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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Dreams Made Flesh (Chapter 7)      Page
  • Dreams Made Flesh(Black Jewels,Book 5)(7) by Anne Bishop
  • Lucivar sighed and gave up. So he'd have to put up with having one little hearth witch underfoot. How bad could it be?


    Saetan stepped out of the carriage and walked away from the Hall, wanting a few minutes to savor the sweet night air. It had been a pleasure escorting Sylvia to see her oldest son's debut theater performance. Watching her play the role of "Queen enjoying an amateur production put on by her village's theater group" had been more entertaining than the play. No one would have guessed she was a nervous mother…unless she'd been grabbing that person's hand and squeezing his fingers numb every time Beron came onstage.

    He enjoyed spending time with Sylvia. They'd clashed sometimes, but she'd offered support and understanding…and, occasionally, a caustic tongue…while Jaenelle was an adolescent, and they'd become friends in the process. So it gave him pleasure to stand as her escort when she needed the company of a friend who wouldn't expect her to act like Halaway's Queen.

    But it also had produced a dull ache inside him to watch Sylvia's face while she watched her son, to see her eyes shine with pride and remember the times when his wife, Hekatah, had sat beside him during an amateur performance, her face set in bored tolerance, or when the seat beside him had been empty because she wouldn't make an appearance at something so common…not even for one of her sons.

    When he'd first met her, Hekatah had given a performance to rival any actress on the stage. She'd made him believe she loved him. But she'd never loved the man, just the dark power he wielded. She'd never loved her sons. She'd never loved anything but herself and her ambition.

    He locked those thoughts away, as he locked so many away. He didn't want to think about Hekatah and a past that was long gone…and still had the power to hurt.

    It was for the best that he and Sylvia could never be more than friends. Being a Guardian, he was one of the few Blood who straddled the line between living and dead in order to extend their lifetimes into years beyond counting. But everything had a price, and the sheer weight of the years he had lived had silenced the craving for sex.

    Just as well. He could protect his heart while he and Sylvia were friends. If it had been possible for them to become lovers…

    Too many years between them. And he was who and what he was.

    It was better this way. He would continue to tell himself that. One day, he might even believe it.

    Any thoughts of Sylvia fled when he walked into the Hall and found Beale, his butler, waiting for him. That wasn't unusual in itself, except… something didn't feel quite right. Something was missing.

    He opened his psychic senses, searching, probing. It took a moment because her dark psychic scent permeated the walls of SaDiablo Hall, but he knew what was missing.Who was missing.

    And yet the anticipation in Beale's gold eyes didn't seem anxious in any way, so Saetan removed his cape and used Craft to vanish it before making the opening statement in this game of verbal chess. "Good evening, Beale."

    "High Lord," Beale replied. "You had a pleasant evening?"

    "Yes, I did. The play was charming."

    "And the dinner?"

    Ah. "It was quite good. Not up to Mrs. Beale's standards, of course."

    "Of course."

    Now that he had given Beale the expected…and only acceptable… response, his butler was ready to move on to what he found a trifle more important…like the whereabouts of his daughter and Queen.

    "The Lady went to the Keep about an hour ago," Beale said. "She left a message for you on your desk in the study."

    "Thank you."

    "If there is nothing else you require, High Lord, I will lock up and retire."

    Saetan shook his head. "There's nothing. Good night, Beale."

    He walked to the end of the great hall and paused at his study door to watch Beale lock the front doors. Not really a necessary precaution since there were other ways of safeguarding the people and things he treasured. Even with those protection spells, it was simple enough to get into the Hall. Getting out was another matter.

    He went inside his study, flicked a thought at the lamp on his desk. The candle-light inside glowed softly. He picked up the half sheet of parchment that had been folded into thirds and sealed with a few drops of black wax, called in his half-moon glasses, opened the note, and read.


    Meet me at the Keep at dawn. The High Lord's expertise will be required.


    Vanishing the paper and glasses, he stared at nothing for a moment before extinguishing the lamp and leaving the study. As he crossed the great hall to reach the informal receiving room and climbed the stairs that led to the family wing, a chill spread through him. He knew what kind of expertise Jaenelle might require from the High Lord of Hell. What he didn't know was why.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire