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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Dreams Made Flesh (Chapter 95)      Page
  • Dreams Made Flesh(Black Jewels,Book 5)(95) by Anne Bishop
  • Bristling, Andulvar turned slowly, his hand itching to call in his Eyrien war blade. But the Warlord wasn't looking at him.

    "He cleared out," the man said. "The bastard just cleared out without paying his bill."

    Andulvar studied the room, noted the books on the bedside table, the clothes still hanging in the open wardrobe. "Are you sure?"

    "Course I'm sure!"

    "His things are still here."

    "Not the things he brought from Zuulaman." The Warlord picked up the books, then set them back down before going to the wardrobe and riffling through the clothes. "He bought these clothes here in Dhemlan. Those books, too. My brother was in the bookshop the same day and saw the Ambassador buy them. But all the things he brought with him from Zuulaman are gone. Those bits of pottery and a book. There was a sketch on the wall, too. And the clothes."

    A chill went down Andulvar s spine. There was no reason for the Ambassador to remain in Halaway now that the agreements were signed. No reason at all. And yet…

    "Guess he didn't think the things that came from Dhemlan were worth enough to take back with him," the Warlord said with a trace of bitterness.

    Andulvar left without saying another word to the innkeeper and flew back to the Hall. As he landed and started to walk toward the front door, three Warlord Princes dropped from the Winds and appeared on the landing web that was circled by the drive. Opal, Sapphire, Red. Even together, they couldn't challenge Ebon-gray and hope to survive, but it would be a vicious fight. He shifted, deliberately placing himself between them and the Hall's front door.

    "We need to see Prince SaDiablo," the Red-Jeweled Warlord Prince said.

    "He's not available," Andulvar replied.

    The Sapphire swore quietly.

    "We need to see him," the Red insisted. "We're here on our Queens' behalves to report some odd thefts that occurred last night."

    "What kind of thefts?" Andulvar asked, feeling icy claws wrap around his spine.

    "Reports came in from several Provinces in Dhemlan as well as Am-darh," the Sapphire said. "Items were stolen sometime during the night."

    "What kind of items?"

    The Red's smile had a bite but no humor. "If it came from Zuulaman, it's gone. There's no sign that anyone broke in to those homes and nothing else was taken."

    "It's not just people's homes," the Sapphire said. "Merchants reported that anything they'd acquired from Zuulaman to sell is gone. Books, pictures, pottery. Doesn't matter."

    "The Queens are wondering if some kind of spell had been woven into the items so that they'd vanish after a certain amount of time," the Red added. "They're wondering if we're going to end up buying the same books and bits of crockery over and over again."

    Which confirmed that the Ambassador had made sure at least some of Dhemlan s Queens were aware of the trade agreements before he disappeared.

    They waited now, watching him.

    An ember of dread kindled in his belly, but he didn't let them see it. "I'll tell him."

    He watched them walk back to the landing web. Waited until they'd caught the Winds to go back to their Queens. He looked up at the sky, judged the daylight. Still enough time before twilight, even though he'd be heading east.

    He strode to the landing web, caught the Ebon-gray Wind, and headed for Zuulaman.

    11

    The baby stopped crying.

    Saetan took a deep breath. Let it out slowly. His body ached right down to the bone. As he raised his right hand to brush back his hair, he noticed the ring. The Black Jewel looked dull. When had he drained it? And why? He brushed fingers over the Black Jewel that hung from a gold chain around his neck. That one, too, was drained. Only a few drops of power remained, just enough to keep the Jewel from shattering. He must have drained it. He was the only one whocould drain it. But… why?

    His vision kept going in and out of focus. One moment he could see clearly, the next the room looked muzzy and gray.

    Food. Water. Sleep. He needed all of those things.

    Slipping off the stool, he moved stiffly through corridors, swore quietly as aching legs climbed stairs. Dimly he realized his body was moving through the Hall up to his suite. Dimly he heard his voice, hoarse and strained, give orders to have food, water, and wine brought to his room. Dimly he was aware of stripping out of his clothes and stepping into the shower…a new variation of the Eyrien outdoor water tanks warriors used to clean themselves after a battle…and letting hot water pound against his skin while he braced himself against a wall.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire