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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Dreams Made Flesh (Chapter 117)      Page
  • Dreams Made Flesh(Black Jewels,Book 5)(117) by Anne Bishop
  • "So," she said. "You were right."

    He took her stick, vanished it along with his, then crouched in front of her. "No, I wasn't." He waited until she looked at him. "Do you remember when you went into the Twisted Kingdom to mark a trail for Daemon to follow?Your body was already strained from healing the landens who had been trapped by a jhinka attack, and by the time you got back to the Keep after finding Daemon, you'd made a mess of yourself."

    "I remember," she whispered, staring at her hands.

    "As soon as you were able to stand on your own, we started working to rebuild your muscles and your strength."

    "What's your point?" She looked weary, defeated.

    He placed one hand lightly over hers. "You didn't get half as far that first time as you did today. So the point, Cat, is I'm sorry. I wanted you to come back to us so much, it got in the way. I clipped your wings instead of helping you learn how to fly again."

    "So you'll be my sparring partner again?"

    He smiled. "We'll get there. I'll come back tomorrow."

    She made a face. "Can't tomorrow. Surreal and I are going to Amdarh for what she calls a female indulgence."

    "You're staying at the town house?"

    Jaenelle shook her head. "Surreal says it's easier to be pampered if we stay at that… whatever it is. Besides, Daemon's at the town house right now."

    So?He didn't ask because there was something odd about her tone. Something… nervous. And Daemon had become edgy over the past few weeks…and subtly territorial in a way that made all the male servants at the Hall wary of drawing his attention. "Then let me know when you get back."

    He stayed at the Hall long enough to assure Surreal he'd start working with Jaenelle once the two women got back from their female indulgence, whatever that meant, then caught the Winds and headed for Ebon Rih. But before he went home, he stopped at the Keep to have a little chat with his father.

    Eight

    1

    Baffled by the worried glances he'd gotten from the servants and too restless to stay inside, Daemon left the town house shortly after breakfast, walking aimlessly until the shops opened. Then he headed for the bookshop where he could fill an hour or two browsing. Since love stories had lost their appeal, maybe he could find something else Jaenelle would find intriguing…and find something for himself that would catch his interest enough to keep him occupied while he waited for some word from Surreal.

    After she left for the Hall yesterday morning, he'd summoned Marcus and had exhausted the energy and patience of his man of business by reviewing every possible business transaction that might come up in the next few weeks. If Surreal succeeded in finding out what was troubling Jaenelle, if she actually managed to fix the problem so that Jaenelle wanted his company again, he wasn't going to allow anything to intrude on his time with his Lady.

    But he needed to keep busy until he heard from her…or from Jaenelle. Maybe he'd contact Lucivar and invite him to dinner. Or go to the Keep and spend a few hours with his father. He'd been choking on his fear of losing Jaenelle but had said nothing to anyone except Surreal. Now… Maybe he should get another male's opinion? But Lucivar would be too blunt and probably have the unfortunate effect of honing a temper that didn't need honing. Saetan, however, might be able to offer an insight into Jaenelle's emotional retreat… or even an assurance that it was a stage of healing and would pass. Maybe… Maybe even talking to Saetan about the nightmare that kept plaguing him might help, although lately, the erotic dreams were giving him more physical and emotional discomfort.

    Shaking off those thoughts, he entered the bookshop and smiled at the owner…and wondered why the man's eyes cooled at the sight of him and the usual smile of greeting looked forced.

    "Prince Sadi." The shopkeeper sounded like he'd swallowed glass. "You've come for the books I was holding for you?"

    "Yes…and a few others," Daemon replied, starting to turn away from the counter to browse the shelves. He'd give the love stories to Marian. She and Jaenelle often exchanged books, so he knew she'd enjoy them.

    "Very well."

    The reluctance in the shopkeeper's voice stopped Daemon and had him turning back to study the man.

    He doesn't want me here,Daemon thought, stung by the unexpected reaction to his presence.

    Feeling a hint of ice brush the edge of his temper, he walked to a part of the shop where the shelves hid the shopkeeper from view. For the sake of past, and possibly future, courtesy, it was better to keep his distance until the desire to shred the shopkeeper's skin passed. After all, the man could be upset about something that had nothing to do with him.

    Dismissing the shopkeeper for the time being, he began perusing the shelves of fiction, skipping over the love stories and straightforward adventures, and finally stopping at a section that looked interesting.

    Pulling a book from the shelf, he read the first page and choked back a laugh. By the time he got to the fourth page, he was leaning comfortably against the shelves and grinning. The heroine was a Blood female named Tracker, a musician by trade, whose companion was a Purple Dusk Sceltie Warlord named Shadow. The village they lived in was clearly modeled on the village of Maghre, and the Warlord who ruled the village and requested their assistance in solving a mystery.…

    Did Khardeen know about these stories? He'd send Khary a brief note this evening. It would be a good way to respond to the note he'd received from the Warlord of Maghre last week. Khary's note had been nothing more than a few sentences about horses, but he'd understood the significance of the note coming to him rather than Jaenelle. His actions during the time Jaenelle needed to create her spells to save Kaeleer had broken the friendships that had developed between him and the other males in Jaenelle's First Circle. Since then, they'd all been coldly civil with him. Khary's note was the first sign of any willingness to try to repair those friendships.

    Closing the book, Daemon checked the shelves and found two others by the same author that featured Tracker and Shadow. He took those, too. Even if the mystery part of the story didn't end up being sufficiently compelling, the author's understanding of human-kindred relationships was certainly entertaining.

    As he crouched to look at another book, he heard two women, speaking in low, urgent tones, walk up to the other side of the shelves.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire