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  • Heir to the Shadows(Black Jewels,Book 2)(130) by Anne Bishop
  • "Lucivar, your father is also my adopted father."

    Frozen, he stared at her, finally understanding. He could accept them both or walk away from both, but he wouldn't be allowed to serve her and battle with a man who already had a claim on her love.

    She'd been right when she'd said there were reasons he might not be able or willing to serve her. The Keep he could handle. He could deal with Luthvian as well. But the High Lord?

    There was only one way to find out.

    "Let's go," he said.

    5 / Kaeleer

    Jaenelle stepped off the landing web. "This is the family seat."

    Lucivar reluctantly stepped off the web. A few months ago, he'd walked through the ruins of SaDiablo Hall in Terreille. Ruins didn't prepare a man for this dark-gray mountain of a building. Hell's fire, an entire court could live in the place and not get in each other's way.

    Then the significance of her living at the Hall finally hit him, and he turned and stared at her as if he'd never seen her before.

    All of those amusing stories she had told him about her loving, beleaguered papa—she had been talking about Saetan. The Prince of the Darkness. The High Lord of Hell. The man who had built the cabin for her, who had helped her rebuild her life. He couldn't reconcile the conflicting images of the man any better than he could reconcile the Hall with the manor house he'd imagined.

    And he would never reconcile anything by just standing there.

    "Come on, Cat. Let's knock on the door."

    The door opened before they reached the top step. The large man standing in the doorway had the stoic, unflappable expression of an upper servant, but he also wore, a Red Jewel.

    "Hello, Beale," Jaenelle said as she breezed through the door.

    Beale's lips turned up in the tiniest hint of a smile. "Lady."

    The smile disappeared when Lucivar walked in. "Prince," Beale said, bowing the exact, polite distance.

    The lazy, arrogant smile came automatically. "Lord Beale." He put enough bite in his voice to warn the other man not to tangle with him, but not enough to issue a challenge. He'd never challenged a servant in his life. On the other hand, he'd never met a Red-Jeweled Warlord who was a butler by profession.

    Ignoring the subtle, stiff-legged displays of dominance, Jaenelle called in the luggage and dumped it on the floor. "Beale? Would you ask Helene to prepare a suite in the family wing for Prince Yaslana?"

    "It would be my pleasure, Lady."

    Jaenelle pointed toward the back of the great hall. "Papa?"

    "In his study."

    Lucivar followed Jaenelle to the last right-hand door, trying, unsuccessfully, to think of another reason besides amusement for the sudden gleam in Beale's eyes.

    Jaenelle tapped on the door and went in before anyone answered. Lucivar followed close on her heels and then stumbled as the man standing in front of the blackwood desk turned around.

    Daemon.

    While they stared at each other, both too startled to respond, Lucivar took in the details that denied the gut reaction.

    The dark psychic scent was similar, yet subtly different. The man before him was an inch or two shorter than Daemon and more slender in build, but moved with the same feline grace. The thick black hair was silvered at the temples. His face—lined by laughter as well as by the weight of burdens—belonged to a man at the end of his prime or a little beyond. But that face. Masculine. Handsome. The warmer, rougher model for Daemon's cold, polished beauty. And the final touch—the long, black-tinted nails and the Black-Jeweled ring.

    Saetan crossed his arms, leaned back against the desk, and said mildly, "Witch-child, I'm going to throttle you."

    Instinctively, Lucivar bared his teeth and stepped forward to protect his Queen.

    Jaenelle's aggrieved, adolescent wail stopped him cold.

    "That's the sixth time in two weeks and I've barely been home!"

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire