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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Heir to the Shadows (Chapter 146)      Page
  • Heir to the Shadows(Black Jewels,Book 2)(146) by Anne Bishop
  • Jaenelle looked thoughtful. "He seduced me. Well, seduced Witch. When we were in the abyss."

    "He what?" Lucivar asked with deadly calm.

    "Don't get snarly," Jaenelle snapped. "It was a trick to make me heal the body. He didn't really want me. Her. He didn't ..." Her voice trailed away. She waited a minute before continuing. "He said he'd been waiting for Witch all his life. That he'd been born to be her lover. But then he didn't want to be her lover."

    "Hell's fire, Cat," Lucivar exploded. "You were a twelve-year-old who had recently been raped. What did you expect him to do?"

    "I wasn't twelve in the abyss."

    Lucivar narrowed his eyes, wondering what she meant by that.

    "He lied to me," she said in a small voice.

    "No, he didn't. He meant exactly what he said. If you had been eighteen and had offered him the Consort's ring,

    you would have found that out quick enough." Lucivar stared at the blurry garden. He cleared his throat. "Saetan loves you, Cat. And you love him. He did what he had to do to save his Queen. He did what any Warlord Prince would do. If you can't forgive him, how will you ever be able to forgive me?"

    "Oh, Lucivar." Sobbing, Jaenelle threw her arms around him.

    Lucivar held her, petted her, took aching comfort from the way she held him tight. His silent tears wet her hair. His tears were for her, whose soul wounds had been reopened; for himself, because he may have lost something precious so soon after it was found; for Saetan, who may have lost even more; and for Daemon. Most of all, for Daemon.

    It was almost twilight when Jaenelle gently pulled away from him. "There's someone I need to talk to. I'll be back later."

    Worried, Lucivar studied her slumped shoulders and pale face. "Where—" Caution warred with instinct. He floundered.

    Jaenelle's lips held a shadow of an understanding smile. "I'm not going anywhere dangerous. I'll still be in Kaeleer. And no, Prince Yaslana, this isn't risky. I'm just going to see a friend."

    He let her go, unable to do anything else.

    Saetan stared at nothing, holding the pain at bay, holding the memories at bay. If he released his hold and they flooded in ... he wasn't sure he would survive them, wasn't sure he would even try.

    "Saetan?" Jaenelle hovered near the open study doorway.

    "Lady." Protocol. The courtesies given and granted when a Warlord Prince addressed a Queen of equal or darker rank. He'd lost the privilege of addressing her any other way, of being anything more.

    When she entered the room, he walked around the desk. He couldn't sit while she was standing, and he couldn't offer her a seat since the rest of the furniture in his study had been destroyed and he hadn't allowed Beale to clear up the mess.

    Jaenelle approached hesitantly, her lower lip caught between her teeth, her hands twining restlessly. She didn't look at him.

    "I talked to Lorn." Her voice quivered. She blinked rapidly. "He agreed with you that I shouldn't go to Terreille—except the Keep. We decided that I would create a shadow of myself that can interact with people so that I can search for Daemon while my body remains safe at the Keep. I'll only be able to search three days out of every month because of the physical drain the shadow will place on me, but I know someone I think will help me look for him."

    "You must do what you think best," he said carefully.

    She looked at him, her beautiful, ancient, haunted eyes full of tears. "S-Saetan?"

    Still so young for all her strength and wisdom.

    He opened his arms, opened his heart.

    She clung to him, trembling violently.

    She was the most painful, most glorious dance of his life.

    "Saetan, I—"

    He pressed a finger against her lips. "No, witch-child," he said with gentle regret. "Forgiveness doesn't work that way. You may want to forgive me, but you can't do it yet. Forgiving someone can take weeks, months, years. Sometimes it takes a lifetime. Until Daemon is whole again, all we can do is try to be kind to one another, and understanding, and take each day as it comes." He held her close, savoring the feeling, not knowing when, or if, he'd ever hold her like this again. "Come along, witch-child. It's almost dawn. You need to rest now."

    He led her to her bedroom but didn't enter. Safe in his own room, he felt the loneliness already pressing down on him.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire