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  • Daughter of the Blood(Black Jewels,Book 1)(130) by Anne Bishop
  • "He owes me, Sadi."

    The pain in her shoulder got worse.

    "If you kill him now, Dorothea will start asking questions. I don't want anyone asking any more questions. Do you understand?"

    Surreal vanished the knife. It didn't please her, but she understood. However, that didn't mean she couldn't study her quarry.

    "Go now, Surreal."

    "I think I'll—"

    "Go." Once again, it was an order.

    Surreal left, aware that Daemon watched her. She didn't see her Warlord escort. No matter. He was probably too drunk by now to know what he fell into bed with.

    Chaillot had too many secrets, Daemon thought as he watched the party. And this particular secret was a twisted, vicious one.

    Why hadn't Saetan done something about Briarwood? Why had he left Jaenelle in such danger?

    Daemon froze. Jaenelle's words, the first time he'd mentioned the Priest, spun through his mind.He mustn't come here. He mustn't find out about . . .

    Saetan didn't know about Briarwood.

    Which also explained why Cassandra had never come to Beldon Mor. Jaenelle had done something to keep them out, to keep Saetan from learning about Briarwood.

    Why?Why? Did she think Saetan would shun her forthat? Or did she fear his vengeance on her family if he found out they had knowingly put a child in such a place?

    No. Alexandra couldn't know about Briarwood. Nor Philip or Leland. Robert?

    Rose. Lollipop.Uncle Bobby.

    Yes, Robert Benedict knew about Briarwood and, knowing, put his daughter into that place.

    He had to talk to Alexandra. If she knew the truth about Jaenelle, and Briarwood, she would help protect her granddaughter. She was struggling to keep her people out of Hayll's snare. She would understand and value a Queen who could stand against Dorothea.

    Daemon saw Alexandra near a curtained archway, talking with several women. He slipped past them, doubled back and was just about to step out from behind the curtain when he heard Alexandra say, "Witch is only a symbol of the Blood, an ideal we celebrate, a myth."

    "But Witch did rule the Realms once, a long time ago," said another voice, one Daemon didn't recognize. "I remember hearing stories about Cassandra, who was a Black-Jeweled Queen. They called her Witch."

    "I remember hearing stories, too," Alexandra said. "But that's all they are: stories that have been dimmed by time and softened by romantic notions about a woman who probably didn't live at all. But if she did, do you really believe that, with that much power, she was a generous and benevolent Queen? Not likely. She would have been more of a monster than Dorothea SaDiablo."

    "Brrr," said another woman as she indulged in a theatrical shudder.

    "But what if Witch really did appear?" the first woman persisted.

    Alexandra's next words cut him. Cut him again and again and again. "Then I would hope, for all our sakes, that someone would have the courage to strangle it in the cradle."

    Daemon went back to the terrace, grateful for the cold air he gulped to keep down the scream of rage and despair. Why had he tried to fool himself into thinking she would help?

    Because there was no one else. He was Ringed and could be incapacitated. It would take time, but not that long. Even if he did slip the Ring he would be declared rogue, and there would be no place fit for a young girl to live where they'd be safe. The only way was to get Jaenelle to Saetan and then convince her not to come back.

    First he had to get her away from here.

    His chance came when Jaenelle left the ballroom and headed down the hall toward a bathroom. Wrapping himself in a sight shield, he followed close behind her, waiting impatiently outside the door while she took care of her private needs. When she opened the door to leave, he pushed her back inside, locked the door, and dropped the shield.

    Jaenelle lifted one eyebrow, striving for amusement.

    Daemon knelt in front of her, holding her hands. "Listen to me, Jaenelle. You're in danger here, great danger."

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire