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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Daughter of the Blood (Chapter 98)      Page
  • Daughter of the Blood(Black Jewels,Book 1)(98) by Anne Bishop
  • Daemon changed directions, blocking her escape. "Who?"

    "A friend."

    He shook his head in mocking sadness.

    Cassandra stopped moving. "Would you like some wine?" He was dangerous, dangerous, dangerous.

    "No." He paused and studied the nails on his right hand. "You don't think I can create a grave deep enough to hold you, do you?" His voice was silky, crooning, almost sleepy. Terrifying. And familiar. Another deep voice with a slightly different cadence, but the crooning rage was the same. "For your information, just in case you've been considering it, Iknow you can't create one deep enough to holdme. "

    Cassandra lifted her chin and looked him in the eye. She'd used that pause to put a strengthening spell on her nails, making them as strong and sharp as daggers. "Maybe not, but I'm going to try."

    Daemon lifted one eyebrow. "Why?" he asked too gently.

    Cassandra's temper flared. "Because you're dangerous and cruel. You're Hekatah's puppet and Dorothea's pet sent here to destroy an extraordinary witch. I won't let you. I won't. You may put me in the grave for good, but I'll give you a taste of it, too."

    She flung herself at him, her hand curved and ready, the Black Jewel blazing. He caught her wrists, holding her off with an ease that made her scream. He hit the Black shields on her inner barriers hard enough to make her work to keep them intact, but they wouldn't keep him out for long. She was draining her Jewels and he hadn't tapped his yet. When her Black were drained, there would be no way to stop him from shattering her mind.

    She tried to twist away from him, tried to eliminate the immediate physical danger so she could concentrate on protecting her mind. Then she froze as his snake tooth pressed into her wrist. She didn't think his venom would be deadly to a Guardian, but if he pumped his full shot into her, it would paralyze her long enough for him to pick her apart at his leisure.

    She looked up at him defiantly, her teeth bared, ready to fight to the end. It was the look on his face, the change in his eyes that arrested her. There was wariness there. And hope?

    "You don't like Dorothea," he said slowly, as if puzzling out a difficult problem.

    "I like Hekatah even less," she snapped.

    "Hekatah." Daemon released her, swearing softly as he paced the room. "Hekatah still exists? Like you?"

    Cassandra sniffed. "Not like me. I'm a Guardian. She's a demon."

    "I beg your pardon," he said dryly as he prowled the room.

    "Are you saying you weren't sent here to kill the girl?" Cassandra rubbed her sore wrists.

    Daemon stopped pacing. "I'll take some wine, if you're still offering it."

    Cassandra got the glasses, a bottle of red wine, and the decanter of yarbarah. Pouring a glass of each, she handed him the wine.

    Daemon tested it, sniffed it, and took a sip. One eyebrow rose. "You have excellent taste in wine, Lady."

    Cassandra shrugged. "Not my taste. It was a gift." When he didn't say anything else, she prodded, "Is that why you're here?"

    "Perhaps," he said slowly, thinking it over. Then he smiled wryly. "I was of the opinion that I was sent here because I had been a bit too troublesome of late and there wasn't another court that would have me, or another Queen that Dorothea was willing to sacrifice in order to blunt my temper." He sipped the wine appreciatively. "However, if what you believe is true—and recent events do seem to support that belief—it was a grave error on her part." He laughed softly, but there was a brutality to the sound that made Cassandra shiver.

    "Why is it an error? If she offered you something of value to—"

    "Like my freedom?" The wariness was back in his eyes. "Like a century of not having to kneel and serve?"

    Cassandra pressed her lips together. This was going wrong, and if he turned against her again, he wouldn't relent a second time. "The girl means everything to us, Prince, and she means nothing to you."

    "Nothing?" He smiled bitterly. "Do you think that someone like me, having lived as I've lived, being what I am, would destroy the one person he's been looking for his whole life? Do you think me such a fool I don't recognize what she is, what she'll become? She's magic, Cassandra. A single flower blooming in an endless desert."

    Cassandra stared at him. "You're in love with her." Sudden anger washed over her at the next thought. "She's just a child."

    "That fact hasn't eluded me," he said dryly as he refilled his wineglass. "Who is 'us'?"

    "What?"

    "You said 'the girl means everything to us.' Who?"

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire