beyond what most achieve, Lady.

    "—would be able to weave it—"

    Daemon shivered. He tossed the apple core toward the bushes for the birds to find. "Don't think of it," he said, not caring that his voice sounded harsh.

    She looked at him, surprised.

    "Don't think about experimenting with dream weaving without being instructed by someone who can do it well." He put his hands on her shoulders and squeezed gently. "Weaving a dream web can be very dangerous. Black Widows don't learn how to do it until the second stage of their training because it's so easy to become ensnared in the web." He held her at arm's length, searching her face. "Promise me, please, that you won't try to do this by yourself. That you'll get the very best there is to train you."Because I couldn't bear it if there was only a blank-eyed, empty shell to love and I knew you were lost somewhere beyond reach, beyond return.

    Daemon's hands tightened on her shoulders. Her thoughtful expression frightened him.

    "Yes," she said at last. "You're right, of course. If I'm going to learn, I should ask the ones who were born to it to teach me." She studied the snow-Graff. "See? Already it goes."

    The snow was starting to lose its shape, to sift into a fluffy pile in the center of the alcove.

    Together they air-walked to the main garden path. Dropping into the snow, Jaenelle trudged away from the house for a few feet, turned, and trudged back, kicking up the snow, leaving a very clear trail. Daemon looked back at the unmarked path, considered what the consequences would be if the others found out that Jaenelle could move about without leaving a trace, lowered himself to the ground, and trudged behind her, back to the house.

    4—Terreille

    Daemon stormed into his room, slammed the door, stripped off his clothes, showered, and stormed back into the bedroom.

    Bitch. Stupid, mewlingbitch! How dare she? Howdare she?

    Leland's words burned through him.We're having a gathering this evening, just a few of my friends. You'll be serving us, of course, so I expect you to dress appropriately.

    The cold swept over him, crusting him with glacial calm. He took a deep breath and smiled.

    If the bitch wanted a whore tonight, he'd give her a whore.

    Lifting one hand, Daemon called in two private trunks. Wherever he traveled, the trunks that contained his clothes and "personal" effects were always openly displayed and the contents could be examined by any Queen or Steward who chose to rummage through his things. Those were the only ones he ever acknowledged. The private trunks contained the items that were, in some way, of value to him.

    One of those trunks was half empty and held personal mementos, a testimony to the paucity of his life. It also contained the locked, velvet-lined cases that held his Jewels—the Birthright Red and the cold, glorious Black. The other trunk contained several outfits that he sneeringly referred to as "whore's clothes"—costumes from a dozen different cultures, designed to titillate the female senses.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire