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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Daughter of the Blood (Chapter 14)      Page
  • Daughter of the Blood(Black Jewels,Book 1)(14) by Anne Bishop
  • He gently lifted her chin. "Witch-child?"

    Misery filled her sapphire eyes. A tear rolled down her cheek. "I f-failed the t-test. Does that mean I have to give the Jewels back?"

    "Failed the— What Jewels?"

    Jaenelle slipped her hand into the folds of her blue dress and pulled out a velvet bag. She upended it on the low table beside his chair with a proud but watery smile.

    Saetan closed his eyes, leaned his head against the back of the chair, and sincerely hoped the room would stop spinning. He didn't need to look at them to know what they were: twelve uncut Jewels. White, Yellow, Tiger Eye, Summer-sky, Purple Dusk, Blood Opal, Green, Sapphire, Red, Gray, and Ebon-gray.

    No one knew where the Jewels had come from. If one was destined to wear a Jewel, it simply appeared on the Altar after the Birthright Ceremony or the Offering to the Darkness. Even when he was young, receiving an uncut Jewel—a Jewel that had never been worn by another of the Blood—was rare. His Birthright Red Jewel had been uncut. When he'd been gifted with the Black, it, too, had been uncut. But to receive an entire set of uncut Jewels . . . Saetan leaned over and tapped the Yellow Jewel with the tip of his nail. It flared, the fire in the center warning him off. He frowned, puzzled. The Jewel already identified itself as female, as being bonded to a witch and not a Blood male, but there was the faintest hint of maleness in it too. Jaenelle wiped the tears from her cheeks and sniffed.

    "The lighter Jewels are for practice and everyday stuff until I'm ready to set these." She upended another velvet bag. The room spun in every direction. Saetan's nails pierced the leather arms of his chair.

    Hell's fire, Mother Night, and may the Darkness be merciful!

    Thirteen uncut Black Jewels, Jewels that already glittered with the inner fire of a psychic bond. Having a child bond with one Black Jewel without having her mind pulled into its depths was disturbing enough, but the inner strength required to bond and holdthirteen of them . . . Fear skittered up his spine, raced through his veins.

    Too much power. Too much. Even the Blood weren't meant to wield this much power. Even Witch had never controlled this much power.

    This one did. This young Queen. This daughter of his soul.

    With effort, Saetan steadied his breathing. He could accept her. He could love her. Or he could fear her. The decision was his, and whatever he decided here, now, he would have to live with.

    The Black Jewels glowed. The Black Jewel in his ring glowed in answer. His blood throbbed in his veins, making his head ache. The power in those Jewels pulled at him, demanding recognition.

    And he discovered the decision was an easy one after all—he had actually made it a long, long time ago.

    "Where did you get these, witch-child?" he asked hoarsely.

    Jaenelle hunched her shoulders. "From Lorn."

    "L-Lorn?"Lorn? That was a name from the Blood's most ancient legends. Lorn was the last Prince of the Dragons, the founding race who had created the Blood. "How . . . where did you meet Lorn?"

    Jaenelle withdrew further into herself.

    Saetan stifled the urge to shake the answer out of her and let out a theatrical sigh. "A secret between friends, yes?"

    Jaenelle nodded.

    He sighed again. "In that case, pretend I never asked." He gently rapped her nose with his finger. "But that means you can't go telling himour secrets."

    Jaenelle looked at him, wide-eyed. "Do we have any?"

    "Not yet," he grumped, "but I'll make one up just so we do."

    She let out a silvery, velvet-coated laugh, an extraordinary sound that hinted at the voice she'd have in a few years. Rather like her face, which was too exotic and awkward for her now, but, sweet Darkness, when she grew into that face!

    "All right, witch-child, down to business. Put those away. You won't need them for this."

    "Business?" she asked, scooping up the Jewels and tucking the bags into the folds of her dress.

    "Your first lesson in basic Craft."

    Jaenelle drooped and perked up at the same time.

    Saetan twitched a finger. A rectangular paperweight rose off the blackwood desk and glided through the air until it settled on the low table. The paperweight was a polished stone taken from the same quarry as the stones he'd used to build the Hall in this Realm.

    Saetan positioned Jaenelle in front of the table. "I want you to point one finger at the paperweight . . . like this . . . and move it as far across the table as you can."

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire