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  • Heir to the Shadows(Black Jewels,Book 2)(11) by Anne Bishop
  • He could have fought his way past the guards and followed Daemon. If Zuultah had tried to stop him by sending a bolt of pain through the Ring of Obedience around his organ, Daemon would have unleashed his strength against her. No matter how bitterly they fought with each other, he and Daemon were always united against an outside enemy.

    He could have followed and forced the battle that would have destroyed one or both of them. Instead he remained in the cell.

    He had sworn that he would kill Daemon, and he would. But he couldn't quite bring himself to destroy his brother. Not yet.


    1 / Terreille

    The knocking sounded forceful, urgent. Dorothea SaDiablo hid her shaking hands in the folds of her nightgown and positioned herself in. the middle of her bedroom, her back to the single candle-light that dimly lit the room.

    She had been searching for Daemon Sadi for seven months now. In the hard light of day, with her court all around her, she could almost convince herself that he wouldn't come to Hayll, that he would stay in whatever hole he'd found to hide in. But at night, she was certain she would open a door or turn a corner and find him waiting. He would spin out the pain beyond even her imagining, and then he would kill her. The insult underneath that violence was that he wouldn't destroy her for all the things she'd done to him, he would destroy her because of that child.

    That damned child. Hekatah's obsession, the High Lord's reappearance, Greer's death, her son Kartane's mysterious illness, Daemon's fury, Lucivar's sudden hatred for his half brother—all of it came back to that girl.

    The doorknob turned. The door opened an inch.

    "Priestess?" a male voice called softly.

    Giddy relief was swiftly replaced by anger. "Come in," she snapped.

    Lord Valrik, Dorothea's Master of the Guard, entered the room and bowed. "Forgive the intrusion at this hour,

    Priestess, but I felt you should know about this immediately." He snapped his fingers, and two guards entered, holding a man roughly by the arms.

    Dorothea stared at the young Hayllian Blood male cowering between the guards. Little more than a boy really. And pretty. Just the way she liked them. Too much the way she liked them.

    She took a step toward the youth, pleased at the fear in his glazed eyes. "You don't serve in my court," she purred. "Why are you here?"

    "I was sent, Priestess. I was t-told to please you."

    Dorothea studied him. The words sounded flat, forced. Not his words at all. There were some kinds of compulsion spells that could force a person into performing a specific set of tasks, even against his will.

    She took another step toward him. "Who sent you?"

    "He didn't tell me his—"

    Before he could finish, Dorothea called in a dagger and drove it into his chest. Her attack was so fast and so vicious, the guards were pulled down with the youth. Then she unleashed the strength of her Red Jewel against his pitifully inadequate inner barriers and burned out his mind, leaving no one, leaving nothing to come back and haunt her.

    "Take that to the woodlands beyond the city for whatever wants the carrion," she said through clenched teeth.

    The guards grabbed the body and hurried out, Valrik following them.

    Dorothea paced, clenching and unclenching her hands. Damn, damn, damn! She should have probed the youth's mind before destroying him so completely, should have found out for certain who had sent him. But this had to be Sadi's work! That bastard was toying with her, trying to wear down her vigilance, trying to catch her off guard.

    She hid her face in her shaking hands.

    Sadi was out there. Somewhere. Until he was dead. . . .No! Not dead. There would beno hope of controlling him then, and once he was demon-dead, he would surely join forces with the High Lord. And she had never forgotten the threat Saetan had made, his voice rising out of a swirling nightmare: when Daemon Sadi died, Hayll would die.

    Finally exhausted, Dorothea returned to her bed. She hesitated a moment, then extinguished the candle-light completely. There was more safety in full darkness—if there was any safety at all.

    Dorothea threw back her cloak's hood and took a deep breath before entering the small sitting room in the old Sanctuary. Hekatah was already sitting before the unlit hearth, her hood pulled up to hide her face. An empty ravenglass goblet sat on the table in front of her.

    Dorothea called in a silver flask and set it beside the goblet.

    Hekatah let out an annoyed sniff at the size of the flask, but pointed one finger at it. The flask opened and lifted from the table. Its hot, red contents poured into the goblet, which then glided through the air to Hekatah's waiting hand. She drank deeply.

    Dorothea clenched her hands and waited. Finally out of patience, she snapped, "Sadi is still on the loose."

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire