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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Daughter of the Blood (Chapter 107)      Page
  • Daughter of the Blood(Black Jewels,Book 1)(107) by Anne Bishop
  • He opened the costume trunk and examined the contents. Yes, that outfit would do very nicely. He removed a pair of black leather pants, the leather so soft and cut so well they fit like a second skin. He pulled them on, adjusting the bulge in the front to best advantage. Next came black, ankle-high leather boots with a high stacked heel. The perfectly tailored white silk shirt formed a slashingV from his neck to his waist, where two pearl buttons held it closed, and had billowing, tight-cuffed sleeves. Next he took out the paint pots, and with cold, cruel deliberation, applied subtle color to his cheeks, eyes, and lips. It was done with such skill that it made him look androgynous and yet more savagely male, an unsettling blend. Returning the paint pots to the trunks, he took a small gold hoop from its box and slipped it into his ear. He brushed his hair and used Craft to set it in a rakishly disheveled style. Last was a black felt hat with a black leather band and a large white plume. Standing before the full-length mirror, he carefully set the hat in place and inspected his reflection.

    As Daemon smiled in anticipation of Leland's reaction to his dress, someone quickly tapped on his door before it opened and closed.

    He saw her in the mirror. For just a moment, shame threatened to splinter the cold crust of rage, but he held on to it. She was; after all, female. His cruel, sensuous smile bloomed as he turned around.

    Jaenelle stared at him, her eyes huge, her mouth dropping open. Daemon did nothing, said nothing. He simply waited for the inspection, waited for the damning words.

    She started at this feet, her eyes slowly traveling up his body. His breath hitched when she reached his hips. He waited for the all-too-familiar speculation of what hung between his legs or the quick, flushed glance back down after hurrying past. Jaenelle didn't seem to notice. Her inspection never changed speed as she studied the shirt, the earring, the face, and finally the hat. Then she started from the hat and went back down.

    Daemon waited.

    Jaenelle opened her mouth, closed it, and finally said timidly, "Do you think, when I'm grown up, I could wear an outfit like that?"

    Daemon bit his cheek. He didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Buying time, he looked down at himself. "Well," he said, giving it slow consideration, "the shirt would have to be altered somewhat to accommodate a female figure, but I don't see why not."

    Jaenelle beamed. "Daemon, it's a wonderful hat."

    It took him a moment to admit it to himself, but he was miffed. He stood in front of her, on display as it were, and the thing that fascinated her most was hishat.

    You do know how to bruise a man's ego don't you, little one?he thought dryly as he said, "Would you like to try it on?"

    Jaenelle bounced to the mirror, brushing against him as she passed.

    The sudden heat, the jolt of pleasure, the intense desire to hold her against him shocked him sufficiently to make him jump out of her way. His hands shook as he placed the hat on her head, but a moment later he was laughing as the hat rested on the tip of her nose and the only part of her face he could see was her chin.

    "You'll have to grow into it, Lady," he said warmly.

    Using Craft, he positioned the hat above her head and locked it on the air.

    He instantly regretted it.

    She was going to be devastating, he realized as he stared at the face looking at his reflection, his nails biting into his palms.

    In that moment he saw the face she would wear in a few years when the pointed features were finally balanced out. The eyebrows and eyelashes. Were they a soot-darkened gold or a gold-dusted black? The eyes, no longer hiding behind childish pretenses, summoned him down a darker road than he had ever known existed, one he felt desperate to follow.

    For the first time in his life, Daemon felt a hungry stirring between his legs. He closed his eyes, gritted his teeth, and dug his nails deeper into his palms.

    No, he pleaded silently. Not now. Not yet. He couldn't, mustn't respond yet. No one must know hecould respond. They were lost, both of them, if anyone felt that physical response through the Ring. Please, please, please.

    "Daemon?"

    Daemon opened his eyes. Jaenelle the child watched him, her forehead puckered in concern. He smiled shakily as he slowly unclenched his hands and took the hat.

    "Leland's guests will be arriving any time now and I still have to dress, so scat."

    There was something strange about the way she looked at him, but he couldn't figure it out. Then she was gone, and he slumped on the bed, staring at the open trunk. After a minute, he took off the shirt, pants, and boots and returned them and the hat to the trunk. He vanished both private trunks, taking the time to make sure they were safely stored, before dressing in formal evening attire.

    The painted face and the earring would have to do for Leland. The clothes in that trunk would be worn for only one woman's pleasure.

    5—Terreille

    Daemon woke instantly. Something was wrong, something that made his nerves quiver. He lay on his back, listening to the hard, cold rain beat against the windows. Shivering, he tossed back the covers, pulled on his robe, and pushed open the curtains to look outside.

    Only the rain. And yet . . .

    Taking a deep; steadying breath, he began a slow descent into the abyss, testing each rank of the Jewels, waiting for the answering quiver along his nerves.

    Above the Red, nothing. The Red, nothing. The Gray, the Ebon-gray. Nothing. He reached the level of the Black and pain flooded his nerves as an eerie keening filled his mind, a dirge full of anger, pain, and sorrow. The voice that sang it was pure and strong—and familiar.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire