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  • Daughter of the Blood(Black Jewels,Book 1)(48) by Anne Bishop
  • "His name, Manny."

    "To whisper the name is to summon the man."

    The door blew open and the memories poured out.

    Daemon stared at his hands, stared at the long, black-tinted nails.

    Mother Night.

    He swallowed hard and shook his head. It wasn't possible. As much as he would like to believe it, it wasn't possible. "Saetan," he said quietly. "You're telling me my father is Saetan?"

    "Hush, Daemon, hush."

    Daemon leaped up, knocking the chair over. "No, I will not hush. He's dead, Manny. A legend. An ancestor far removed."

    "Your father."

    "He'sdead. "

    Manny licked her lips and closed her eyes. "One of the living dead. One of the ones called Guardians."

    Daemon righted the chair and sat down. He felt ill. No wonder Dorothea used to beat him when he would nurse the hurt of being excluded by pretending that Saetan was his father. It hadn't been pretend after all. "Are you sure?" he asked finally.

    "I'm sure."

    Daemon laughed harshly. "You're mistaken, Manny. You must be. I can't imagine the High Lord of Hell bedding that bitch Hepsabah."

    Manny squirmed.

    Memories kept pouring over him, puzzle pieces floating into place.

    "Not Hepsabah," he said slowly, feeling crushed by the magnitude of the lies that had made up his life. No, not Hepsabah. A Dhemlan witch . . . who'd been driven out of the court. "Tersa." He braced his head in his hands. "Who else could it be but Tersa."

    Manny reached toward him but didn't touch him. "Now you know."

    Daemon's hands shook as he lit a black cigarette. He watched the smoke curl and rise, too weary to do anything else. "Now I know." He closed his eyes and whispered, "My best ally or my worst enemy. And the choice will be mine. Sweet Darkness, why did it have to be him?"

    "Daemon?"

    He shook his head and tried to smile reassuringly.

    He spent another hour with Manny and Jo, who had finally come in from the woodshop. He entertained them with slightly [unclear] stories about the Blood aristos he'd served in various courts and told them nothing about his life. It would hurt him beyond healing if Manny ever thought of him as Hayll's Whore.

    When he finally left, he walked for hours. He couldn't stop shaking. The pain of a lifetime of lies grew with each step until his rage threatened to tear apart what was left of his self-restraint.

    It was dawn when he caught the Red Wind and rode to Draega.

    For the first time in his life, he wanted to see Dorothea.

    CHAPTER FIVE

    1—Terreille

    As Kartane SaDiablo walked from his suite to the audience rooms, he wondered if he'd fortified himself with one glass of brandy too many before appearing before his mother and making a formal return to her court. If not, the whole damn court was acting queer. The Blood aristos scurried through the halls, eyes darting ahead and behind them as they traveled in tight little clusters. The males in the court usually acted like that, jostling and shoving until one of them was pushed to the front and offered as the sacrifice. Being the object of Dorothea's attention, whether she was pleased with a man or angry, was always an unpleasant experience. But for the women to act that way as well . . .

    When he saw a servant actually smile, he finally understood.

    By then it was too late.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire