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  • Daughter of the Blood(Black Jewels,Book 1)(109) by Anne Bishop
  • There was something wrong with this place. Something evil in this place. Chaillot had too many secrets. Added to that, Dorothea and Hekatah were hunting for Jaenelle, and Greer was still in Beldon Mor sniffing around.

    Tersa had said the Priest would be his best ally or his worst enemy.

    He would have to decide soon, before it was too late.

    Finally, exhausted, he stripped off the robe and fell into bed. And dreamed of shattered crystal chalices.



    The only thing in the cell besides the overflowing slop bucket was a small table that held a plate of food and a metal pitcher of water.

    Lucivar stared at the pitcher, clenching and unclenching his fists. The chains that tethered his ankles and wrists to the wall were long enough to reach one end of the table and the food, but not long enough to reach over and tear out the throat of the guard who brought it.

    He needed food. He was desperate for water. These little ovens that Zuultah laughingly referred to as her "enlightenment" chambers were located in the Arava Desert, where the sun was voracious. The heat was sufficient by midday to make his own waste steam.

    The first three days he'd been locked up, the guards had brought food and water and emptied the slop bucket. During the first two, he'd eaten what he was given. The third day, the food and water were laced withsafframate, a vicious aphrodisiac that would keep a man hard and needy enough to satisfy an entire coven at one of their gatherings. It would also drive a man to the point of madness because, while it made it possible for him to be an enduring participant, it also prohibited him from physical release.

    He'd sensed it before he consumed anything. A less vigilant man wouldn't have noticed, but Lucivar had experiencedsafframate before and wasn't about to experience it again for Zuultah's entertainment.

    Lucivar licked his cracked lips as he stared at the pitcher of water, his tongue prodding the cracks, wetting itself with his blood.

    His answer, that third day, had been to throw the plate and pitcher against the wall. The viper rats—large, venomous rodents that were able to live anywhere—scurried out of the shadowy corners and fell upon the food. He'd spent the rest of the day watching them tear each other apart in frenzied mating.

    For the next two days no one came. There was no food, no water. The slop bucket filled. There was nothing but the rats and the heat.

    An hour ago, a guard had come in with the food and water. Lucivar had snarled at him, his dark wings unfurling until the tips touched the walls. The guard scurried out with less dignity than the rats.

    Lucivar approached the table, his legs shaking. He picked up the pitcher and licked the condensation off the outside.

    It wasn't nearly enough.

    He looked at the plate. The stench of the slop bucket warred with the smell of food, but his stomach twisted with hunger, and over all of it was the need for the water that was so close. So very close.

    Holding the pitcher in both hands so that he wouldn't drop it, he took a mouthful of water.

    Thesafframate ran through him, a fiery ice.

    Lucivar's mouth twisted into a teeth-baring grin. His lips cracked wider and bled.

    There was only one reason to eat, to submit to what would come, and it wasn't to stay alive. He fiercely loved life, but he was Eyrien, a hunter, a warrior. Growing up with death had dulled his fear of it, and a part of him rather relished the idea of being a demon.

    There was only one reason. One sapphire-eyed reason.

    Lucivar lifted the pitcher again and drank.


    Lucivar clenched his teeth and squeezed his eyes shut. He hated being on his back. All Eyrien males hated being on their backs, unable to use their wings. It was the ultimate gesture of submission. But tied as he was to the "game bed," there was nothing he could do but endure.

    As one of Zuultah's witches moved on him, intent on her pleasure, he silently swore the most vicious curses he could think of. His hands clenched the brass rails of the headboard, had been clenching them throughout the night with such pressure that the shape of his fingers was embedded in them.

    Again and again and again, one after another. With each the pain grew worse. He hated them for the pain, for their pleasure, for their laughter, for the food and water they taunted him with, trying to make him beg.

    He was Lucivar Yaslana, an Eyrien Warlord Prince. He wouldn't beg. Wouldn't beg. Wouldn't.

    Lucivar opened his eyes to silence. The bed curtains were closed at the bottom of the bed and along one side, cutting off his view of the room. He tried to shift position and ease his stiff muscles, but he'd been stretched out when they tied him, and there wasn't any slack.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire