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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Heir to the Shadows (Chapter 115)      Page
  • Heir to the Shadows(Black Jewels,Book 2)(115) by Anne Bishop
  • Mother Night, he was tired, but there were too many things here that didn't fit his expectations. He desperately needed to understand and didn't know where to begin.

    Then Jaenelle bent over to look at the lower part of the wing and the jewelry around her neck swung out of her shirt. Later he'd ask why Witch was wearing a Sapphire Jewel. Right now, all his attention was caught by the hourglass pendant that hung above the Jewel.

    The hourglass was the Black Widows' symbol, both a declaration and a warning about the witch who wore it. An apprentice wore a pendant with the gold dust sealed in the top half of the glass. A journey maid’s pendant had the gold dust evenly divided between top and bottom. A fully trained Black Widow wore an hourglass with all the gold dust in the bottom chamber.

    "When did you become a fully trained Black Widow?"

    The air around him cooled. "Does it bother you that I am?"

    Obviously it bothered some people. "No, just curious."

    She gave him a quick smile of apology and continued her inspection. The air returned to normal. "Last year."

    "And you became a qualified Healer?"

    She carefully folded the wing and started checking his right shoulder. "Last year."

    Lucivar whistled. "Busy year."

    Jaenelle laughed. "Papa says he's thrilled he survived it."

    He could almost hear the blade against the whetstone as his temper rose to the killing edge. She had a father, a family, and yet lived without human companionship, not even a servant. Exiled here because of the Hourglass? Or because she was Witch? Once he was fit again, this father of hers would have a few things to adjust to—like the Warlord Prince who now served her.

    "Lucivar." Jaenelle's voice seemed as far away as the hand squeezing his taut shoulder. "Lucivar, what's wrong?"

    Time moved slowly at the killing edge, measured by the beat of a war drum heart. The world became filled with individual, razor-sharp details. A blade would flow through muscle, humble bone. And the mouth would fill with the living wine as teeth sank into a throat.

    "Lucivar."

    Lucivar blinked. Felt the tension in Jaenelle's fingers as she gripped his shoulders. He backed from the edge, step

    by mental step, while the wildness in him howled to run free. Senses dulled by the salt mines of Pruul were reborn. The land called him, seducing him with scents and sounds. She seduced him, too. Not for sex, but for another kind of bond, in its own way just as powerful. He wanted to rub against her so that her physical scent was on his skin. He wanted to rub against her so thathis physical scent onher warned others that a powerful male had some claim to her, was claimed by her. He wanted . . .

    He turned his head, catching her finger between his teeth, exerting enough force to display dominance without actually hurting her. Her hand relaxed in submission, embracing the wild darkness within him. And because shecould embrace it, he surrendered everything.

    A minute later, completely returned to the mundane world, he noticed the open outer door and the three wolves standing on the covered porch, studying him with sharp interest.

    Jaenelle, now inspecting his collarbone and chest muscles, glanced at the wolves and shook her head. "No, he can't come out and play."

    Making disappointed-sounding whuffs, the wolves went back outside.

    He studied the land framed by the open door. "I never thought Hell would look like this," he said softly.

    "Hell doesn't." She slapped his hand when he tried to stop her from probing his hip and thigh.

    Forcefully reminding himself that he shouldn't smack a Healer, he gritted his teeth and tried again to find some answers. "I didn't know that demon-dead children grew up or that demons could be healed."

    She gave him a penetrating look before examining his other leg. Heat and power flowed from her hands."Cildru dyathe don't and demons can't. But I'm notcildru dyathe and you're not a demon—although you did your damnedest to become one," she added tartly. She pulled up a straight-backed chair, sat down facing him, and took his hands in hers. "Lucivar, you're not dead. This isn't the Dark Realm."

    He'd been so sure. "Then . . . where are we?"

    "We're in Askavi. In Kaeleer." She watched him anxiously.

    "The Shadow Realm?" Lucivar whistled softly. Two tunnels. One a lightening twilight, the other a soft dawn. The Dark Realm and the Shadow. He grinned at her. "Since we're not dead, can we go exploring?"

    He watched, intrigued, as she tried to force her answering grin into a sober, professional expression.

    "When you're fully healed," she said sternly, then spoiled it with a silvery, velvet-coated laugh. "Oh, Lucivar, the dragons who live on the Fyreborn Islands are going to love you. You not only have wings, you're big enough to wave whomp."

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire