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  • Daughter of the Blood(Black Jewels,Book 1)(121) by Anne Bishop
  • "Boys don't kiss like that at all, Lady," he said quietly, seriously. "Neither do most men. But I'm not like most men." He slowly pulled in his seduction tendrils. He had done more than he should have already tonight; anything else would harm her. Tomorrow he would be the companion he'd been yesterday, and the day before that. But she would remember that kiss and compare every kiss from every weak-willed Chaillot boy against it.

    He didn't care how many boys kissed her. They were, after all, boys. But the bed . . . When the time came, the bed would behis.

    He removed the bracelet from her wrist and put it back in its box. "Vanish that," he said quietly while he disposed of the ribbon and paper. When the box was gone, he unwound his legs and led her back to the drawing room, where Graff immediately hurried the girls off to bed.

    Philip glared at him. Robert smirked. Leland was fluttery and pale. It was Alexandra's jealous, accusing look that unsheathed his temper. She rose to confront him, but at that moment the guests began arriving for the night-long festivities.

    That night Daemon didn't wait for Alexandra to "ask" him to accommodate a female guest. He seduced every woman in the house—beginning with Leland—teasing them into climaxes while he danced with them, watching them shudder while they bit their lips until they bled, trying not to cry out with so many people crowded around them. Or slipping away with one of the women to a little alcove, and after the first ice-fire kiss, standing primly against the wall, his hands in his trouser pockets, while his phantom touch played mercilessly with her body until she was sprawled on the floor, pleading for the caress of a real hand—and then his merest touch, the tickling slide of his nails along her inner thigh, the briefest touch to the undergarments in the right place, and she would be glutted—and starved.

    Still, Daemon wasn't done.

    He had deliberately avoided Alexandra, taunting her with his open seduction of all the other women, frustrating her beyond endurance. Before the door shut on the last guest, he swept her into his arms, climbed the stairs, and locked them into her bedroom. He made up for everything. He showed her the kind of pleasure he could give a woman when inspired. He showed her why he was called the Sadist.

    When he stumbled into his own room long after dawn, the first thing he noticed was that his bed had been fussed with. One swift, angry probe located the package beneath his pillow. Cautiously pulling back the covers and tossing the pillow aside, Daemon looked at the clumsily wrapped package and the folded note tucked under the ribbon. He smiled tenderly, sinking gratefully onto the bed.

    She must have put it there as soon as he'd left the room.

    The note said: "I couldn't give you the gift I wanted to because the others wouldn't understand. Happy Winsol, Daemon. Love, Jaenelle."

    Daemon unwrapped the package and opened the swivel frame. The left side was empty, waiting for Lucivar's picture. On the right . . .

    "It's funny," Daemon said quietly to the picture. "I'd always thought you'd look more formal, more . . . distant. But for all your splendor, all your Craft and power, you really wouldn't mind putting your feet up and downing a tankard of ale, would you? I'd never guessed how much of you is in Lucivar. Or how much of you is in me. Ah, Priest." Daemon gently closed the frame. "Happy Winsol, Father."

    CHAPTER THIRTEEN

    1—Terreille

    "We should have brought the others," Cassandra said as she clenched Saetan's arm.

    He laid his hand over hers and gave it a gentle squeeze. "He didn't ask to see the others. He asked to see me."

    "He didn't ask," Cassandra snapped. She glanced nervously at the Sanctuary and lowered her voice. "He didn't ask, High Lord, hedemanded to see you."

    "And I'm here."

    "Yes," she said with an undercurrent of anger, "you're here."

    Sometimes you make it hard for me to remember why 1 loved you so much for so long."He's my son, Cassandra." He smiled grimly. "Are you offended by his manners on my behalf or because your vanity's pricked that he wasn't sufficiently obsequious?"

    Cassandra snatched her hand from his arm. "He's charming when he wants to be," she said nastily. "And I've no doubt his bedroom manners are flawless, since he's had so much practice perfecting . . ." Her words faded when she noticed Saetan's glacial stare.

    "If his manners leave something to be desired, Lady, I'll thank you to remember whose court trained him."

    Cassandra lifted her chin. "You blame me, don't you?"

    "No," Saetan said softly, bitterly. "I knew the price for what I became. The responsibility for him rests solely with me. But I'll allow no one,no one, to condemn him for what he's become because of it." Saetan breathed deeply, trying to gather his frayed temper. "Why don't you go to your room? It's better that I meet him alone."

    "No," Cassandra said quickly. "We both wear the Black. Together we can—"

    "I didn't come here to fight him."

    "But he's come to fight you!"

    "You don't know that."

    "You weren't the one he pinned to the wall while he made his demands!"

    "I'll give him a slap. Will that appease you?" Saetan snarled as he marched into the ruins of the Sanctuary, heading toward the kitchen and another confrontation.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire