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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Daughter of the Blood (Chapter 76)      Page
  • Daughter of the Blood(Black Jewels,Book 1)(76) by Anne Bishop
  • Jaenelle picked up her spoon and began to eat, but after one bite she put the spoon down, once more shy and uncertain.

    Saetan began to talk in a leisurely manner. Since he talked as if he had nothing else to do and nowhere else to go and was going to sit at the table for quite some time, Jaenelle picked up the spoon again. He noticed that every time he stopped talking she put the spoon down, as if she didn't want her eating to detain him. So he gossiped, telling her about Mephis, Prothvar, Andulvar, Geoffrey, and Draca, but he ran out very quickly.The dead don't do much, he thought dryly as he launched into a long discourse about the book he'd been reading, completely unconcerned with whether or not it was over her head.

    He started feeling a bit desperate about what to say next when she finally leaned back, her hands folded over a bulging tummy, and gave him the sweet, sleepy smile of a well-fed, content child. He put his glass up to his lips to hide his smile and briefly glanced at the carnage in front of him. Perhaps he'd been too hasty in sending that last tray back to the kitchen.

    "I have a surprise for you," he said, biting his cheek as she wrestled herself into a sitting position.

    He led her to the second floor of his wing. The doors along the right side led into his suite of rooms. He opened a door on the left.

    He had put a lot of thought into these rooms. The bedroom had the feel of a seascape with its soft, shell-colored walls, plush sandy carpets, deep sea-blue counterpane on the huge bed, warm brown furniture, and throw pillows the color of dune grass. The adjoining sitting room belonged to the earth. The rooms still required personal touches that he'd deliberately kept absent to make them feminine.

    Jaenelle admired, examined, exclaimed, and shouted back to him when she saw the bathroom, "You could swim in this bathtub!"

    When she finally returned to him, he asked, "Do you like them?"

    She smiled at him and nodded.

    "I'm glad, because they're your rooms." He ignored her delighted gasp and continued. "Of course, they'll need your personal touches and lady's paraphernalia to give them character, and I didn't put any paintings on the walls. Those are for you to choose."

    "My rooms?"

    "Whenever you want to use them, whether I'm here or not. A quiet place, all your own."

    He watched with pleasure as she explored the rooms again, a territorial gleam in her eyes. His smile didn't fade until she tried the door on the opposite side of the bedroom. Finding it locked, she turned away, not interested enough to question it.

    When Jaenelle returned to the bathroom to ponder the possibilities of the bathtub, Saetan studied the locked door.

    He loved her dearly, but he was no fool. On the other side of that locked door was another suite of rooms, somewhat smaller but no less carefully decorated. Someday a consort would reside in those rooms whenever she came to visit. For now, or at least until she asked, there was no reason to tell her what was on the other side of that door or what its occupant would be for.

    "Saetan?"

    He came out of his dark reverie to find her beside him again, her happiness putting a little color back into her cheeks. "Do you think we could begin my lessons again?"

    "Of course." He thought for a moment. "Do you know how to create witch light?"

    Jaenelle shook her head.

    "Then that's a good place to begin." He paused and added casually, "How about having your lessons here?"

    "Here?"

    "Yes, here. That way—"

    "But then I wouldn't see Andulvar and Prothvar and Mephis," Jaenelle protested.

    For the briefest moment, he was honest enough to acknowledge the jealousy he felt at her wanting to see them, at her not being exclusively his. "Of course you can see them," he said mildly, trying not to grind his teeth. "There's no reason they can't come here."

    "I thought demons didn't leave Hell."

    "Most of the time it's more comfortable for the dead to remain among the dead, just as it's more comfortable for the living for the dead to remain among the dead. But we all lived so long ago . . ." He shrugged. "Besides, even if it's been a long time, Mephis has been here and still handles a number of my business arrangements in this Realm. I think he would enjoy an excuse to get out of the Dark Realm—as would Andulvar and Prothvar." He hoped he wasn't going to botch this by being too sly. "And when your lessons are over, you could stop in and see your friends in Kaeleer more easily."

    "That's true," Jaenelle said slowly, considering. "That way, most of the time I'd only have to jump the Webs once instead of twice." Her eyes lit up and she snapped her fingers. "Or I can even use the Gates if you show me how to open them."

    His mind didn't stumble. It went head over mental heels and landed in a heap. He tried to swallow, but his mouth was desert dry. "Quite so," he finally choked out. He definitely had to strangle her. Otherwise, he'd do himself an injury with the mental acrobatics required to translate the impossible into something reasonably probable. "Your lessons," he croaked, hoping, a bit hysterically, that this would be a safe subject.

    Jaenelle beamed at him, and he sighed, defeated.

    "When would you like to begin?"

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire