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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Dreams Made Flesh (Chapter 24)      Page
  • Dreams Made Flesh(Black Jewels,Book 5)(24) by Anne Bishop
  • "No. Jaenelle arrived before they began that part of their entertainment."

    Lucivar shuddered. Jaenelle had been brutally raped when she was twelve. Her body had healed, but she, and those who loved her, lived with the emotional scars. There was nothing that turned Jaenelle lethal and merciless faster than rape.

    He opened his eyes, needing to see Saetan's confirmation. "She killed those Warlords." Then he shook his head. "If she intended to begin the healing in order to save Marian, it would have been a fast kill." Which meant they hadn't suffered nearly enough to repay the debt of pain and terror they'd inflicted.

    "A fast kill," Saetan agreed. "Although, considering the condition of their bodies, it was sufficient for the initial payment."

    Lucivar said nothing, just waited for the rest.

    "Jaenelle gave them to me to extract the rest of the payment," Saetan said too softly. "And they paid the debt in full."

    The knowledge of what Saetan could do to one of the Blood after the physical death should have frightened him, but he took a grim satisfaction in knowing every wound Marian had received, every moment of terror she'd experienced, had been accounted for. While Saetan ripped their minds apart, piece by piece, he would have found out everything there was to know about why and how Marian had ended up being attacked by those men.

    "What about her father?" Lucivar asked.

    "I have no authority in Askavi Terreille. I can't touch her father."

    Yet.

    The word hung unsaid between them, and Lucivar knew with absolute certainty that it didn't matter how many more centuries Marian's father lived. The day would come when his body died, and he would make the transition to become one of the demon-dead. He would end up in the Dark Realm…and the High Lord would be waiting for him.

    "So you have a choice, Lucivar," Saetan said. "I can appreciate, quite well, what it means to have Marian's fear scraping against the instincts that bring out the best, and the deadliest, side of your nature. If you can't tolerate it, then you should dismiss her. Between Jaenelle and me, we should be able to find her another position. Or you can grit your teeth for a while and endure it, giving her time to settle and regain her balance. Giving both of you time to find out if it's you she really fears."

    Lucivar turned away. He couldn't dismiss her. Not just because of what he'd learned from Saetan, but because it would confirm that she did nothing important, that her skills had no value. That she believed it,accepted it, chafed as much as anything else.

    But having her stay wasn't going to ease the other part of his frustration…especially now that he knew there were five…the bastards!… more reasons why she'd run from him.

    Lucivar started pacing again.

    Saetan watched him for a while, then cocked his head. "Something else?"

    He tried to think of a delicate way to say it, but in the end, he blurted it out. "She makes me hungry."

    "She…" Saetan paused. Crossed his arms over his chest.

    Lucivar glanced at his father, expecting to see criticism or anger in Saetan's expression. Instead, he saw… interest.

    "I know it isn't possible," he said.

    "Why not?"

    Lucivar stopped pacing and stared at Saetan in disbelief. "For one thing, she works for me. If she thinks that's part of what I expect from her…" He raked his fingers through his hair. "I couldn't stand it if she came to my bed because she thought she had to."

    "If she worked for someone else?"

    Where he couldn't protect her, especially now that he knew sheneeded protecting? Not while he was breathing. But the question made his temper soar. "I'd follow Protocol and stake a claim," he snarled.

    "There's no reason why you can't do that," Saetan said.

    "Sheworks for me."

    Saetan made an exasperated sound. "There's just the three of you. If she worked somewhere else and you expressed interest in her, she'd be scrutinized by everyone in that household because your interest would be public knowledge. This way, you can get to know her…and she can get to know you…in private. The end result will be the same. If she wants to be your lover, she'll make the choice."

    "She still might think…"

    makes her feel cornered, I will kick your ass from one end of Kaeleer to the other and back again."

    The threat, which was sincere, shouldn't have cheered him up, but it did.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire