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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Daughter of the Blood (Chapter 47)      Page
  • Daughter of the Blood(Black Jewels,Book 1)(47) by Anne Bishop
  • "You almost broke free. Almost reached him. You were crying, screaming for him to wait for you, fighting the two guards who were holding your arms, your fingers clenched around that Jewel. There was a flash of Red light, and the guards were flung backward. You hurled yourself forward, trying to reach the edge of the circle. He turned, waiting. One of the guards tackled you. You were only a hand span away from the edge. I think if so much as a finger had crossed that circle, he would have swept you away with him, wouldn't have worried anymore if it was good for you to live with him, or to live without your people."

    "You didn't make it. You were too young, and they were too strong."

    "So he left. Went to that house you keep visiting, the house you and your mother lived in, and destroyed the study. Tore the books apart, shredded the curtains, broke every piece of furniture in the room. He couldn't get the rage out. When I finally dared open the door, he was kneeling in the middle of the room, his chest heaving, trying to get some air, a crazy look in his eyes."

    "He finally got up and made me promise to look after you and your mother, to do the best I could. And I promised because I cared about you and her, and because he'd always been kind to me and Jo."

    "After that, he disappeared. They took your Red Jewel and put the Ring of Obedience on you that night. You wouldn't eat. They told me I had to make you eat. They had plans for you and you weren't going to waste away. They locked Jo up in a metal box, put him out where there wasn't any shade and said he'd get food and water when I got you to eat. When I got you to eat two days in a row, they'd let him out."

    "For three days you wouldn't eat, no matter how I begged. I don't think you heard me at all during those days. I was desperate. At night, when I'd go out and stand as close to the box as I was allowed, I'd hear Jo whimpering, his skin all blistered from touching that hot metal. So I did something bad to you. I dragged you out one morning and made you look at that box. I told you you were killing my man out of spite, that he was being punished because you were a bad boy and wouldn't eat, and if he died I would hate you forever and ever."

    "I didn't know Dorothea had run your mother off. I didn't know I was all you had left. But you knew. You felt her go."

    "You did what I said. You ate when I told you, slept when I told you. You were more a ghost than a child. But they let Jo out."

    Manny wiped the tears from her face with the edge of her apron. She took a sip of cold tea.

    Daemon closed his eyes. Before coming here, he'd gone to that crumbling, abandoned house he'd once lived in, searching for answers as he did every time he was in this part of the Realm. Memories, so elusive and traitorous, always teased him when he walked through the rooms. But it was the wrecked study that really drew him back, the room where he could almost hear a deep, powerful voice like soft thunder, where he could almost smell a sharp, spicy, masculine scent, where he could almost feel strong arms around him, where he could almost believe he had once been safe, protected, and loved.

    And now he finally knew why.

    Daemon slipped his hand over Manny's and squeezed gently. "You've told me this much, tell me the rest."

    Manny shook her head. "They did something so you would forget him. They said if you ever found out about him, they'd kill you." She looked at him, pleading. "I couldn't let them kill you. You were the boy Jo and I couldn't have."

    A door in his mind that he'd never known existed began to open.

    "I'm not a boy anymore, Manny," Daemon said quietly, "and I won't be killed that easily." He made another pot of tea, put a fresh cup in front of her, and settled back in his chair. "What was . . . is his name?"

    "He has many names," Manny whispered, staring at her cup.

    "Manny." Daemon fought for patience.

    "They call him the Seducer. The Executioner."

    He shook his head, still not understanding. But the door opened a little wider.

    "He's the High Priest of the Hourglass."

    A little wider.

    "You're stalling," Daemon snapped, clattering the cup against the saucer. "What's my father's name? You owe me that. You know what it's been like for me being a bastard. Did he ever sign the register?"

    "Oh, yes," she said hurriedly. "But they changed that page. He was so proud of you and the Eyrien boy. He didn't know, you know, about the girl being Eyrien. Luthvian, that was her name. She didn't have wings or scars where wings were removed. He didn't know until the boy was born. She wanted to cut the wings off, raise the boy as Dhemlan maybe. But he said no, in his soul the boy was Eyrien, and it would be kinder to kill him in the cradle than to cut his wings. She cried at that, scared that he really would kill the babe. I think he would have if she'd ever done anything that might have damaged the wings. He built her a snug little cottage in Askavi, took care of her and the boy. He would bring him to visit sometimes. You'd play together . . . or fight together. It was hard to tell which. Then she got scared. She told me Prythian, Askavi's High Priestess, told her he only wanted the boy for fodder, wanted a supply of fresh blood to sup on. So she gave the boy to Prythian to hide, and ran away. When she went back for him, Prythian wouldn't tell her where he was, just laughed at her, and—"

    "Manny," Daemon said in a soft, cold voice. "For the last time, who is my father?"

    "The Prince of the Darkness."

    A little wider.

    "Manny."

    "The Priest is the High Lord, don't you understand?" Manny cried.

    "His name."

    "No."

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