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  • Dreams Made Flesh(Black Jewels,Book 5)(158) by Anne Bishop
  • "But not the same. If she were truly the same, she would be able to wear a Black Jewel."

    *Kaeleer does not need the Queen. Her task is done. But Kaeleer still needs the Heart.*

    Saetan closed his eyes, not even sure why he couldn't let this go.

    Jaenelle was alive, and she seemed happy. Why couldn't he let this one difference go?

    "Answer this one question, and I'll never ask again. Is this the same web? Can you tell me, with no doubt, that this is the same web that originally shaped that dream?"

    The spider didn't answer.

    Saetan opened his eyes and stared at the Arachnian Queen. "Is it the same web?"

    *It is not quite the same web,* the spider admitted reluctantly. Walking on air, she moved above the web until she reached a place where three thick strands formed a triangle. *Because of that.*

    He stared at that triangle, his heart pounding. He was one of those strands, one of those dreamers. Father. Brother. And the Lover, who was the father's mirror. Within that triangle, one delicate thread ran from the apex to the center of the base. One fragile strand with a tiny bead of blood attached to it.

    If he broke that thread, would Jaenelle be everything she had been?

    He took a step forward, lifted his right hand… and felt a thrum of power far, far, far below him.

    The light in the chamber changed, refocused on that triangle and the single strand. The tiny bead glittered in a way a drop of blood never would.

    And suddenly he knew what he was looking at…a tiny chip of an Ebony Jewel.

    The Weaver of Dreams said, *There was another dreamer.*

    6

    Saetan sat on the window seat in his study at the Keep, staring at the evening sky, a glass of yarbarah dangling from his fingers. As much as he adored her, he was glad Surreal had left the Keep before he returned. Right now, he needed some time to himself before he returned to the Hall.

    There was another dreamer.

    What is Twilight's Dawn? It iss the Jewel for Kaeleer'ss Heart. There was another dreamer. Sshe iss who sshe hass alwayss been. I lost nothing I regret losing. I am what I want to be.Lorn was right. He should have looked with his heart to find the answers. If he had, he would have realized there was one person who had no regrets, who felt no grief about the power that had been lost. Was, in fact, enjoying her "diminished" strength.There was another dreamer.

    One tear spilled over, not from sorrow this time but from joy. He raised the glass of yarbarah in a salute. "To you, witch-child."

    Fifteen

    1

    No one saw him, heard him, felt him as he entered Lektra's town house and climbed the stairs. He paused on the landing. He'd spent the day learning about his prey, so it was simple enough to sense which woman huddled in which bedroom.

    Turning away from Lektra's room, Daemon walked down the corridor. As he passed through the door of Roxie s bedroom, he placed aural and psychic shields around the room that would keep this conversation private.

    She was curled up in a chair, reading a book…something he doubted she usually did for entertainment. She wasn't aware of him as he watched her, as he breathed in her scent.

    An illusion spell could hide what a person looked like, but it didn't change her psychic scent. When he'd seen her in Banard's shop the day he bought the bracelet for Jaenelle, he'd felt pity for the witch who needed an illusion spell to hide a disfigurement.

    Tonight, pity…and mercy…were words that had no meaning for him.

    "So," he said pleasantly as he dropped the Black shields that had kept him hidden from her, "since you couldn't have my brother, you decided to play games with me."

    Roxie sprang out of the chair, dropping the book. "I…I don't know what you're talking about."

    "Roxie, darling, of course you do. Lucivar exiled you from Ebon Rih when you tried to force him into your bed. I know all about you. Or enough about you. I made it my business to find out. But I really don't care what games you played with Lucivar. I want to know why you decided to play games with me."

    Roxie pouted. "Lektra wants you. I just helped her." "By spreading lies about me, by watching me when I was in Amdarh so you could build those lies on a foundation of truth?" Smiling, he crooned, "Did you also help Lektra with the carriage accident that could have injured Jaenelle?"

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