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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Daughter of the Blood (Chapter 154)      Page
  • Daughter of the Blood(Black Jewels,Book 1)(154) by Anne Bishop
  • He remembered feeling a hint of her as he probed the abyss, remembered diving, falling. Shattering.

    Something moved in the mist. He heard a quietclink clink, like glass tapping glass.

    He turned his head toward the sound, feeling as if it took all of his strength to do so little.

    "Don't move," said a lilting, lyrical voice that also contained caverns and midnight skies.

    The mist drew back enough for him to see her standing next to slabs of stone piled up to form a makeshift altar.

    Shock rippled through him. The crystal shards on the altar rattled in response.

    "Don't move," she said, sounding testy as she carefully fitted another shard of the shattered chalice into place.

    It was Jaenelle's voice, but . . .

    She was medium height, slender, and fair-skinned. Her gold mane—not quite hair and not quite fur—was brushed up and back from her exotic face and didn't hide the delicately pointed ears. In the center of her forehead was a tiny, spiral horn. A narrow strip of gold fur traced her spine, ending in a small gold and white fawn tail that flicked over her bare bu**ocks. The legs were human and shapely but changed below the calf. Instead of feet, she had dainty horse's hooves. Her human hands had sheathed claws like a cat's. As she shifted position to slip another shard into place, he saw the small, round br**sts, the feminine curve of waist and hips, the dark-gold triangle of hair between her legs.

    Who . . . ?

    But he knew. Even before she walked over and looked at him, even before he saw the feral intelligence in those ancient, haunted sapphire eyes, he knew.

    Terrifying and beautiful. Human and Other. Gentle and violent. Innocent and wise.

    "I am Witch," she said, a small, defiant quiver in her voice.

    "I know." His voice had a seductive throb in it, a hunger he couldn't control or mask.

    She looked at him curiously, then shrugged and returned to the altar. "You shattered the chalice. That's why you can't move yet."

    He tried to raise his head and blacked out. By the time he could focus again, she had enough of the chalice pieced together for him to realize it wasn't the same one Tersa had shown him.

    "That's not your chalice," he shouted happily, too relieved to care that he'd startled her until she bared her teeth and snarled at him.

    "No, you silly stubborn male, it'syours. "

    That sobered him a little, but her response sounded so much like Jaenelle the child, he didn't care about that either.

    Taking it slow, he propped himself up on one elbow. "Then your chalice didn't shatter."

    She selected another piece, fit it into place. Her eyes filled with desperation and her voice became too quiet. "It shattered."

    Daemon lay down and closed his eyes. It took him a long moment to gather the courage to ask, "Can you repair it?"

    She didn't answer.

    He drifted after that. Minutes, years, what did it matter? Images swirled behind his closed eyes. Bodies of flesh and bone and blood. Webs that marked the inner boundaries. Crystal chalices that held the mind. Jewels for power. The images swirled and shifted, over and over. When they finally came to rest, they formed the Blood's four-sided triangle. Three sides—body, chalice, and Jewels—surrounding the fourth side, the Self, the spirit that binds the other three.

    The images swirled again, became mist. He felt something settle into place inside him as the mist reformed into a crystal chalice, its shattered pieces carefully fitted together. Black mist filled in the cracks between each piece, as well as the places where tiny pieces were missing.

    He felt brittle, fragile.

    A finger tapped his chest.

    A thin skin of black mist coated the chalice, inside and out, forming a delicate shield around it.

    The finger tapped again. Harder.

    He ignored it.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire