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  • Daughter of the Blood(Black Jewels,Book 1)(128) by Anne Bishop
  • It made him ill.

    After the flash of anger, he could see her considering, weighing, deciding something. Even though he knew what she was going to say, he dreaded hearing the words.

    "Teach me."

    "Wait a minute, waif!"

    Jaenelle raised her hand. Not even the Demon Prince would challenge that imperious order for silence. "High Lord?"

    This was how it must feel to be a dried-out husk. "There are two ways," Saetan said stiffly. "The easiest way requires skill with a knife. It also requires physical contact. The other way is subtler but requires knowledge of male anatomy to be effective. Which would you prefer to learn?"

    "Both."

    Saetan looked away. "May I have until tomorrow to prepare?"

    Jaenelle nodded. "High Lord. Prince Yaslana."

    They watched her leave. For a while they said nothing, neither willing to meet the other's eyes.

    Finally Andulvar said tensely, "You're going to do it, aren't you?"

    Saetan leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes, rubbing his temples to ease a searing headache. "Yes, I am."

    "You're mad!" Andulvar roared, leaping from his chair. "She's only twelve, Saetan. How can she understand what it means to a man to be shaved?"

    Saetan slowly opened his eyes. "You didn't see her eyes. She already appreciates the ramifications of shaving a man. That's why she wants to learn how to do it."

    "And who is to be the first victim?" Andulvar snarled.

    Saetan shook his head. "The question, my friend, iswhy is there going to be a victim? And where?"

    5—Terreille

    When Surreal realized what sort of party this was going to be, she almost told her escort she wanted to leave, but she'd extracted his promise to take her to a Winsol party under the most distracting—and persuasive—circumstances and didn't want to give him an excuse to bolt. At another time, it would have been amusing to watch his flustered cockiness as he tried to seem nonchalant about the woman he'd brought, a woman whose name would never be mentioned in any family of good repute—at least not while the women were in hearing. But this . . . Surreal itched to call in the stiletto and slip it between a few ribs.

    It was the children's party, the girls' party. And the uncles were there in force, almost drooling as they eyed the prospects.

    Even worse, Sadi was present, looking bored as usual, but the sleepy look in his eyes and the lazy way he moved around the room made her uneasy. As she sipped sparkling wine and stroked her escort's arm in a way that made his ears burn, she watched Sadi, finally realizing that he, too, was keeping an unobtrusive, continuous watch over someone. Her eyes slid around the room, catching and holding men's glances for an uncomfortable heartbeat before passing by them, until they came back to the group of girls clustered in a corner, whispering and giggling.

    Except one.

    For a moment, Surreal was caught by those wary sapphire eyes. When she was allowed to look away, she found Sadi studying her.

    "I need some air," Surreal said to her young Warlord, slipping away from him to find a terrace, an open window, anything.

    The terrace was deserted. Surreal called in a heavy shawl and wrapped it around her shoulders. It was foolish to stand out here, but the lust stench in the crowded rooms was unbearable.

    "Surreal."

    Surreal tensed. She hadn't heard him come out, hadn't heard even the softest scrape of shoe on stone. She stared at the unlit garden, seeing nothing, waiting.

    "Cigarette?" Daemon said, holding his gold case out to her.

    Surreal took one and waited for him to create the little tongue of witchfire to light it. They smoked in silence for a while.

    "Your escort doesn't quite know what to do with himself this evening," Daemon said with a touch of dry amusement.

    "He's an ass." Surreal flicked the cigarette into the garden. "Besides, if I'd known what kind of party this was going to be, I wouldn't have come."

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire