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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Heir to the Shadows (Chapter 103)      Page
  • Heir to the Shadows(Black Jewels,Book 2)(103) by Anne Bishop
  • He leaned back on his pillows. "There's nothing they can do. I won't let them take you away from your family and friends."

    She kissed his cheek. The last thing she said before she left his bedroom was, "And I won't let them put more scars on your soul."

    2 / Kaeleer

    He had expected it, even prepared for it. It still hurt.

    Jaenelle stood silently in the petitioner's circle, her fingers demurely laced in front of her, her eyes fixed on the seal carved into the front of the blackwood bench where

    the Tribunal sat. She wore a dress she had borrowed from one of her friends, and her hair was pulled back in a tight, neat braid.

    Knowing the Council watched his every move, Saetan stared at nothing, waiting for the Tribunal to begin their vicious little game.

    Because he had anticipated the Council's decision, he'd allowed no one but Andulvar to come with them. Andulvar could take care of himself. He would take care of Jaenelle. The moment the Tribunal announced the Council's verdict, the moment Jaenelle protested and turned to him for help . . .

    Everything has a price.

    Over 50,000 years ago, he'd been instrumental in creating the Dark Council. Now he'd destroy it. One word from her, and it would be done.

    The First Tribune began to speak.

    Saetan didn't listen. He scanned the faces of the Council. Some of the witches looked more troubled than angry. But most of their eyes glittered like feral, slithery things gathered for the kill. He knew some of them. Others were new, replacements for the fools who had challenged him once before in this room. As he watched them watching him, his regret at his decision to destroy them trickled away. They had no right to take his daughter away from him.

    "—and so it's the careful opinion of this Council that appointing a new guardian would be in your best interest."

    Tensed, Saetan waited for Jaenelle to turn to him. He'd gone deep into the Black before they'd reached the Council chambers. There were dark Jewels here that might hold out long enough to try to attack, but the Black unleashed would shatter every mind caught in the explosion of psychic energy. Andulvar was strong enough to ride out the psychic storm. Jaenelle would be held safe, protected in the eye of the storm.

    Saetan took a deep breath.

    Jaenelle looked at the First Tribune. "Very well," she said quietly, clearly. "When the sun next rises, you may appoint a new guardian—unless you reconsider your decision before then."

    Saetan stared at her. No. No! She was the daughter of his soul, his Queen. She couldn't, wouldn't walk away from him.

    She did.

    She didn't look at him when she turned and walked down the center of the chamber to the doors at the far end. When she reached the doors, she sidestepped away from Andulvar's outstretched hand.

    The doors closed.

    Voices murmured. Colors swirled. Bodies moved past him.

    He couldn't move. He'd thought he was too old for illusions, too heart-bruised to hope, too hardened to dream. He'd been wrong. Now he swallowed the bitterness of hope, choked on the ashes of dreams.

    She didn't want him.

    He wanted to die, wanted." desperately, that final death before pain and grief overwhelmed him.

    "Let's get out of here, SaDiablo."

    Andulvar led him away from the smug faces and the glittering eyes.

    Tonight, before the sun rose again, he would find a way to die.

    He'd forgotten the children would be waiting for him.

    "Where's Jaenelle?" Karla asked, trying to look past him and Andulvar as they entered the family drawing room.

    He wanted to slink away to his suite, where he could lick his wounds in private and decide how to accomplish the end.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire