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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Daughter of the Blood (Chapter 43)      Page
  • Daughter of the Blood(Black Jewels,Book 1)(43) by Anne Bishop
  • Daemon stood in the oval of grass, slowly turning full circle. He started to turn away when a low giggle came from the bushes.

    "How many sides does a triangle have?" a woman's husky voice asked.

    Daemon sighed and shook his head. It was going to be riddles.

    "How many sides does a triangle have?" the voice asked again.

    "Three," Daemon answered.

    The bushes parted. Tersa shook the leaves from her tattered coat and pushed her tangled black hair from her face. "Foolish boy, did they teach you nothing?"

    Daemon's smile was gentle and amused. "Apparently not."

    "Give Tersa a kiss."

    Resting his hands on her thin shoulders, Daemon lightly kissed her cheek. He wondered when she'd eaten last but decided not to ask. She seldom knew or cared, and asking would only make her unhappy.

    "How many sides does a triangle have?"

    Daemon sighed, resigned. "Darling, a triangle has three sides."

    Tersa scowled. "Stupid boy. Give me your hand."

    Daemon obediently held out his right hand. Tersa grasped the long, slender fingers with her own frail-looking sticks and turned his hand palm up. With the forefinger nail of her right hand, she began tracing three connecting lines on his palm, over and over again. "A Blood triangle has four sides, foolish boy. Like the candelabra on a Dark Altar. Remember that." Over and over until the lines began to glow white on his golden-brown palm. "Father, brother, lover. Father, brother, lover. The father came first."

    "He usually does," Daemon said dryly.

    She ignored him. "Father, brother, lover. The lover is the father's mirror. The brother stands between." She stopped tracing and looked up at him. It was one of those times when Tersa's eyes were clear and focused, yet she was looking at some place other than where her body stood. "How many sides does a triangle have?"

    Daemon studied the three white lines on his palm. "Three."

    Tersa drew in her breath, exasperated.

    "Where's the fourth side?" he asked quickly, hoping to avoid hearing the question again.

    Tersa snapped her thumb and forefinger nail together, then pressed the knife-sharp forefinger nail into the center of the triangle in Daemon's palm. Daemon hissed when her nail cut his skin. He jerked his hand back, but her fingers held him in a grip that hurt.

    Daemon watched the blood well in the hollow of his palm. Still holding his fingers in an iron grip, Tersa slowly raised his hand toward his face. The world became fuzzy, unfocused, mist-shrouded. The only painfully clear thing Daemon could see was his hand, a white triangle, and the bright, glistening blood.

    Tersa's voice was a singsong croon. "Father, brother, lover. And the center, the fourth side, the one who rules all three."

    Daemon closed his eyes as Tersa raised his hand to his lips. The air was too hot, too close. Daemon's lips parted. He licked the blood from his palm.

    It sizzled on his tongue, red lightning. It seared his nerves, crackled through him and gathered in his belly, gathered into a white-hot ember waiting for a breath, a single touch that would turn his kindled maleness into an inferno. His hand closed in a fist and he swayed, clenching his teeth to keep from begging for that touch.

    When he opened his eyes, the oval of grass was empty. He slowly opened his hand. The lines were already fading, the small cut healed.

    "Tersa?"

    Her voice came back to him, distant and fading. "The lover is the father's mirror. The Priest . . . He will be your best ally or your worst enemy. But the choice will be yours."

    "Tersa!"

    Almost gone. "The chalice is cracking."

    "Tersa!"

    A surge of rage honed by terror rushed through him. Closing his hand, he swung his arm straight and shoulder-high. The shock of his fist connecting with one of the trees jarred him to his heels. Daemon leaned against the tree, eyes closed, forehead pressed to the trunk.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire