• Home
  • Directory
  • Popular
  • Authors
  • Series
  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Daughter of the Blood (Chapter 36)      Page
  • Daughter of the Blood(Black Jewels,Book 1)(36) by Anne Bishop
  • She was still in Terreille. The thought spun through his head as he raced through the twisting corridors of the Hall. No time to wonder how she'd sent that thought-burst between the Realms. No time for anything. His Lady was in trouble and out of easy reach.

    He ran into the great hall, ignoring the burning pain in his bad leg. A thought ripped the double front doors off the Hall. He raced down the broad steps and around the side of the Hall to the separate building where the Dark Altar stood.

    Gasping, he tore the iron gate off its hinges and entered the large room. His hands shook as he centered the four-branched silver candelabra on the smooth black stone. Taking a deep breath to steady himself, he lit the three black candles that represented the Realms in the proper order to open a Gate between Hell and Terreille. He lit the candle in the center of the triangle made by the other three, the candle that represented the Self, and summoned the power of the Gate, waiting impatiently as the wall behind the Altar slowly changed from stone to mist and became a Gate between the Realms.

    Saetan walked into the mist. His fourth step took him out of the mist and into the ruin that housed this Dark Altar in Terreille. As he passed the Altar, he noticed the black candle stubs in the tarnished candelabra and wondered why this Altar was getting so much use. Then he was outside the building, and there was no more time to wonder.

    He gathered the strength of the Black Jewels and set a thought along a tight psychic thread. "Jaenelle!" He waited for a response, fighting the urge to catch the Black Web and fly to Chaillot. If he was on the Winds, he'd be out of reach for several hours. By then it might be too late. "Jaenelle!"

    "Saetan? Saetan!" From the other side of the Realm, her voice came to him as a broken whisper.

    "Witch-child!" He poured his strength into that tenuous link.

    "Saetan, please, I have to . . . I need . . ."

    "Fight, witch-child, fight! You have the strength!"

    "I need . . . don't know how to . . . Saetan, please."

    Even the Black had limits. Grinding his teeth, Saetan swore as his long nails cut his palms and drew blood. If he lost her now . . . No. Hewouldn't lose her! No matter what he had to do, he'd find a way to send her what she needed.

    But this link between them was spun out so fine that anything might snap it, and most of her attention was focused elsewhere. If the link broke, he wouldn't be able to span the Realm and find her again. Holding his end of it was draining the Black Jewel at a tremendous rate. He didn't want to think about what it had cost her to reach him in Hell. If he could use someone as a transfer point, if he could braid his strength with another's for a minute . . . Cassandra? Too far. If he diverted any of his strength to search, he might lose Jaenelle altogether.

    But he needed another's strength!

    And it was there. Wary, angry, intent. Another mind on the Black psychic thread, turned toward the west, toward Chaillot.

    Another male.

    Saetan froze. Only one other male wore the Black Jewels.

    "Who are you?" It was a deep, rich, cultured voice with a rough, seductive edge to it. A dangerous voice.

    What could he say? What did hedare say to this son he'd loved for a few short years before he'd been forced to walk away from him? There was no time to settle things between them. Not now. So he chose the title that hadn't been used in Terreille in 1,700 years. "I'm the High Priest of the Hourglass."

    A quiver passed between them. A kind of wary recognition that wasn't quite recognition. Which meant Daemon had heard the title somewhere but couldn't name the man who held it.

    Saetan took a deep breath. "I need your strength to hold this link."

    A long silence. "Why?"

    Saetan ground his teeth, not daring to let his thoughts stray. "I can't give her the knowledge she needs without amplifying the link, and if she doesn't get the knowledge, she may be destroyed." Even without a full link between them, he felt Daemon weighing his words.

    Suddenly a stream of raw, barely controlled Black power rushed toward him as Daemon said, "Take what you need."

    Saetan tapped into Daemon's strength, ruthlessly draining it as he sent a knife-sharp thought toward Chaillot. "Lady!"

    "Help . . ." Such desperation in that word.

    "Take what you need." Words of Protocol, of service, of surrender.

    Saetan threw open his inner barriers, giving her access to everything he knew, everything he was. He sank to his knees and grabbed his head, sure his skull would shatter from the pain as Jaenelle slammed into him and rummaged through his mind as if she were opening cupboards and flinging their contents onto the floor until she found what she wanted. It only took a moment. It felt like forever. Then she withdrew, and the link with her faded.

    "Thank you." A faint whisper, almost gone. "Thank you."

    The second "thank you" wasn't directed at him.

    It seemed like hours, not minutes, before his hands dropped to his thighs and he tilted his head back to look at the false-dawn sky. It took a minute more to realize he wasn't alone, that another mind still lightly touched his with something more than wariness.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire