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  • Heir to the Shadows(Black Jewels,Book 2)(118) by Anne Bishop
  • With her command of the Eyrien language, the girl could have made a Master of a hunting camp blush.

    It hit him later, when he was comfortably settled on his belly in the bed, his wings open and gently supported, and Jaenelle and the wolves were out doing walkies—a silly word that struck him as an accurate description of the intricate, furry dance three wolves would perform around her while taking a late afternoon stroll.

    He had made the Khaldharon Run intending to die and, instead, not only had survived but had found the living myth, his dreamed-of Queen.

    Even as he smiled, the tears began, hot and bitter.

    He was alive. And Jaenelle was alive. But Daemon . . .

    He didn't know what had happened at Cassandra's Altar, or how that sheet had gotten drenched with Jaenelle's blood, or what Daemon had done, but he was beginning to understand what it had cost.

    Pressing his face into the pillow to muffle the sobs, squeezing his eyes shut to deny the images his mind con-

    jured, he saw Daemon. In Pruul that night, exhausted but determined. In the ruins of SaDiablo Hall in Terreille, burned out by the nightmare of madness and ready to die. He heard again Daemon's frightened, enraged denial. Heard again that anguished cry rising from the broken stones.

    If he hadn't been so chained by bitterness that night, if he'd left with Daemon, they would have found a way through the Gates. Together, they would have. And they would have found her and had these years with her, watching her grow up, participating in the experiences that would transform a child into a woman, a Queen.

    He would still do that. He would be with her during the final years of that transformation and would know the joy of serving her.

    But Daemon . . .

    Lucivar bit the pillow, muffling his own scream of anguish.

    But Daemon . . .

    Chapter TEN

    1 / Kaeleer

    Lucivar stood at the edge of the woods, not quite ready to step across the line that divided forest shadow from sun-drenched meadow. The day was warm enough to appreciate shade. Besides, Jaenelle was away on some kind of obligatory trip so there was no reason to hurry back.

    Smoke trotted up, chose a tree, lifted a leg, and looked expectantly at Lucivar.

    "I marked territory a ways back," Lucivar said.

    Smoke's snort was a clear indication of what wolves thought about a human's ability to mark territory properly.

    Amused, Lucivar waited until Smoke trotted off before stepping into the sunlight and spreading his wings to let them dry fully. The spring-fed pool Jaenelle had shown him wasn't quite warm enough yet, but he'd enjoyed the brisk dip.

    He fanned his wings slowly, savoring the movement. He was halfway through the healing. If everything continued to go well, next week he would test his wings in flight. It was hard to be patient, but, at the end of the day, when he felt the good, quiet ache in his muscles, he knew Jaenelle was setting the right pace for the healing.

    Folding his wings, Lucivar set off for the cabin at an easy pace.

    Lulled by earlier physical activity and the day's warmth, it took him a moment to realize something wasn't right about the way the two young wolves raced toward him.

    Jaenelle had taught him how to communicate with the kindred, and he'd been flattered when she'd told him they were highly selective about which humans they would speak to. But now, bracing himself as the wolves ran toward him, he wondered how much their opinion of him depended upon her presence.

    A minute later he was engulfed in fur, fighting for balance while the wolf behind him wrapped its forelegs around his waist and pushed him forward and the one in front of him placed its paws on his shoulders and leaned hard against him, earnestly licking his face and whimpering for reassurance.

    Their thoughts banged against his mind, too upset to be coherent.

    The Lady had returned. The bad thing was going to happen. They were afraid. Smoke guarding, waiting for Lucivar. Lucivar come now. He was human. He would help the Lady.

    Lucivar got untangled enough to start walking quickly toward the cabin. They didn't say she was hurt, so she wasn't wounded. But something bad was going to happen. Something that made them afraid to enter the cabin and be with her.

    He remembered how uneasy Smoke had been when Jaenelle told them she was leaving for a few days.

    Something bad. Something a human would make better.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire