• Home
  • Directory
  • Popular
  • Authors
  • Series
  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Daughter of the Blood (Chapter 87)      Page
  • Daughter of the Blood(Black Jewels,Book 1)(87) by Anne Bishop
  • "Lady Benedict and Prince Alexander are still out riding, so you watch for them, you hear?" Guinness sucked on his cheek. He waved a hand at them and said gruffly, "Go on now."

    The girls took the lead, walking their ponies sedately through the yard and down the path while Daemon and Andrew followed.

    "I don't remember Guinness ever calling this horse by name before," Daemon said.

    Andrew shrugged his shoulders and smiled. "Miss Jaenelle doesn't like us calling him Demon. She says it makes him unhappy."

    "You know, Andrew," Daemon said in a quiet, silky voice, "if this horse breaks her neck, I'm going to break yours."

    Andrew chuckled. Daemon raised one eyebrow at the response.

    "Wait until you see them together. It's worth watching," Andrew said. "When we get to the tree, you can have the mare. I don't think the pony can carry you."

    "Very considerate of you," Daemon said dryly.

    They kept to a walk all the way to the tree. When Andrew and Daemon got there, Jaenelle was already dismounted and waiting. Daemon's heart thumped crazily at the soft, shining look in her eyes, and then felt squeezed by a taloned hand when he realized she wasn't looking at him.

    The stallion nickered softly and thrust his head forward. "Hello, Dancer," Jaenelle said in a voice that was a sweet, sensuous caress.

    Sweet Darkness, he would give his soul if her voice sounded like that when she talked to him, Daemon thought as he dismounted. He adjusted the stirrups for her. "Give you a leg up?"

    Andrew's head whipped around as if the suggestion was totally inappropriate. Perhaps it was. Daemon had the feeling she didn't need the help, but what he wouldn't have admitted to anyone for anything was that he wanted—he needed—to be able to touch her in some innocent way, even if it was just to feel her small booted foot in his cupped hands.

    Jaenelle's eyes met his and held them. He fell into those sapphire pools, and he knew she saw what he didn't want to admit.

    "Thank you . . . Daemon." Her voice was a feathery caress down his spine that set him on fire and soothed him.

    A little giddy, Daemon cupped his hands and bent over. For the briefest moment, she pressed her foot into his hands. Then she lifted it just slightly and propelled herself into the saddle.

    Daemon stared at his empty hands and slowly straightened up. The eyes looking at him were amused, but they didn't belong to a child.

    "Shall we go?" Jaenelle said quietly.

    As Daemon mounted the mare, Jaenelle vanished her hat and undid her braid, letting her hair float behind her in a golden wave. They set out for the field, Jaenelle riding ahead of them, her murmuring voice floating back on the breeze.

    Relieved that Philip and Leland weren't in the field, it took Daemon a moment to realize that Dark Dancer was cantering far ahead of them and stretching into a ground-eating gallop.

    "They're heading for the ditch!" Just as Daemon started to urge the mare forward to cut across the field and head the stallion off, Andrew grabbed his arm.

    "Watch," Andrew said.

    Daemon gritted his teeth and held the mare still.

    Dark Dancer came up to the ditch fast, his black tail and Jaenelle's golden hair streaming behind them like flags of glory. As they approached the ditch, he checked his speed and made a wide, easy turn back toward the center of the field where the small jumps were placed. He took the little wooden jumps as if they were brick walls, high and showy, and as he cantered toward them, Daemon heard Jaenelle's silvery, velvet-coated laugh of delight.

    She turned the stallion to circle the field again. Daemon urged the mare forward and they circled at an easy pace, side by side, with Wilhelmina and Andrew following.

    As they reached the beginning of the circle, Jaenelle slowed Dancer to a walk. "Isn't he wonderful?" She stroked his sweaty neck.

    "He's been a little more ambitious when I've ridden him," Daemon said dryly.

    Jaenelle's forehead wrinkled. "Ambitious?"

    "Mm. He's wanted to teach me to fly."

    She laughed. The sound sang in his blood. She turned toward him then. Beneath the high spirits her eyes were haunted and sad. "Perhaps he'd like you more if you talked to him—and listened."

    Daemon wanted to say something light and cheerful to take away the look in her eyes, but there was something about the way the stallion suddenly twitched his ears and seemed to be listening to them that pricked his nerves. "People talk to him all the time. He probably knows more of the stable lads' secrets than any other living thing."

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire