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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Daughter of the Blood (Chapter 84)      Page
  • Daughter of the Blood(Black Jewels,Book 1)(84) by Anne Bishop
  • "You didn't get anything to eat," Philip said quietly.

    Surreal waited for a couple of heartbeats before accepting the peace offering. "True, and I'm ravenous." She sent an order to the kitchen for two prime ribs with the works and another bottle of wine. The hefty tab Deje was going to hand him would disconcert him, but it would also alleviate some of his guilt for hurting her.

    "I wouldn't worry about Sadi," Surreal said as she slipped out of bed and wrapped a dressing gown around her slim body. "Although"—how nice to see that immediate flicker of worry in his eyes—"a lover who requires his silent participation and discretion would do well to understand that Sadi remembers courtesies just as he remembers slights."

    She smiled as the obelisk on the table chimed and the two meals appeared on the table.Let him chew on that, she thought, as she cut into the prime rib.

    5—Terreille

    Daemon glided into the breakfast room but stopped just inside the door when he saw Leland and Philip engrossed in quiet conversation. Philip's back was to the door, and as he talked, his hand moved gently up and down Leland's arm. Leland's eyes, as she listened to him, were lit with the fire of a woman in love.

    She was dressed in riding clothes, her hair pulled back from her face in a simple, becoming style. Yes, underneath the frills and fripperies she wore for the society ladies beat the heart of a witch.

    As Leland smiled at something Philip said, she looked over his shoulder and saw Daemon. Her eyes became chilly. Stepping away from Philip, she went to the buffet table and began to fill her plate.

    Philip's eyes became hard when he noticed Daemon, but he managed a smile and a courteous greeting.

    Well, well, well,Daemon thought as he filled his own plate. Something was in the wind. He was supposed to go riding with Leland that morning, but he noticed Philip was also dressed to ride.

    Breakfast was over and Leland had left for the stables before Philip spoke directly to Daemon. He sounded like a polite host dealing with a not-quite-welcome guest. "There's no reason for you to go out, unless you want to, of course. Since I'd planned to ride this morning, Lady Benedict doesn't require another escort."

    Or a chaperon, Daemon thought as he sipped his coffee. Overnight Philip's attitude had changed from terse and jealous to this attempt at courtesy. Why? Not that it mattered. He knew exactly what he would do with a free morning—and it would be free with Leland and Philip out of the house. Alexandra was visiting a friend and wouldn't be back until after lunch, and Robert, always so occupied with his all-consuming "business," spent as little time as possible at the estate.

    In fact, as that delicious dark scent once again permeated the walls of the Angelline mansion, Robert seemed more and more uncomfortable about staying there. It had reached the point that Daemon always knew when Robert came back even if he didn't see him because, in the front hallway and on the stairs leading up to the family's living quarters, there was always the slight stink of fear.

    Daemon poured another cup of coffee and shrugged in response to Philip's suggestion. "I don't mind not riding this morning," he said in his bored court voice. "Most likely you're a more enthusiastic rider and would therefore be a more suitable companion."

    Philip's eyes narrowed, but there was nothing in Daemon's silky, bored voice that gave any indication of an intended double meaning.

    Daemon smiled and reached for another piece of toast. "You shouldn't keep the lady waiting, Prince Alexander."

    Philip hesitated at the doorway. Daemon buttered his toast with slow, sensuous strokes, knowing that Philip was watching him and uneasily imagining something other than toast beneath his hand. Well, if Philip actually believed someone like Leland could make a Black-Jeweled Warlord Prince pant, the fool deserved to sweat.

    The moment Philip was gone, Daemon went to his room and swiftly changed his clothes. Wilhelmina was with Graff having her lessons; Cook was in the kitchen, sipping a cup of tea and starting to plan the lunch menu; and the servants were bustling about doing their various chores. There was only one person left.

    Daemon whistled a cheery little tune as he headed for the private alcove to spend a pleasant morning with his Lady.

    He had prowled the gardens, prowled the house, slipped in and out of the stable yard, checked the Craft library, and finally stood in the nursery wing feeling frustrated and concerned. He simply couldn't find her. He had even checked her room, tapping quietly on the door in case she was resting or wanted some privacy. When there'd been no answer, he had slipped into the room for a cursory look.

    Daemon caught his lower lip between his teeth and listened to Graff scolding Wilhelmina. He'd wondered why that harsh and not terribly educated woman was teaching Craft to a young witch from such a powerful family until he'd learned that Robert Benedict had hired her. Since Wilhelmina wasn't directly related to Leland and Alexandra, Robert's preference had overruled their objections. Daemon conceded that Graff was a good choice if a man's intention was to have a girl's sensibilities about what she was and the power she contained mangled to such an extent that she would never find any joy in the Craft or in herself. Yes, Graff was an excellent choice to bruise a young girl's ego and make her susceptible to more intimate brutality when she got a little older.

    Daemon approached the classroom to see if Jaenelle might possibly be there at the same time Graff yelled, "You're worthless this morning. Absolutely worthless. You call that Craft? Go on. The lesson's over. Go do something useless.That you can manage.GO!"

    Wilhelmina flew out the door and barreled into him. Daemon caught her by the shoulders, planting his feet to keep them both upright. She gave him a shaky smile of thanks.

    "So, you're free," Daemon said, smiling in return. "Where's—"

    "Oh, good, you're here," Wilhelmina said in a loud, commanding voice. "Help me practice my duet." She turned toward the music room.

    "First tell me where—"

    Wilhelmina stepped back and planted her heel squarely on Daemon's toes. Hard. He grunted from the pain but said nothing because Graff was now standing in the doorway, watching them closely.

    Wilhelmina stepped aside. "Oh, I'm sorry. Did I hurt you?" Without waiting for an answer, she hauled him toward the music room. "Come on, I want to practice."

    Once they reached the music room, she went to the piano and started digging through the music for the duet she was learning. "You can play the bass part," she said as she placed her hands on the keys.

    Daemon limped to the bench and sat down. "Miss Wil—"

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