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  • Daughter of the Blood(Black Jewels,Book 1)(111) by Anne Bishop
  • Get to the point, you little bastard.

    Kartane paced. "The story's a bit muddled, you understand, but it appeals that, while under the influence of a substantial dose ofsafframate, Yasi went berserk and bit Zuultah." Kartane let out a high-pitched, nervous laugh.

    Daemon sighed. Lucivar's temper in the bedroom was legendary. At the best of times, he was unpredictable and violent. Under the influence ofsafframate . . . "So he bit her. She's not the first."

    Kartane laughed again. It was almost a hysterical giggle. "Well, actually,shaved might be a better way to describe it. Anything she mounts now won't be forher pleasure."

    No, Lucivar, no. By the Darkness, no. "They killed him," Daemon said flatly.

    "He wasn't that lucky. Zuultah wanted to, when she finally came to her senses and realized what he'd done. He also killed ten of her best guards while they were trying to subdue him." Kartane wiped nervous sweat from his forehead. "Prythian intervened as soon as she found out. For some insane reason, she still thinks she can eventually tame him and breed him. However, Zuultah wasn't going to let him get away withoutsome kind of punishment." Kartane waited, but Daemon didn't rise to the bait. "She put him in the salt mines."

    "Then she's killed him." Daemon opened the door. "You were right,'" he said too gently, turning to look at Kartane, "no one else would have dared tell me that."

    He closed the door with a silence that made the whole house shake.

    All the tears were gone now, and Daemon felt as dry and empty as the Arava Desert.

    Lucivar was Eyrien. He would never survive in the salt mines of Pruul. In those tunnels with all the salt and the heat, no room for him to stretch his wings, no air to dry the sweat. There were a dozen different molds that could infect that membranous skin and eat it away. And without wings . . . An Eyrien warrior was nothing without his wings. Lucivar had once said he'd rather lose his balls than his wings, and he'd meant it.

    Oh, Lucivar, Lucivar, his brave, arrogant, foolish brother. If he'd accepted that offer, Lucivar would be hunting in Askavi right now, gliding through the dusk, searching for prey. But they had known it might come to this. The wisest thing for Lucivar to do would be to end it quickly while his strength was intact. He would be welcome in the Dark Realm. Daemon was sure he would be.

    She won't go unpunished, I promise you that. No matter how long it takes to do it properly, I'll see the debt paid in full

    "Lucivar," Daemon whispered. "Lucivar."

    "They've all been looking for you."

    He hadn't heard her come in, which wasn't surprising. It wasn't surprising she was there even though he'd locked the library door.

    Daemon shifted on the couch. He held out one hand, watching her small fingers curl around his own. That gentle touch, so full of understanding, was agony.

    "What happened to him?"

    "Who?" Daemon said, fighting the grief.

    "Lucivar," Jaenelle said with steely patience.

    Daemon recognized that strange, unnerving something in her face and voice—Witch focusing her attention. He hesitated a moment, then took her in his arms. He needed to hold her, feel her warmth against him, needed reassurance that the sacrifice was worth it. He didn't know how or when the tears began falling again.

    "He's my friend, my brother," he whispered into her shoulder. "He's dying."

    "Daemon." Jaenelle gently stroked his hair. "Daemon, we have to help him. I could—"

    "No!"Don't tempt me with hope. Don't tempt me to take that kind of risk. "You can't help him. Nothing can help him now."

    Jaenelle tried to push back to look at him, but he wouldn't let her. "I know I promised him I wouldn't wander around Terreille, but—"

    Daemon licked a tear. "You met him? He saw you once?"

    "Once." She paused. "Daemon, I might be able to—"

    "No,"Daemon moaned into her neck. "He wouldn't want you there, and if something happened to you, he'd never forgive me. Never."

    Witch asked, "Are you sure, Prince?"

    The Warlord Prince replied, "I am sure, Lady."

    After a moment, Jaenelle began to sing a death song in the Old Tongue, not the angry dirge she'd sung for Rose, but a gentle witchsong of grief and love. Her voice wove through him, celebrating and acknowledging his pain and grief, tapping the deep wells he would have kept locked.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire