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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Daughter of the Blood (Chapter 83)      Page
  • Daughter of the Blood(Black Jewels,Book 1)(83) by Anne Bishop
  • 4—Terreille

    Surreal tried to shift her hips to a more comfortable position, but the arm around her tightened and the hand resting on her arm gripped with bruising force.

    Philip Alexander had arranged for this evening with her early that morning. That was the only predictable thing he'd done. There was no leisurely dinner, no conversation, no turning out the lights, no light lovemaking before he covered her. He took her, hard, with the candlelights glaring at full intensity so there could be no illusion about who was under him. When he was through, he rolled off her, ate the cold dinner, drank most of the wine, and took her again. Now he stared at the canopy above the bed, grinding his fingers into her bruised arm.

    She could have stopped him, Gray against Gray. Her Green Jewel had shielded her a little, but not enough to keep her from getting hurt. The Gray was her surprise weapon, and she didn't want to give up that edge until she absolutely had to. After the second time, he'd done nothing but hold her tight against him, but she felt the anger in him, watched his Jewels flash as they absorbed the energy.

    "I'd kill that bastard if I could," Philip said through clenched teeth. "He acts as if nothing's happening while she . . ."

    "Who?" Surreal tried to lift her head. "Who's a bastard?" If she hadsome idea what had made him act this way, she might be able to get through the rest of the night.

    "That 'gift' Dorothea SaDiablo sent to Alexandra. There's more warmth in a glacier than there is in him, and yet Leland . . ."

    Surreal smelled blood. She turned her head just a little. Philip, in his rage, had bitten his lip.

    She'd already guessed that Philip's attachment to the Angelline court had more to do with the daughter than the mother. Wasn't that what the completely dark room was all about, being able to pretend he was leisurely making love to Leland? Were there hurried couplings when Robert Benedict wasn't there, couplings so tainted with the fear of being found out that there was no pleasure in them? Now Sadi was there, and Leland could be physically gratified by another male under Robert's watchful and approving eye.

    Surreal shivered, remembering all too well what it felt like to be gratified by the Sadist.

    "Cold?" Philip asked, his voice a little gentler.

    Surreal let him tuck the quilt up around them. Now that she knew where to look, it wouldn't be difficult to reach Sadi—if she wanted to. Still, there was that red-haired witch at Cassandra's Altar who was asking about him, and she did owe him.

    Surreal pushed herself up on one elbow, fighting Philip's restraining hand. She smoothed her hair away from her face, letting it fall in a long black curtain across her back and shoulder. "Philip, why do you believe Sadi is serving Lady Benedict?"

    "She publicly summons him to her room so that the whole family and most of the staff knows he's with her," Philip snarled. His anger made his gray eyes look flat and cold. "And at the breakfast table, she chatters on about how entertaining he was."

    "She actually says he was entertaining?" Surreal flung herself backward and laughed. Damn. Leland was smarter than she'd thought.

    Philip threw himself on her, pinning her to the bed. "You find this amusing?" he spat at her. "You think this is funny?"

    "Ah, sugar," Surreal said, gulping back her laughter. "From what I know about Sadi, he can bevery entertaining out of bed, but he's seldom entertainingin bed."

    Philip's grip eased a little. He frowned, puzzled.

    "She's not the first, you know," Surreal said with a smile.

    "First what?"

    "The first woman to so blatantly call attention to the use of a pleasure slave." She stifled her laughter. He still didn't get it.

    "Why—"

    "So that after people come to expect it and the maids aren't going to gossip about rumpled linen because the story's already stale, the slave can be dismissed quietly and the lady's lover can spend a couple of leisurely hours with her without anyone suspecting." Surreal looked him in the eye. "And Lady Benedict does have a lover, doesn't she?"

    Philip stared at her for a moment. He started to smile and winced when it pulled his cut lip.

    Surreal playfully pushed him away, rolled off the bed, and casually walked into the bathroom. She turned on the light and studied her reflection. There were bruises on her arms and shoulders from his hands, bruises on her neck from his teeth. She winced at the raw ache between her legs. Deje was going to lose her for a few days.

    By the time she returned to the bedroom, Philip had straightened the bed and was lying back comfortably, his hands under his head. The Gray Jewel glowed softly as he pulled the covers back to let her in. He studied the bruises, brushing them gently with his fingers.

    "I hurt you. I'm sorry."

    "Professional hazard," Surreal replied with sweet venom. He deserved a short knife in the ribs.

    Philip settled her head on his shoulder and tucked the covers around them once again. She knew he was looking for a way to get back on familiar ground, to take back the pain he'd caused. She let the silence stretch and strain, making no effort to help him. She was a whore now because it was the easiest way to get close to males, learn their habits, and make a kill. Since Philip was in only one of her two books, and unlikely to be in the other, she didn't care if he ever came back.

    Sadi was a different problem. She had to find a way to meet him that wouldn't arouse suspicion. That, however, was something she would consider after some sleep.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire