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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Heir to the Shadows (Chapter 132)      Page
  • Heir to the Shadows(Black Jewels,Book 2)(132) by Anne Bishop
  • would do to her, and left her without so much as a helper or servant to look afterher."

    Saetan's eyes filled with anger that was just as tightly leashed. "I was there to take care of her. I was there all the time she put you back together. I was there to coax her to eat when she could. I was there to watch the web during the resting times so she could get a little sleep. And when you finally started rising from the healing sleep, I held her and fed her spoonfuls of honeyed tea while she wept from exhaustion and pain because her throat was so raw from singing the healing web. I left the day before you woke because you had enough to deal with without having to come to terms with me. How dare you assume—" Saetan clamped his teeth together.

    Dangerous, shaky ground. There might be a great many things he could no longer afford to assume.

    Lucivar refilled his glass. "Since there was so much damage, wouldn't it have been better to split the healing between two Healers?" He kept his voice carefully neutral. "Luthvian's a temperamental bitch most of the time, but she's a good Healer."

    Saetan hesitated. "She offered. I wouldn't let her because your wings were involved."

    "She would have removed them." A small lump of fear settled in Lucivar's stomach.

    "Jaenelle was sure she could rebuild them, but it would require a systemic healing—one Healer singing the web because everything had to be pulled into it. There could be no diversions, no hesitations, no lack of commitment to the whole. Doing it Luthvian's way, the two of them could have healed everything but your wings. Jaenelle's way was all or nothing—either you came out of it whole or you didn't survive."

    Lucivar could see them—two strong-willed women standing on either side of a bed that held his mangled body. "You decided."

    Saetan drained his glass and refilled it. "I decided."

    "Why? You threatened to slit my throat in the cradle. Why fight for me now?"

    "Because you're my son. But I would have slit your

    throat." Saetan's voice was strained. "May the Darkness help me, if she'd cut off your wings, I would have."

    Cut off your wings.Lucivar felt sick. "Why did you breed her?"

    Saetan set the glass down and raked his fingers through his hair. "I didn't mean to. When I agreed to see her through her Virgin Night, I honestly didn't think I was still fertile, and she swore that she'd been drinking the brew to prevent pregnancy, swore it wasn't her fertile time. And she never told me she was Eyrien." He looked up, his eyes filled with pain. "I didn't know. Lucivar, I swear by all I am, until I saw the wings, I didn't know. But you're Eyrien in your soul. Altering your physical appearance would have changed nothing."

    Lucivar drained his glass and wondered if he dared ask. This meeting was bruising Saetan as badly as it was bruising him—if not worse. But he had come here to ask so that he could make an honest decision. "Couldn't you have been there sometimes? Even in secret?"

    "If you have some objection to my not being part of your life, take it up with your mother. That was her choice, not mine." Saetan closed his eyes. His fingers tightened around his glass. "For reasons I've never been able to explain rationally to myself, I agreed to try to breed with a Black Widow in order to bring a strong, dark bloodline back into the long-lived races. Dorothea was the Hayllian Hourglass's choice but not mine." He hesitated. "Have you ever met Tersa?"

    "Yes."

    "An extraordinarily gifted witch. Dorothea would never have become the force she is in Terreille if Tersa had survived her Virgin Night. Tersa was my choice. And Tersa became pregnant."

    With Daemon.Had Daemon ever known, ever guessed?

    "A couple of weeks later, she asked me to see a friend through her Virgin Night, a young Black Widow with strong potential who, if I refused, would end up broken and shattered. I was still capable of performing the service, and I wouldn't have refused Tersa anything within reason.Everyone was willing to accommodate Tersa at that point.

    No one wanted her to become distressed enough to miscarry since there would be no second chances.

    "A few weeks after I saw Luthvian through her Virgin Night, she told me she was pregnant with my child. There was an empty house on the estate, about a mile from the Hall. I insisted she and Tersa live there instead of with Dorothea's court. Tersa wasn't much older than Luthvian, but she understood a great deal more, especially about Guardians. She was content with the companionship I offered. Luthvian was more high-strung and had discovered the pleasure of the bed. She craved sex. For a while, I could still provide the kind of intimacy she wanted. By the time I couldn't, she had lost interest. But after she healed from the birthing, the hunger returned. By then, I could satisfy her in other ways but not the way she craved.

    "Between the fights about raising you in Dhemlan, as she wanted, or raising you in Askavi, where I believed you needed to be, and my sexual inability, our relationship became strained to the point that, when she was spoon-fed half-truths about Guardians, she chose to believe them.

    "Dorothea timed her schemes well. With Prythian's help, I lost both of you. Within a day, I lost both of you."

    Not Luthvian. Daemon.

    A sigh shuddered out of Saetan. "Lucivar, for what it's worth, I've never regretted your existence. I've regretted the pain you've endured, but not you. And I'm very glad you survived."

    Unable to think of anything to say, Lucivar nodded.

    Saetan hesitated. "Would you tell me something, if you can?"

    Lucivar knew what Saetan was going to ask. He wasn't sure what he thought about the man who had sired him, but for this moment at least, he could look beyond the titles and the power and see a man asking about one of his children.

    He closed his eyes, and said, "He's in the Twisted Kingdom."

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire