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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Heir to the Shadows (Chapter 102)      Page
  • Heir to the Shadows(Black Jewels,Book 2)(102) by Anne Bishop
  • Andulvar stared at him. "He almost shattered the Black trying to keep you safe. He's exhausted, but he'll recover with a few days of rest." Then he snorted. "Besides, it'll give the waif an excuse to dose him with one of her restorative tonics, and that, thank the Darkness, should keep her from thinking too much about what happened."

    "What did happen?"

    Andulvar nodded at Friall. Beale was still waving smelling salts under Friall's nose, but the butler's expression strongly suggested he'd rather toss the intruder onto the drive and be done with it. "He pissed her off. Not a smart thing to do."

    "Then she's unstable? Dangerous?"

    Andulvar slowly spread his dark wings. He looked huge. And there was no concern in his gold eyes, only an unspoken threat.

    "Simply by being Blood, we're all dangerous, Lord Magstrom," Andulvar growled softly. "She belongs to the family, and we belong to her. Never forget that." He folded his wings and crouched beside Magstrom's chair. "But in truth, Saetan's the only thing that stands between you and her. Don't forget that either."

    An hour later, Magstrom and Friall's coach rolled down the well-kept drive, then onto the road that ran through Halaway.

    It was dusk on a late summer afternoon. Wildflowers painted meadows with bright colors. Trees stretched their branches high above the road, creating cool tunnels. It was beautiful land, lovingly tended, shadowed for thousands of years by SaDiablo Hall and the man who ruled there.

    Shadowed and protected.

    Magstrom shivered. He was a Warlord who wore Summer-sky Jewels. He acted as the caretaker of the village where he'd been born and where he'd contentedly spent his life. Until he'd been asked to serve on the Dark Council, his dealings with those who wore darker Jewels had been diplomatic and, fortunately, seldom. The Blood in Goth, Little Terreille's capital, were interested in court intrigue, not in a village that looked across a river into the wooded land of Dea al Mon.

    But now a curtain had been drawn back, just a little, and he had seen dark power, truly dark power.

    Saetan's the only thing that stands between .you and her.

    The girl had to stay with the High Lord, Magstrom thought as the coach rolled through Halaway to the landing web where they would catch the Winds and go home. For all their sakes, she had to stay.

    Saetan woke slowly as someone settled on the end of his bed. Grunting, he propped himself up on one elbow and stroked the candle-light on the bedside table just enough to dimly light the room.

    Jaenelle sat cross-legged on his bed, her eyes haunted, her face pinched and pale. She handed him a glass. "Drink this. It'll help soothe your nerves."

    He took a sip and then another. It tasted of moonlight, summer heat, and cool water. "This is wonderful, witch-child. You should have a glass yourself."

    "I've had two." She tried to smile but couldn't quite manage it. She fluffed her hair and bit her lower lip. "Saetan, I don't like what happened today. I don't like what. . . almost happened today."

    He drained the glass, set it on the bedside table, and reached for her hand. "I'm glad. Killing should never be easy, witch-child. It should leave a scar on your soul. Sometimes it's necessary. Sometimes there's no choice if we're trying to defend what we cherish. But if there's an alternative, take it."

    "They'd come here to condemn you, to hurt you. They had no right."

    "I've been insulted by fools before. I survived."

    Even in the dim light he saw her eyes change.

    "Just because he was using words instead of a knife, you can't dismiss it, Saetan. He hurt you."

    "Of course he hurt me," Saetan snapped. "Being accused of—" He closed his eyes and squeezed her hand. "I don't tolerate fools, Jaenelle, but I also don't kill them for being fools. I simply keep them out of my life." He sat up and took her other hand. "I am your sword and your shield, Lady. You don't have to kill."

    Witch studied him with her ancient, haunted sapphire eyes. "You'll take the scars on your soul so that mine remains unmarked?"

    "Everything has a price," he said gently. "Those kinds of scars are part of being a Warlord Prince. You're at a crossroads, witch-child. You can use your power to heal or to harm. It's your choice."

    "One or the other?"

    He kissed her hand. "Not always. As I said, sometimes destruction is necessary. But I think you're more suited to healing. It's the road I'd choose for you."

    Jaenelle fluffed her hair. "Well, I do like making healing brews."

    "I noticed," he said dryly.

    She laughed, but the amusement quickly faded. "What will the Dark Council do?"

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire