• Home
  • Directory
  • Popular
  • Authors
  • Series
  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Heir to the Shadows (Chapter 2)      Page
  • Heir to the Shadows(Black Jewels,Book 2)(2) by Anne Bishop
  • Dorothea SaDiablo, the High Priestess of Hayll, was.

    Lucivar spread his dark, membranous wings to their full span, taking advantage of Pruul's desert air to let them dry.

    Lady Zuultah glanced at her Master of the Guard. A moment later, the Master's whip whistled through the air, and the lash cut deep into Lucivar's back.

    Lucivar hissed through his clenched teeth and folded his wings.

    "Any other acts of defiance will earn you fifty strokes," Zuultah snapped. Then she turned to confer with Dorothea SaDiablo.

    What was the game? Lucivar wondered. What had brought Dorothea out of her lair in Hayll? And who was the angry Green-Jeweled Prince who stood apart from the women, clutching a folded square of cloth?

    Cautiously sending out a psychic probe, Lucivar caught all the emotional scents. From Zuultah, there was excitement and the usual underlying viciousness. From Dorothea, a sense of urgency and fear. Beneath the unknown Prince's anger was grief and guilt.

    Dorothea's fear was the most interesting because it meant that Daemon Sadi had not been recaptured yet.

    A cruel, satisfied smile curled Lucivar's lips.

    Seeing the smile, the Green-Jeweled Prince became hostile. "We're wasting time," he said sharply, taking a step toward Lucivar.

    Dorothea spun around. "Prince Alexander, these things must be do—"

    Philip Alexander opened the cloth, holding two corners as he spread his arms wide.

    Lucivar stared at the stained sheet. So much blood. Too much blood. Blood was the living river—and the psychic thread. If he sent out a psychic probe and touched that stain . . .

    Something deep within him stilled and became brittle.

    Lucivar forced himself to meet Philip Alexander's hostile stare.

    "A week ago, Daemon Sadi abducted my twelve-year-old niece and took her to Cassandra's Altar, where he raped and then butchered her." Philip flicked his wrists, causing the sheet to undulate.

    Lucivar swallowed hard to keep his stomach down. He slowly shook his head. "He couldn't have raped her," he said, more to himself than to Philip. "He can't. . . . He's never been able to perform that way."

    "Maybe it wasn't bloody enough for him before," Philip snapped. "This is Jaenelle's blood, and Sadi was recognized by the Warlords who tried to rescue her."

    Lucivar turned reluctantly toward Dorothea. "Are you sure?"

    "It came to my attention—unfortunately, too late—that Sadi had taken an unnatural interest in the child." Dorothea lifted her shoulders in an elegant little shrug. "Perhaps he took offense when she tried to fend off his attentions. You know as well as I do that he's capable of anything when enraged."

    "You found the body?"

    Dorothea hesitated. "No. That's all the Warlords found." She pointed at the sheet. "But don't take my word for it. See if even you can stomach what's locked in that blood."

    Lucivar took a deep breath. The bitch was lying. Shehad to be lying. Because, sweet Darkness, if she wasn't . . .

    Daemonhad been offered his freedom in exchange for killing Jaenelle. He had refused the offer—or so he had said. But what if hehadn't refused?

    A moment after he opened his mind and touched the bloodstained sheet, he was on his knees, spewing up the meager breakfast he'd had an hour before, shaking as something deep within him shattered.

    Damn Sadi. Damn the bastard's soul to the bowels of Hell. She was achild\ What could she have done to deserve this? She was Witch, the living myth. She was the Queen they'd dreamed of serving. She was his spitting little Cat.Damn you, Sadi!

    The guards hauled Lucivar to his feet.

    "Where is he?" Philip Alexander demanded.

    Lucivar closed his gold eyes so that he wouldn't have to see that sheet. He had never felt this weary, this beaten. Not as a half-breed boy in the Eyrien hunting camps, not in the countless courts he'd served in over the centuries since, not even here in Pruul as one of Zuultah's slaves.

    "Where is he?" Philip demanded again.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire