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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Daughter of the Blood (Chapter 41)      Page
  • Daughter of the Blood(Black Jewels,Book 1)(41) by Anne Bishop
  • No reason to feel humiliation and shame. His body was responding to stimulation the same way it would to cold or hunger. Physical response had nothing to do with feelings or desire. Nothing.

    But, Mother Night, Daemon could set a stone on fire!

    "Why are you doing this?" Lucivar gasped. "At least tell me why."

    "Why not?" Daemon replied bitterly. "I have to whore for everyone else, why not you?"

    "Because I don't want you to. Because you don't want to. Daemon, this is madness! Why are you doing this?"

    Daemon pressed his forehead against Lucivar's. "Since you already know the answer, why ask me?" He kneaded Lucivar's shoulders. "I can't stand being touched by them anymore. Ever since . . . I can't stand the feel of them, the smell of them, the taste of them. They've raped everything I am until there's nothing clean left to offer."

    Lucivar wrapped his hands around Daemon's wrists. The shame and bitterness saturating Daemon's psychic scent scraped a nerve he had refused to probe over the past five years. Once she was old enough to understand what it meant,would that sapphire-eyed little cat despise them for the way they'd been forced to serve? It wouldn't matter. He would fight with everything in him for the chance to serve her. And so would Daemon. "Daemon." He took a deep breath. "Daemon, she's come."

    Daemon pulled away. "I know. I've felt her." He stuffed his shaking hands into his trouser pockets. "There's trouble around her—"

    "What trouble?" Lucivar asked sharply.

    "—and I keep wondering if he can—if hewill —protect her."

    "Who?Daemon! "

    Daemon dropped to the floor, clutching his groin and moaning.

    Swearing under his breath, Lucivar wrapped his arms around Daemon and waited. Nothing else could be done for a man enduring a bolt of pain sent through the Ring of Obedience.

    By the time it was over and Daemon got to his feet, his beautiful, aristocratic face had hardened into a cold, pain-glazed mask and his voice was empty of emotion. "It seems Lady Cornelia requires my presence." He flicked a twig off his jacket sleeve. "You'd think she would know better by now." He hesitated before he left the gazebo. "Take care, Prick."

    Lucivar leaned against the gazebo long after Daemon's footsteps had faded away. What had happened between Daemon and the girl? And what did "Take care, Prick" mean? A warm farewell . . . or a warning?

    "Daemon?" Lucivar whispered, remembering another place and another court. "Daemon, no." He ran toward the mansion. "Daemon!"

    Lucivar charged through the open glass doors and shoved his way through gossiping knots of women, briefly aware of Zuultah's angry face in front of him. He was halfway up the stairs leading to the guest rooms when a bolt of pain from the Ring of Obedience brought him to his knees. Zuultah stood beside him, her face twisted with fury. Lucivar tried to get to his feet, but another surge from the Ring bent him over so far his forehead pressed against the stairs.

    "Let me go, Zuultah." His voice cracked from the pain.

    "I'll teach you some manners, you arrogant—"

    Lucivar twisted around to face her. "Let me go, you stupid bitch," he hissed. "Let me go before it's too late."

    It took her a long minute to understand she wasn't what he feared, and another long minute before he could get to his feet.

    With one hand pressed to his groin, Lucivar hauled himself up the stairs and pushed himself into a stumbling run toward the guest wing. There was no time to think about the crowd growing behind him, no time to think about anything except reaching Cornelia's room before . . .

    Daemon opened Cornelia's door, closed it behind him, calmly tugged his shirt cuffs into place, and then smashed his fist into the wall.

    Lucivar felt the mansion shudder as the power of the Black Jewel surged into the wall.

    Cracks appeared in the wall, running in every direction, opening wider and wider.

    "Daemon?"

    Daemon tugged his shirt cuffs down once more. When he finally looked at Lucivar, his eyes were as cold and glazed as a murky gemstone—and no more human.

    Daemon smiled.

    Lucivar shivered.

    "Run," Daemon crooned. Seeing the crowd filling the hall behind Lucivar, he calmly turned and walked the other way.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire