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  • Heir to the Shadows(Black Jewels,Book 2)(109) by Anne Bishop
  • "In fact, it's been rising for everything but the Blood."

    "Yeesss."

    "All the Blood?"

    Jaenelle fluffed her hair and snarled. "I couldn't get the species separated so I had to lump them all together. But I did send messages to the kindred so they'd know it was temporary," she added hurriedly. "At least, I hope it's temporary."

    Saetan snapped upright in the chair. "You did this without knowing for sure you could undo it?"

    Jaenelle frowned at him. "Of course I can undo it.Whether I undo it depends on the Council."

    "Ah." He needed to sleep for a week—as soon as he saw the sun rise. "The Council asked me to tell you that they've reconsidered."

    "Oh." Jaenelle shifted on the chair arm. The layers of her gown split, revealing her entire leg.

    She had nice legs, his fair-haired daughter. Strong and lean. He'd strangle the first boy who tried to slip his hand beneath her skirt and stroke that silky inner thigh.

    "Would you help me translate that paragraph?" Jaenelle asked.

    "Don't you have something to do first?"

    "No. It has to be done at the proper hour, Saetan," she added as his eyebrow started to rise.

    "Then we might as well fill the time."

    They were still struggling with that paragraph two hours later. He was almost willing to agree that there were some things that couldn't be translated between genders, but he kept trying to explain it anyway because it filled him with perverse delight.

    Despite her strength and intuition, there were still, thank the Darkness, a few things his fair-haired Lady couldn't do.

    PART III

    chapter

    nine

    1 / Terreille

    He had been in the salt mines of Pruul for five years. Now it was time to die.

    In order to reach the fierce, clean death he'd promised himself, he had to get beyond Zuultah's ability to pull him down with the Ring of Obedience. It wouldn't be difficult. Thinking him cowed, the guards didn't pay much attention to him anymore, and Zuultah had gotten lax in her use of the Ring. By the time they remembered what they never should have forgotten about him, it would be far too late.

    Lucivar yanked the pick out of the guard's belly and drove it into the man's brain, sending just enough Ebon-gray power through the metal to finish the kill by shattering the guard's mind and Jewels.

    Baring his teeth in a feral smile, he snapped the chains that had held him for the past five years. Then he called in his Ebon-gray Jewels and the wide leather belt that held his hunting knife and his Eyrien war blade. A lot of foolish Queens over the centuries had tried to force him to surrender those weapons. He'd endured the punishment and the pain and had never admitted they were always within reach—at least until he used them.

    Unsheathing the war blade, he ran toward the mine's entrance.

    The first two guards died before they realized he was there.

    The next two blew apart when he struck with the Ebon-gray.

    The rest were entangled by frantic slaves trying to get out of the way of an enraged Warlord Prince.

    Fighting his way clear of the tangled bodies, he reached the mine entrance and ran across the slave compound, mentally preparing himself for a blind leap into the Darkness, hoping that, like an arrow released from a bow, he'd fly straight and true to the closest Wind and freedom.

    Nerve-searing agony from the Ring of Obedience shredded his concentration at the same moment a crossbow bolt went through his thigh, breaking his stride. Howling with rage, he unleashed a wide band of power through his Ebon-gray ring, ripping the pursuing guards apart, body and mind. Another blast of pain from the Ring tore through him. He pivoted on his good leg, braced himself, and aimed a surge of power at Zuultah's house.

    The house exploded. Stones smashed into surrounding buildings.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire