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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Dreams Made Flesh (Chapter 157)      Page
  • Dreams Made Flesh(Black Jewels,Book 5)(157) by Anne Bishop
  • You really weren't paying attention to much beyond your fee, were you?"Prince of the Darkness. High Lord of Hell. Patriarch of the SaDiablo family. Since he has over fifty thousand years of experience in ruling the Dark Realm, your being demon-dead isn't going to get in his way when it comes to hurting you. So who are you going to talk to, sugar? Me or Uncle Saetan?"

    I wanted information about the bitch who hired him, not his life story,Surreal thought an hour later. Still, given his choices, she appreciated why the Warlord had wanted to be thorough.

    She'd finished the kill as she'd promised, burning out what was left of his power and freeing his spirit to return to the Darkness. And thinking about the pack of Hell Hounds that had obeyed her mother and were now left without a mistress to look after them…assuming those animals actually needed someone to look after them…she wrapped cold spells around the torso and the other pieces, caught the Winds, and rode to the Keep.

    Draca, the Keep's Seneschal, accepted her offering without comment, and offered, in return, a guest room where she could clean up and have a meal. She accepted both, glad of the opportunity to wash thoroughly and change into fresh clothes, and pleased when Draca sent along a selection of books with the meal. Choosing one, she decided to settle in for a few hours. Maybe Uncle Saetan would be back by then and she'd have a chance to talk to him before she headed back to Amdarh.

    5

    There was no official landing place on the island, since visitors were seldom welcome…and anyone unwelcome usually didn't survive. But he did sense a residual power he could home in on. Hoping he would land in a safe place, Saetan dropped from the Black Wind, wrapped himself in Black shields, and closed his inner barriers as tightly as possible.

    A moment later, he appeared in the center of a small clearing. The

    trees and bushes around the clearing were veiled with webs, some old and tattered, others looking freshly spun.

    As powerful as he was, he felt the whispery tugs from those tangled webs, luring him to open his mind, just a little, and slip into a dream from which he might never return.

    He closed his eyes and fought against the lure…and wondered how the kindred Ladvarian had gathered here to help heal Jaenelle had managed to keep their minds intact. Or had the golden spiders refrained from spinning those tangled webs during those weeks?

    *I am the High Lord.* He sent the thought rolling over the land. *I need to talk to the Weaver of Dreams. It concerns Jaenelle.*

    He waited, slowly becoming aware that all the whispery tugs had faded until only one remained. Strong. Powerful. But not threatening. Just a thread to follow.

    He followed a path out of the clearing. More of a game trail, actually. The kindred must have used the clearing as their landing place, must have created this trail as they traveled from one part of the island to another.

    He moved carefully since he wasn't sure what would happen if he stumbled and brushed against one of the tangled webs close to the trail. He couldn't judge how far he'd walked, but his bad leg ached by the time he reached the caves and the thread of power drew him inside.

    Witchlight glowed in niches in the cave walls. Was it for his benefit or did the spiders need the light as well? As he passed from one chamber to the next, the floor rocked beneath him, and the air became golden and veiled. No longer sure if he was still in the real world or caught in a dream, he stopped moving.

    *Here,* a soft voice called. *Here.*

    Light filled another chamber. Since he was watching where he set his feet, the dark stain that covered most of the chamber floor was the first thing he saw when he reached the entrance.

    And the Blood shall sing to the Blood. And through the blood.Jaenelle's power, and her pain, rose up from the blood that had seeped into the stones, choking him. He sank to his knees. His hand touched the stain.

    Feelings flooded him, but, thankfully, no images. Still, he recognized the feel of Ladvarian, the Sceltie's feet planted on the blood-washed stone as the dog braced for the battle of helping to heal a body devastated by a backlash of power.

    He didn't know how long he knelt there while feelings of love, courage, and stubborn determination washed through him. No human could have done what the kindred had done. No human could have believed as they had believed. Had he ever thanked Ladvarian, Kaelas, and the other kindred for their gift of courage and love? He couldn't remember.

    Pulling his hand away from the stain, he regained enough self-control to wipe the tears from his face and look around the chamber.

    The tangled web that covered one part of the chamber left him breathless. The large golden spider clinging to the wall near one end of the web scared him to the bone.

    *This is Kaeleer's Heart,* the Arachnian Queen said.

    Gathering his courage, he stood and moved closer to the web.

    Living myth. Dreams made flesh. Witch.

    Hundreds of threads made up this web. The wishes and longings of all those dreamers. Lifetimes of longings. Generations of wishes. All woven together to create one extraordinary woman capable of touching all the races in Kaeleer, human and kindred, giving them a way and a reason to connect with each other.

    *You ask about Jaenelle,* the spider said.

    He kept his voice quiet, barely above a whisper. "Why is she different? I mean no disrespect, but if you truly were able to re-create the web that formed that dream and made it flesh, why did she come back to us different?"

    *She is not different,* the spider replied. *She is still Kaeleer's

    Heart.*

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire