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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Daughter of the Blood (Chapter 132)      Page
  • Daughter of the Blood(Black Jewels,Book 1)(132) by Anne Bishop
  • "Cousin," Daemon whispered in his ear. "Come out to the terrace with me, cousin."

    "Get away from me," Kartane growled out of the corner of his mouth as he tried to shrug off Daemon's hand. "I've business here."

    Daemon continued to smile. Foolish of the boy to try to bluff when he could smell the fear. "You've business with me first." He pivoted slowly, pulling Kartane with him.

    "Bastard," Kartane said softly, walking toward the terrace to keep from being dragged there.

    "By birth and by temperament," Daemon agreed with amiable coldness.

    When they were out on the terrace, Daemon dropped the sight shield. Compared to the fiery cold he felt inside himself, the air seemed balmy. While he waited for Kartane to stop looking at the garden and face him, he absently brushed the branches of a small potted bush. He smiled as ice instantly coated them. He kept stroking the bush until the whole thing was coated. Then, with a shrug, he took his gold case from his pocket, lit a cigarette, and waited. He was between Kartane and the door. His cousin wasn't going to leave before he was ready to let him.

    Shivering violently, Kartane turned.

    "The whey-faced little bitch," Daemon crooned while the cigarette smoke ringed his head.

    "What about her?" Kartane asked nervously.

    "Stay away from her."

    "Why?" Kartane said sneeringly. "Do you want her?"

    "Yes."

    Daemon watched Kartane stagger back and grip the terrace railing for support. Finally, the truth. He wanted her. Already, in ways Kartane and his kind would never understand, he was her lover.

    "There are prettier ones if you want a taste," Kartane coaxed.

    "Flesh is irrelevant," Daemon replied. "My hunger goes deeper." He pitched the cigarette, watching it sail past Kartane's cheek before falling into the garden. "But, cousin, if you should ever mention my . . . lapse . . . or my choice . . ."

    The unspoken threat hung in the air.

    "You'd kill me?" Kartane laughed in disbelief. "Killme? Dorothea's son?"

    Daemon smiled. "Killing your body is the least of what I'd do to you. Remember Cornelia? When the time came, she was actually grateful for what I did to the flesh." It took only a moment for Daemon to slip beneath Kartane's inner barriers and, with the delicacy of a snowflake, drop into his mind the memory of what Cornelia's room had looked like just before Daemon left. He waited patiently for Kartane to finish heaving. "Now—"

    A shriek of rage and the sound of breaking glass in one of the rooms above the ballroom cut him off.

    Daemon swayed. Why was the ground—not the ground—why washe spinning this way, spiraling toward something that made him shiver?

    Spiraling.

    The last time he'd felt something like that was when . . .

    Daemon ran through the ballroom, through the hallway, and raced up the stairs. He hesitated when he saw Alexandra, Philip, Leland, and Robert standing with a group of people outside one of the doors, but another crash and a scream pulled him forward. He hit the door running and exploded into the room.

    The only light in the room came from the open door. The lamps were shattered. A small brass bed, conspicuous because it didn't belong in a sitting room, was twisted almost beyond recognition. Broken vases crunched under him. A group of men, pressed together in the center of the room, stared, deathly pale, at something in the corner.

    Daemon turned toward that corner of the room.

    Wilhelmina huddled in the corner, shaking, whimpering. Her dress, partially undone, had slipped down, revealing one round young shoulder.

    Jaenelle stood in front of her sister, holding the neck of a broken wine bottle with an ease that spoke of long familiarity with a knife. Her blazing sapphire eyes were fixed on the group of men.

    Daemon moved toward her slowly, careful not to break her line of vision. He stopped an arm's length from her. If she lunged, she could gut him. It didn't occur to him to be frightened of her. That shadowy voice he could finally put a name to whispered up from the depths of his own being: Protocol. Protocol. Protocol.

    Jaenelle spoke.

    Daemon glanced at the men, at Philip and Alexandra and the others who were creeping in through the doorway. They looked shocked by the wreckage. He wondered how many of them would have been shocked by what was supposed to have happened here. Philip and Alexandra stared at Jaenelle, and he knew they were hearing unintelligible nonsense. Even he didn't know the Old Tongue well enough to translate all of her beautiful, deadly words.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire