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  • Heir to the Shadows(Black Jewels,Book 2)(112) by Anne Bishop
  • He shook his head, trying to clear blood out of his eyes, and let out a triumphant roar as he gauged his entry between the sharp stones that looked like petrified teeth.

    A final gust of wind pushed him down as he shot through the Dragon's mouth. A "tooth" opened his left leg from hip to knee.

    He drove into swirling mist, determined to reach the other side before he emptied the Jewels and his strength gave out.

    Movement caught his eye. A startled face. Wings.


    He pushed to his limit, aware of the pursuers gaining on him.


    The other mouth had to be. ... There! But . . .

    Two tunnels. The left one held lightened twilight. .The right one was filled with a soft dawn.

    Darkness would hide him better. He swung toward the twilight.

    A rush of wings on his left. A hand grabbing at him.

    He kicked, twisted away, and drove for the right-hand tunnel.


    Past the teeth and out, driving upward past the canyon rim toward the morning sky, pumping useless wings out of stubborn pride.

    And there was Askavi, looking as he imagined it might have looked a long time ago. The muddy trickle he'd flown over was now a deep, clear river. Barren rock was softened by spring wildflowers. Beyond the Run, sunlight glinted off small lakes and twisting streams.

    Pain flooded his senses. Blood mixed with tears.

    Askavi. Home. Finally home.

    He pumped his wings a last time, arched his body in a slow, painfully graceful backward curve, folded his wings, and plummeted toward the deep, clear water below.

    2 / The Twisted Kingdom

    The wind tried to rip him off the tiny island that was his only resting place in this endless, unforgiving sea. Waves smashed down on him, soaking him in blood. So much blood.

    You are my instrument.

    Words lie. Blood doesn't.

    The words circled him, mental sharks closing in to tear out another piece of his soul.

    Gasping, he choked on a mouthful of bloody foam as he dug his fingers into rock that suddenly softened. He screamed as the rock beneath his hands turned into pulpy, violet-black bruises.

    Butchering whore.


    "I loved her!" he screamed. "Ilove her! I never meant her harm."

    You are my instrument.

    Words lie. Blood doesn't.

    Butchering whore.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire