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  • Daughter of the Blood(Black Jewels,Book 1)(125) by Anne Bishop
  • "Would you have?" Daemon asked warmly.

    "Considering the tone of voice used, I wouldn't have dared not to."

    They both laughed.

    The parting was awkward. Saetan wanted to embrace him, but Daemon became tense, almost skittish. Saetan wondered if, after all those years in Dorothea's court, Daemon had an aversion to being touched.

    And there was Lucivar. He had wanted to ask about Lucivar, but Daemon's haunted expression at the mention of his brother's name eliminated that possibility. Since he wanted to know his sons, he would have to have the patience to let them approach when they were ready.

    2—Terreille

    Jaenelle returned a teeth-grinding day and a half later.

    After a hectic afternoon of social calls with Alexandra, Daemon was prowling the corridors, too restless to lie down and get some badly needed rest, when he saw the girls come in from a walk in the garden.

    "But you must remember how funny it was," Wilhelmina said as he approached. She looked bewildered. "It only happened yesterday."

    "Did it?" Jaenelle replied absently. "Oh, yes, I remember now."

    Daemon gave them an exaggerated bow. "Ladies."

    Wilhelmina giggled. Jaenelle raised her eyes to meet his.

    He didn't like the weariness in her face, didn't like how ancient her eyes looked even though they were the dissembling summer-sky blue, but he met her steady gaze. "Lady, may I have a word with you?"

    "As you wish," Jaenelle said, barely suppressing a sigh.

    They waited until Wilhelmina climbed the stairs to the nursery before going to the library. Daemon locked the door. Before he could decide what to say, Jaenelle grumbled, "Don't be scoldy, Prince."

    Hackles rising, Daemon slipped his hands into his pockets and leisurely walked toward her. "I haven't said a word."

    Jaenelle removed her coat and hat, dropping them on the couch. She slumped beside them, "I've already had one scolding today."

    So the Priest had gotten to her first. Just as well. All Daemon wanted to do was hug her. He settled beside her, perversely wanting to take the sting out of the very scolding he had wanted to administer. "Was the scolding very bad?" he asked gently.

    Jaenelle scowled at him. "He wouldn't have scolded at all if you hadn't told him. Why'd you tell him?"

    "I was scared. I thought something had happened to you."

    "Oh," Jaenelle said, immediately chastened. "But I worked so hard to create that shadow so no one would worry, so there wouldn't be any difference. No one else noticed the difference."

    They noticed, my Lady. They were grateful for the difference.It amused him—a little—that she was more concerned that her Craft hadn't been as effective as she'd thought than she was about the worry she'd caused. "It took the Black to notice the difference, and even I wasn't sure until a whole day had gone by."

    "Really?" Jaenelle perked up.

    "Really." Daemon tried to smile but couldn't quite do it. "Don't you think I'm entitled to an explanation?"

    Jaenelle ducked her face behind her golden veil of hair. "I was going to tell you. I promised I'd tell you. And I had to tell the Priest because he has to arrange some things."

    Daemon frowned. "Promised who?"

    "Tersa."

    Daemon counted to ten. "How do you know Tersa?"

    "It was time, Daemon," Jaenelle said, ignoring his question.

    Daemon counted to ten again. "Tersa's very special to me."

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire