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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Dreams Made Flesh (Chapter 104)      Page
  • Dreams Made Flesh(Black Jewels,Book 5)(104) by Anne Bishop
  • He'd been content to let his desire sleep. So he wasn't sure what to think about the fact that, lately, he would wake in the night hard, hot, and aching, troubled by dreams of spreading Jaenelle's legs, of kneeling before her while his tongue and fingers stroked her to a climax.

    Lately, the sound of her voice was enough to stir his cock… and her unhappiness was enough to wither desire. But not completely. Never completely. Between the erotic dreams and the nightmare of losing her, he hadn't had a decent night's sleep in weeks.

    *Prince?*

    Daemon turned and studied the Red-Jeweled Sceltie Warlord. Ladvarian's determination had gathered the kindred who had pored their strength, love, and unshakable belief that they, along with the Arachnian Queen who had spun the powerful healing webs, could rebuild Jaenelle's devastated body, could hold dreams to flesh and keep Kaeleer's Heart among the living. He had brought the Jewel that became Twilight's Dawn to the island that was ruled by the golden spiders who were the Weavers of Dreams. And he was the one who had finally allowed Daemon to come to the other island where the kindred had hidden, and cared for, Jaenelle after she rose from the healing webs.

    *You are unhappy,* Ladvariah said.

    *Just tired,* Daemon lied. *I haven't been sleeping well.*

    Ladvarian hesitated. *Should we take Jaenelle somewhere else?*

    *No!* Daemon struggled to remain calm while temper and fear raged through him. That the small dog could, and would, remove Jaenelle from his care wasn't lost on either of them. His inability to believe she would come back, his grief and longing filling the abyss day after day, had been the reason she had risen from the healing webs too soon. He was to blame for the suffering she'd endured when he'd first brought her back to the Hall. The kindred had been willing to overlook his failure to love without doubt, but they wouldn't overlook anything else that might interfere with Jaenelle's well-being.

    *No,* he said again. *I'm grateful to have her here. I'm grateful to be with her.* And what he wouldn't admit to was the fear that if the kindred took her away, he might not be able to win her back enough for her to love him again.

    *She is healing, Daemon,* Ladvarian said after another hesitation. *She is getting stronger.*

    *I know* But she would never be what she had been. It wasn't just her body that she'd crippled when she'd unleashed her power to save Kaeleer. She could no longer wear the Black or Ebony Jewels that had once signaled the enormity of her power, and no one really knew what to make of Twilight's Dawn since nothing like it had ever existed. Sometimes it felt similar to a lighter Jewel, sometimes he could feel a hint of Ebon-gray or Black when he was near her.

    He didn't give a damn what Jewel she wore, but he, like the coven and boyos who had been members of her First Circle, worried that the loss of that power would affect her mental and emotional health, which, in turn, might damage her physical health.

    Don't borrow trouble, old son. You've already got enough of it. Do everything you can to get her well again and deal with what her Jewels can… and can't… do another day.

    *Are you sleeping here?* Ladvarian asked.

    Here? Where he couldn't wake up and hear her breathing, where he couldn't have that immediate assurance that she was still with him? *No.*

    As soon as Ladvarian trotted back to Jaenelle's room, Daemon stripped out of his clothes and shrugged into a robe that was a token gesture of modesty. He didn't need it for warmth. The warming spells he'd put on Jaenelle's suite of rooms and this one guaranteed she wouldn't catch a chill.

    The fire burning low in the hearth was enough light to see by as he made his way to her bed, shrugged off the robe, and slipped under the covers. The bed, specially built and strengthened with Craft to accommodate Kaelas, the eight-hundred-pound Arcerian cat who had slept with Jaenelle since she brought him home as an orphaned kitten, meant he could sleep with her without fear of bumping her during the night and causing an injury.

    As he pulled the covers up, he heard the change in her breathing, felt her roll onto her back.

    "Go back to sleep, sweetheart," he said softly. "It's just me."

    "Daemon." She sank back into the deep sleep her body demanded.

    Propped up on one elbow, Daemon watched her sleep for a long time. Had he heard longing in that one word?

    He shifted closer to her. Then he reached out and touched the ends of her golden hair. The kindred had used Craft to crop her hair very short. A practical thing to do while they'd tended her body when she was still connected to the healing webs. It had grown out enough to look shaggy. It was also the one thing he could touch without fear of hurting her.

    So he brushed his fingertips over her hair, wishing she was healed enough that he could brush his lips over hers, could slip his tongue into her mouth and kiss her the way he wanted to kiss her.

    Someday he would be able to kiss her that way again. Someday he would be able to do a lot more than just kiss her.

    He wouldn't allow himself to believe anything else.

    Three

    Too restless to sleep, Lektra paced her bedroom. Roxie's scheme had to work. Ithad to. They would stir rumors and provide nuggets of information that, if strung the wrong way, would ruin a man's reputation. They would also be Daemon Sadi's most vocal defenders. In the end, when he was freed of his obligation to take care of that crippled invalid, he would feel grateful to the woman who had loved him enough to publicly defend him against the charges of infidelity.

    And she did love him. Shedid. So why should that beautiful, virile man be trapped playing nursemaid to a woman who no longer had any use for him? Why should he spend the next few decades sitting by a sickbed, reading aloud to a lump of flesh? Or, worse, why should he have to hide his revulsion if Jaenelle Angelline still wanted something sexual from him?

    She'd fallen in love with Daemon the first time she'd seen him over a year ago. He had come to Amdarh with Jaenelle to shop for Winsol gifts and attend a few parties before returning to SaDiablo Hall to celebrate Winsol with their family and Jaenelle's First Circle. It had made sense that he would have agreed to be Jaenelle's Consort. At the time, she'd been the Queen of Ebon Askavi…-the most powerful Queen in Kaeleer. Every strong, ambitious male who had been trained for a consort's duties had wanted to wear the ring Daemon had worn on his left hand. But Daemon, beautiful Daemon, had won that coveted position.

    And no wonder. He'd looked at Jaenelle as if no other woman existed…

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire