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  • Daughter of the Blood(Black Jewels,Book 1)(53) by Anne Bishop
  • Then the barber leisurely soaped his victim's testicles.

    "Why?" Kartane sent on a spear thread.

    "Makes them slippery," Daemon replied. "Harder to get a clean cut the first time."

    The barber picked up a small curved knife and held it up for them to see. He positioned himself behind the man.

    "So everyone can see," Daemon explained.

    Kartane clenched his fists and stared at the floor.

    "Watch, my dear," Dorothea purred, "or we'll have to do it again."

    Kartane fixed his eyes on one of the posts just as the barber pulled the knife back. A moment later, a small dark lump lay on the swiftly reddening sheets.

    The Warlord tied to the posts let out a howl of agony and then clenched his teeth to stifle the sound.

    Kartane's stomach churned as a disappointed murmur swept through the room. Mother Night! They'd been hoping for a second cut!

    The barber set the bloody knife on a tray and washed his hands while the Healer sealed the blood vessels. When she stepped aside, he took a straight knife and positioned himself in front of a post. He pulled the man's organ to its full length, turned to his audience, shook his head sadly, and said, "There's so little here, it will hardly make a difference."

    The coven laughed and applauded. Dorothea smiled.

    Kartane expected a swift severing. But when the barber laid the knife on the Warlord's organ and leisurely sawed through the flesh, each stroke of the knife accompanied by a scream, Kartane found himself mesmerized, unable to look away.

    They deserved what he did. They were foul things only fit for breeding and a man's pleasure. It was right to break them young,good to break them young before they became things like the ones sitting here. Break them all. Destroy them all. Blood males should rule, must rule. If only he could kill her. Would Daemon help him rid Hayll of that plague carrier? All of them would have to be killed, of course. Then break all the young ones and train them to serve. It was the only way. The only way.

    The silence made him blink.

    Dorothea rose from her chair, furiously pointing a finger at the Healer. "I told you to give him something to make sure he wouldn't faint on us. Look at him!" Her finger swung to the man hanging limply from the posts, his head dropped to his chest.

    "I did as you asked, Priestess," the Healer stammered, wringing her hands. "I swear by the Jewels I did."

    Was it his imagination, or was Daemon pleased about something?

    "We'll have no more sport today because of your incompetence," Dorothea screamed. She made an impatient gesture. "Take it away." Then she swept from the room, her coven trailing behind her.

    "I really did give him the potion," the Healer wailed, trailing after the barber as he left the room.

    Kartane sat in his chair, too numb to move, until the guards bundled the man into the bloody sheets along with the discarded organs. Then he bolted for the nearest bathroom and was violently ill.

    4—Terreille

    Dorothea slowly paced her sitting room. Her flowing gown swished with the sway of her hips, and the low-cut bodice displayed to advantage the small br**sts that still rode high.

    She picked up a feather quill from a table as she passed. Most men's backbones turned to jelly when she picked up a quill. Daemon, however, just watched her, his cold, bored expression never changing.

    She brushed her chin with the quill as she passed his chair. "You've been a naughty boy again. Perhaps I should have you whipped."

    "Yes," Daemon replied amiably, "why don't you? Cornelia could tell you how effective that is in making me come around."

    Dorothea staggered but continued walking. "Perhaps I should have you shaved." She waved the feather at him. "Would you enjoy being one of the brotherhood of the quill?"

    "No."

    She feigned surprise. "No?"

    "No. I prefer being neat when I piss."

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire