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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Heir to the Shadows (Chapter 147)      Page
  • Heir to the Shadows(Black Jewels,Book 2)(147) by Anne Bishop
  • He curled up on his bed, unable to stop the tears he'd held back throughout the long, terrible night. It would take time. Weeks, months, maybe years. He knew it would take time.

    But, please, sweet Darkness, please don't let it take a lifetime.

    4 / Terreille

    Surreal walked down the neglected street toward the market square, hoping her icy expression would offset her vulnerable physical state. She shouldn't have used that witch's brew to suppress last month's moon time, but the Hayllian guards Kartane SaDiablo had sent after her had been breathing down her neck then and she hadn't felt safe enough to risk being defenseless during the days when her body couldn't tolerate the use of her power beyond basic Craft.

    Damn all Blood males to the bowels of Hell. When a witch's body made her vulnerable for a few days, it also made every Blood male a potential enemy. And right now she had enough enemies to worry about.

    Well, she'd pick up a few things at the market and then hole up in her rooms with a couple of thick novels and wait it out.

    Stifled, frightened cries came from the alley up ahead.

    Calling in a long-bladed knife, Surreal slipped to the edge of the alley and peeked around the corner.

    Four large, surly, Hayllian men. And one girl who was barely more than a child. Two of the men stood back, watching, as one of their comrades held the girl and the other's hands yanked her clothes aside.

    Damn, damn, damn. It was a trap. There was no other reason for Hayllians to be in this part of the Realm, especially in this part of a dying city. She should just slip back to her rooms. If she was careful, they might not find her. There would be other Hayllians waiting around the places where she might purchase a ticket for a Web Coach, so that was out. And riding the Winds without the protection of a Coach might not be suicidal right now, but it would feel damn close.

    But there was that girl. If she didn't intervene, that child was going to end up under those four brutes. Even if someone "rescued" her afterward, she'd be passed from man to man until the constant use or the brutality of one of them killed her.

    Taking a deep breath, Surreal rushed into the alley.

    An upward slash opened one man from armpit to collarbone. She swung her arm, just missing the girl's face, and managed to get in a shallow slash across the other's chest while she tried to pull the girl away.

    Then the other two men joined the fight.

    Diving under a fist that would have pulped one side of her head, Surreal rolled, sprang up, took two running steps and, because no one tried to stop her from going deeper into the alley, spun around.

    A dead end behind her, and the Hayllians blocking the only way out.

    Surreal looked at the girl, wanting to express her regret.

    Smiling greedily as one of the unwounded men dropped a small bag of coins into her hands, the girl pulled her clothes together and hurried out of the alley.

    Mercenary little bitch.

    Surreal tried hard to remember the other girls she'd helped over the past five years, but remembering them didn't diminish the overwhelming sense of betrayal. Well, she'd come full circle. She'd come up from living in stinking alleys. Now she'd die in one, because she wasn't about to let Kartane SaDiablo truss her up and hand her over as a present to the High Priestess of Hayll.

    The men stepped forward, smiling viciously.

    "Let her go."

    The quiet, eerie, midnight voice came from behind her.

    Surreal watched the men, watched surprise, uneasiness, and fear harden into a look that always meant pain for a woman.

    "Let her go," the voice said again.

    "Go to Hell," the largest Hayllian said, stepping forward.

    A mist rose up behind the men, forming a wall across the alley.

    "Just slit the bitch's throat and be done with it," the man with the shoulder wound said.

    "Can't have any fun and games with the half-breed, so the other will have to learn some manners," the largest man said.

    Thick mist suddenly filled the alley. Eyes, like burning red gems, appeared, and something let out a wet-sounding snarl.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire