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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Daughter of the Blood (Chapter 28)      Page
  • Daughter of the Blood(Black Jewels,Book 1)(28) by Anne Bishop
  • Saetan left the small apartment adjoining his private study, vigorously toweling his hair. His nostrils immediately flared and the line between his eyebrows deepened as he stared at the study door.

    Harpies had a distinctive psychic scent, and this one, patiently waiting for him to acknowledge her presence, made him uneasy.

    Returning to the bedroom, he dressed swiftly but carefully. When he was seated behind the blackwood desk, he released the physical and psychic locks on the door and waited.

    Her silent, gliding walk brought her swiftly to the desk. She was a slender woman with fair skin, oversized blue eyes, delicately pointed ears, and long, fine, silver-blond hair. She was dressed in a forest-green tunic and pants with a brown leather belt and soft, calf-high boots. Attached to the belt was an empty sheath. She wore no Jewels, and the wound across her throat was testimony to how she had died. She studied him, as he studied her.

    The tension built in the room.

    Harpies were witches who had died by a male's hand.

    No matter what race they originally came from, they were more volatile and more cunning than other demon-dead witches, and seldom left their territory, a territory that even demon-dead males didn't dare venture into. Yet she was here, by her own choice. A Dea al Mon Black Widow and Queen.

    "Please be seated, Lady," Saetan said, nodding to the chair before the desk. Without taking her eyes off him, she sank gracefully into the chair. "How may I help you?"

    When she spoke, her voice was a sighing wind across a glade. But there was lightning in that voice, too. "Do you serve her?"

    Saetan tried to suppress the shiver her words produced, but she sensed it and smiled. That smile brought his anger boiling to the surface. "I'm the High Lord, witch. I serve no one."

    Her face didn't change, but her eyes became icy. "Hell's High Priestess is asking questions. That isn't good. So I ask you again,High Lord, do you serve her?"

    "Hell has no High Priestess."

    She laughed grimly. "Then no one has informed Hekatah of that small detail. If you don't serve, are you friend or enemy?"

    Saetan's lip curled into a snarl. "I don't serve Hekatah, and while we were married once, I doubt she considers me a friend."

    The Harpy looked at him in disgust. "She's important only because she threatens to interfere. The child, High Lord. Do you serve the child? Are you friend or enemy?"

    "What child?" An icy dagger pricked his stomach.

    The Harpy exploded from the chair and took a swift turn around the room. When she returned to the desk, her right hand kept rubbing the sheath as if searching for the knife that wasn't there.

    "Sit down." When she didn't move, the thunder rolled in his voice. "Sit down." Hekatah was suspicious of recent activities, and rumors of a strange witch appearing and disappearing from the Dark Realm had sharpened her interest. But he had no control of where Jaenelle went or who she saw. If the Harpies knew of her, then who else knew? How long would it be before Jaenelle followed a psychic thread that would lead her straight into Hekatah's waiting arms? And was this Harpy a friend or an enemy? "The child is known to the Dea al Mon," he said carefully.

    The Harpy nodded. "She is friends with my kinswoman Gabrielle."

    "And Chaosti."

    A cruel, pleased smile brushed her lips. "And Chaosti. He, too, is a kinsman."

    "And you are?"

    The smile faded. Cold hatred burned in her eyes. "Titian." She swept her eyes over his body and then leaned back in the chair. "The one who broke me . . . he carries your family name but not your bloodline. I was barely twelve when I was betrayed and taken from Kaeleer. He took me for his amusement and broke me on his spear. But everything has a price. I left him a legacy, the only seed of his that will ever come to flower. In the end, he'll pay the debt to her. And when the time comes, she'll serve the young Queen."

    Saetan exhaled slowly. "How many others know about the child?"

    "Too many . . . or not enough. It depends upon the game."

    "This isn't a game!" He became very still. "Let me in."

    Loathing twisted Titian's face.

    Saetan leaned forward. "I understand why being touched by a male disgusts you. I don't ask this lightly . . . or for myself."

    Titian bit her lip. Her hands dug into the chair. "Very well."

    Focusing his eyes on the fire, Saetan made the psychic reach, touched the first inner barrier, and felt her recoil. He patiently waited until she felt ready to open the barriers for him. Once inside, he drifted gently, a well-mannered guest. It didn't take long to find what he was looking for, and he broke the link, relieved.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire