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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Dreams Made Flesh (Chapter 91)      Page
  • Dreams Made Flesh(Black Jewels,Book 5)(91) by Anne Bishop
  • "Finger," Saetan said too softly. "A baby's finger."

    The Ambassador stared at him, looking sick. "No."

    "Yes." Saetan smiled…and watched the Ambassador shudder. "So I'm going to tell you the new agreement between Dhemlan and Zuulaman. My wife and child will be returned to me at once. If there is no further harm done to either of them, I will forget Zuulaman exists."

    As the words sank in, the Ambassador shook off his fear. "What kind of agreement is that?"

    "A generous one," Saetan replied. "However, if anything more is done to either of them, it will be considered a declaration of war."

    The Ambassador gaped for a moment. "You think Dhemlan will go to war…"

    "Dhemlan will not go to war with Zuulaman." He paused. "I will."

    "But…"

    "You don't understand what I am. No one would do this who understood what I am."

    The Ambassador closed his eyes. Once he'd regained his composure, he looked at Saetan and shook his head. "The Queens will accept nothing less than the trade agreements. Your wife and child will remain on our islands until the agreements are signed."

    "You're making a mistake."

    "I serve, Prince SaDiablo. I can only give you the words that were given to me."

    "Then give my words back to them, Ambassador. And hope they appreciate what is at stake."

    As the Ambassador bowed and left the study, Saetan drew the shields back into the stones of the Hall and released the Black lock on the front door. He set the small box down on the blackwood desk and stared at his baby's finger. Blood sings to Blood. One touch was all he'd needed to confirm that tiny finger was flesh of his flesh, blood of his blood.

    The numbness that kept the pain at bay thinned, threatened to shatter. He held on to it, as he held on to the edge of sanity, ignoring the lure of the twisting, misted roads. It would be so easy to slip over the boundary into the madness the Blood called the Twisted Kingdom, especially when it beckoned to him, promising there would be no pain. Especially when he knew he wasn't able to step away from that edge right now and stand more firmly in the sane world.

    With desperate care, he closed the lid on the box, poured himself a large brandy, and settled down to wait.

    6

    "It won't be enough," Hekatah said to the Zuulaman Queens who had assembled in the sitting room she'd been given. "It will upset him, shake him, but it won't be enough to make him yield and give us what we want."

    "There hasn't been enough time for a message to come back from the Ambassador who's staying in that village near SaDiablo Hall," one of the Queens pointed out. "We can wait and see what…"

    She shook her head. "We have to strike fast, have to strike hard before he has too much time to think. We have to…"Punish him for valuing his precious code of honor more than his wife. "…provide more incentive."

    "What do you suggest we do?" another Queen asked.

    Hekatah smiled. "Send the other box."

    7

    Andulvar strode through the great hall to the door of Saetan's study. The whole damn place had a hushed quality of people having taken shelter in the hopes of surviving a violent storm.

    And there was a storm coming. He could feel it building below the depth of his Ebon-gray Jewels. Hell's fire! He'd been able to sense the edge of it from his eyrie in Askavi.

    Which is why he'd caught the Ebon-gray Wind and ridden to the Hall, arriving at the first breath of dawn. Something was pushing Saetan to the breaking point, and he didn't want to find out what might happen when a Black-Jeweled Warlord Prince's control shattered.

    Flinging open the study door, he walked into the room.

    Saetan stood behind the blackwood desk, tears running down his face as he stared at an open box that sat in the center of the desk.

    "They kept his head," Saetan whispered.

    Andulvar moved forward. "What are you…"

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire