• Home
  • Directory
  • Popular
  • Authors
  • Series
  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Dreams Made Flesh (Chapter 101)      Page
  • Dreams Made Flesh(Black Jewels,Book 5)(101) by Anne Bishop
  • Going back into the bedroom of the master suite in his family's town house in Amdarh, Dhemlan's capital city, he looked at the bed and hesitated. No. He wouldn't take a chance of the nightmare coming back. Once in a night was more than enough. Besides, he could spend the hours before dawn going over the papers Marcus, his man of business, had delivered to the town house for his review.

    During the years when he'd been lost in the Twisted Kingdom and the years he'd remained hidden while he regained his strength and patched together his sanity, Marcus had worked diligently on his behalf. Because of that, much of the wealth he'd accumulated over the centuries had been quietly transferred to investments in various Territories in Kaeleer. That diligence had served Marcus as well, establishing him as a businessman and making it possible for him to bring his wife and young daughter to Kaeleer without having to serve in a Queen's court. Now Marcus and his family also lived in Amdarh, where it was safe for a child to play in the park with her friends, where a woman could walk down the street and not fear the men she passed, where a man wouldn't have to wonder if he would be snatched and maimed for the amusement of a bitch's court.

    Using Craft, Daemon turned on the candle-light near the chair and table where he'd left the large stack of papers waiting for his perusal. Between his personal assets and controlling the vast wealth of the SaDiablo family, he had enough work to keep him busy, enough work to fill the hours when Jaenelle…

    He reached for the robe at the foot of the bed, then turned away empty-handed to stand in front of the freestanding mirror.

    He had the light-brown skin, black hair, and gold eyes that were common to the long-lived races. But his face was beautiful rather than handsome and left women breathless; his deep, cultured voice with its sexual edge could cause a pulse to race; and his body, trim, toned and full of feline grace, made women, and more than one man, crave him. He was seduction in motion, a promise of pleasure to the woman who held his affection and loyalty…and a promise of pain to everyone else who thought to use him in a bed.

    He was also a Black Widow, one of the Blood who could wield the Hourglass's Craft of dreams and visions… and poisons. His father had been the first male in the history of the Blood to become a Black Widow. He had been born one, and the venom held in the sac beneath the ring-finger nail of his right hand was deadly. Adding that to the fact that he wore Black Jewels made him the most powerful, and dangerous, male in the history of the Blood, second only to Saetan.

    No. Not second. They had taken each other's measure, and they both knew the truth. He might be his father's mirror, but his power was a little stronger, a little darker. And whatever held his father in check from unleashing that power didn't hold him. With the right provocation, there was nothing he couldn't, and wouldn't, do.

    Especially when it came to Jaenelle Angelline, the living myth, dreams made flesh, the Queen who had sacrificed herself and the tremendous power she'd wielded in order to cleanse the taint that Dorothea and Hekatah SaDiablo had smeared over the Blood in Terreille.

    The Queen who was called Kaeleer's Heart.

    She had stopped the war that would have devastated Kaeleer. The price had been vicious. Even though she had healed enough to come home, she had suffered so much during the first weeks when he'd brought her back to SaDiablo Hall. True, the pain had lessened as autumn gave way to the first breath of winter, but even now, when the winter days would soon give way to the promise of spring, she was still so fragile, still an invalid who could barely walk from bed to chair. She never spoke about shattering her Ebony Jewels, never spoke of the new Jewel, Twilight's Dawn, that had taken the place of what she had lost.

    She didn't say much of anything anymore. At least, not to him.

    "It's not over," he told his reflection. "You've kept your best weapons sheathed, old son. Maybe it's time to remind your Lady what you can offer a woman, remind her that you're hers for the taking. If you don't play this game out to the full and you lose because of it, you'll regret it for the rest of your life. It's not over until she asks you to leave, so give her a reason to want you to stay."

    Turning away from the mirror, he slipped into the robe, poured a snifter of brandy, and settled in the chair to take care of the work that had brought him to Amdarh. If he could get through the business that required his immediate attention, he'd have time to take care of some personal errands in the morning before meeting with Marcus…and he'd be home with Jaenelle by tonight.

    Two

    Daemon left the town house and strode down the sidewalk, his hands in the pockets of his wool coat, the collar flipped up to shield his neck from the bite of winter air. The walkways and streets were clear of snow, which made it easy to enjoy a brisk morning walk.

    Personal errands first. As night gave way to dawn, he'd realized the only way to battle doubt was by feeding hope. He knew what he wanted more than anything else, and this would be a small step in the right direction.

    The bookseller he patronized was his first stop, and the man barely had time to open his store before Daemon arrived. Today, browsing wasn't a temptation, so he simply looked at the books the man had set aside for him. Reading was Jaenelle's main entertainment these days, so every time he came to Amdarh on business, he made a point of stopping at the store. He selected three of the six books that had been set aside, but asked the bookseller to hold the others until he returned to the city in a fortnight. Buying them but not giving her all of them seemed dishonest, as if he were withholding a treat. Delaying the purchase gave him the pleasure of bringing her something new each time he had to leave the Hall on family business, and he needed to give her anything he could.

    By the time he left the bookstore, there were plenty of people out and about Amdarh's shopping district. As he walked to his next destination, he greeted the men and women he'd met at aristo houses when he'd been invited to dinner or to a party. He'd made an effort to become acquainted with the Blood aristos in the city, especially the ones who served in Lady Zhara's court, since she ruled Dhemlan's capital. Except for Karla, the boyos and the coven who had made up Jaenelle's First Circle hadn't quite forgiven him for the games he'd played to keep them away from her while she created the spells that would protect them and Kaeleer. And he and Lucivar still weren't quite easy with each other. What he'd done in Dorothea's camp to protect his brother's wife and son was a still-healing wound between them.

    He greeted two witches he'd met at a party when he was in Amdarh a few weeks ago buying gifts for Winsol. Baffled by the wary stares they gave him before returning the greeting, he shrugged it off as unimportant, his mind already focused on the shop at the end of the block.

    "Good morning, Prince Sadi," Banard said as soon as Daemon walked into the shop. "I hadn't expected to see you here so soon after Winsol. Did the Lady like the pin?"

    "Good morning," Daemon replied as he walked up to one of the glass displays that also served as a counter. "Yes, Lady Angelline was delighted with the unicorn pin."

    A gifted craftsman who worked with precious gems and metals, Banard, a Blood male who wore no Jewel himself, had been commissioned over the years to create a number of unique pieces for darker-Jeweled Blood… including Jaenelle's scepter when she'd established her Dark Court.

    "I have a commission for you," Daemon said. "One that requires your discretion for the time being."

    Banard smiled. "Don't they all require discretion, Prince?"

    "Yes, they do," he replied, returning the smile to acknowledge the truth ofBanard's statement. "But this one needs a little more than most."

    Banard just continued to smile.

    Daemon hesitated, wondering if he was being premature. Didn't matter. If he ended up being a fool over this, so be it. "I want you to make two rings. One… I'm not really sure how I want it to look." Despite the fact that they were alone in the shop, he lowered his voice. "The other is a plain gold band."

    "Do you know the ring size for this gold band?"

    In answer, Daemon held out his left hand.

    "Ah." Banard's smile widened. "Then this other must be a special ring for a special Lady?"

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire