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  • Daughter of the Blood(Black Jewels,Book 1)(40) by Anne Bishop
  • Surreal smiled. It had been three years since she'd last spent time with Deje. Chaillot had some beautiful, quiet beaches on the east side. On a clear day, you could even see Tacea Island. And there was a Sanctuary nearby, wasn't there? Or some kind of ancient ruin. Picnic lunches, long solitary walks. Deje would be happy to see her, wouldn't push to fill every night.

    Yes. Chaillot.

    Surreal turned from the window when the man grunted and thrashed onto his side. The Sadist was right. There were so many ways to efficiently kill a man other than splattering his blood over the walls.

    It was too bad they didn't give her as much pleasure.


    Lucivar Yaslana listened to the embroidered half-truths Zuultah was spewing about him to a circle of nervous, wide-eyed witches and wondered if snapping a few female necks would add color to the stories. Reluctantly putting aside that pleasant fantasy, he scanned the crowded room for some diversion.

    Daemon Sadi glided past him.

    Lucivar sucked in his breath, suppressed a grin, and turned back to Zuultah's circle. The last time the Queens had gotten careless about keeping them separated, he and Daemon had destroyed a court during a fight that escalated from a disagreement over whether the wine being served was just mediocre or was really colored horse piss.

    Forty years ago. Enough time among the short-lived races for the randy young Queens to convince themselves that they could control him and Daemon or, even better, that they were the Queens strong-willed enough and wonderful enough to tame two dark-Jeweled Warlord Princes.

    Well, this Eyrien Warlord Prince wasn't tamable—at least, not for another five years. As for the Sadist . . . Any man who referred to his bedroom skills as poisoned honey wasn't likely to be tamed or controlled unless he chose to be.

    It was late in the evening before Lucivar got the chance to slip out to the back garden. Daemon had gone out a few minutes before, after an abrupt, snarling disagreement with Lady Cornelia.

    Moving with a hunter's caution, Lucivar followed the ribbon of chilled air left by Daemon's passing. He turned a corner and stopped.

    Daemon stood in the middle of the gravel path, his face raised to the night sky while the delicate breeze riffled his black hair.

    The gravel under Lucivar's feet shifted slightly.

    Daemon turned toward the sound.

    Lucivar hesitated. He knew what that sleepy, glazed look in Daemon's eyes meant, remembered only too well what had happened in courts when that tender, murderous smile had lasted for more than a brief second. Nothing, and no one, was safe when Daemon was in this mood. But, Hell's fire, that's what made dancing with the Sadist fun.

    Smiling his own lazy, arrogant smile, Lucivar stepped forward and slowly stretched his dark wings their full span before tucking them tight to his body. "Hello, Bastard."

    Daemon's smile thawed. "Hello, Prick. It's been a long time."

    "So it has. Drunk any good wines lately?"

    "None that you'd appreciate." Daemon studied Lucivar's clothes and raised an eyebrow. "You've decided to be a good boy?"

    Lucivar snorted. "I decided I wanted decent food and a decent bed for a change and a few days out of Pruul, and all I have to do is lick the bottom of Zuultah's boots when she returns from the stable."

    "Maybe that's your trouble, Prick. You're not supposed to lick her boots, you're supposed to kiss her ass." He turned and glided down the path.

    Remembering why he'd wanted to talk to Daemon, Lucivar followed reluctantly until they reached a gazebo tucked in one corner of the garden where they couldn't be seen from the mansion. Daemon smiled that cold, sweet smile and stepped aside to let him enter first.

    Never let a predator smell fear.

    Annoyed by his own uneasiness, Lucivar turned to study the luminescent leaves of the fire bush nearby. He stiffened when Daemon came up behind him, when the long nails whispered over his shoulders, teasing his skin in a lover-like fashion.

    "Do you want me?" Daemon whispered, brushing his lips against Lucivar's neck.

    Lucivar snorted and tried to pull away, but the caressing hand instantly became a vice. "No," he said flatly. "I endured enough of that in Eyrien hunting camps." With a teeth-baring grin, he turned around. "Do you really think your touch makes my pulse race?"

    "Doesn't it?" Daemon whispered, a strange look in his eyes.

    Lucivar stared. Daemon's voice was too crooning, too silky, too dangerously sleepy. Hell's fire, Lucivar thought desperately as Daemon's lips brushed his, what waswrong with him? This wasn't his kind of game.

    Lucivar jerked back. Daemon's nails dug into the back of his neck. The sharp thumbnails pricked his throat. Keeping his fists pressed against his thighs. Lucivar closed his eyes and submitted to the kiss.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire