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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Daughter of the Blood (Chapter 93)      Page
  • Daughter of the Blood(Black Jewels,Book 1)(93) by Anne Bishop
  • "Oh, the way your eyes get that funny look sometimes, like you've got a tummy ache and you want to laugh but you know it would hurt." She looked at the hand, now curled into a fist, that was pressing into his stomach. "Is there something wrong with your tummy?"

    "Not yet."

    Andulvar suddenly found the ceiling intensely interesting. Prothvar and Mephis just stared at her back. Saetan ground his teeth.

    "He's really very nice, Saetan," Jaenelle said, puzzled by the strange emotional currents. "One day when it was raining, he played cradle with Wilhelmina and me for hours and hours."

    "Cradle?" he said in a strangled voice.

    Jaenelle embedded the Queen of Hearts into the wood. "It's a card game. The rules are pretty tricky, and the Prince kept forgetting some of them and then he'd lose."

    "Did he?" Saetan bit his cheek. Hard to believe that Daemon would find the rules to any game "tricky."

    "Mm. I didn't want him to feel bad, so . . . well, I was dealing, and I helped him win a game."

    The ceiling above Andulvar wasintensely interesting. Mephis started to cough. Prothvar found the texture of the curtains riveting.

    Saetan cleared his throat and pushed his fist deeper into his stomach. "Did . . . did the Prince say anything?"

    Jaenelle wrinkled her nose. "He said he'd be happy to teach me poker if he didn't have to bet against me. What did he mean, Saetan?"

    Mephis and Prothvar leaped toward the game board and smacked their heads together. Andulvar started to shake and held the arms of the chair as if they were the only things keeping him close to the ground.

    Saetan felt sure that if he didn't laugh soon his insides were going to be pulverized by the strain. "I think . . . he meant . . . that he would have liked . . . to have won by himself."

    Jaenelle considered this and shook her head. "No, I don't think that's what he meant."

    There was a muffledack ack ack as Prothvar desperately tried to hold in the laughter, but the sound acted like a trigger and all four of them helplessly exploded.

    Saetan's body felt like jelly. He slid out of the chair, landed with a thump on the floor, pitched over on his side, and howled.

    Jaenelle looked at them and smiled as if willing to join in if someone would explain the joke. After a minute, she got to her feet, smoothed down her dress with the quiet pride and dignity of a young Queen, stepped over Saetan's legs, and headed for the door.

    Saetan instantly sobered. Pushing himself up on one elbow, he said, "Witch-child? Where are you going?" The other three men stayed silent, waiting for an answer.

    Jaenelle turned and looked down at Saetan. "I'm going to the bathroom and then I'm going to see if Mrs. Beale has anything to eat." She walked to the door, stiff-legged. The last thing they heard her mutter before she closed the door on them was, "Males."

    There was a moment's more silence before the laughter sputtered to life again, continuing until none of them could stand anymore.

    "I'm glad I'm dead," Andulvar said as he wiped at his eyes.

    Saetan, lying on his back, tilted his head to look at his friend. "Why?"

    "Because she'd be the death of me otherwise."

    "Ah, but Andulvar, what a glorious way to die."

    Andulvar sobered. "What are you going to do now? He went out of his way to tell you where he is. A challenge?"

    Saetan slowly got to his feet, straightened his clothes, and smoothed back his hair. "Do you think he's that careless?"

    "Maybe that arrogant."

    Saetan thought it over and shook his head. "No, I don't think it's arrogance, but it is a challenge." He turned to face Andulvar. "To me. He may trust my intentions as little as I trust his. Perhaps we both need to trust . . . a little."

    "So what will you do?"

    Saetan sighed. "Send my regards in return."

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire