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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Heir to the Shadows (Chapter 148)      Page
  • Heir to the Shadows(Black Jewels,Book 2)(148) by Anne Bishop
  • Surreal screamed breathlessly as a hand clamped on her left arm.

    "Come with me," said that terrifyingly familiar midnight voice.

    The mist swirled, too thick to see the person guiding her through it as easily as if it were clear water.

    More snarls. Then high-pitched, desperate screams.

    "W-what—" Surreal stammered.

    "Hell Hounds."

    To the right of her, something hit the ground with a wet plop.

    Surreal tried hard to swallow, tried hard not to breathe.

    The next step took them out of the mist and back to the welcome sight of the neglected street.

    "Are you staying around here?" the voice asked.

    Surreal finally looked at her companion and felt a stab of disappointment immediately followed by a sense of relief. The woman was her height, and the body in the form-fitting black jumpsuit, though slender, definitely didn't belong to the child she remembered. But the long hair was golden, and the eyes were hidden behind dark glasses.

    Surreal tried to pull away. "I'm grateful you got my ass out of that alley, but my mother told me not to tell strangers where I live."

    "We're not strangers, and I'm sure that's not all Titian told you."

    Surreal tried again to pull away. The hand on her arm clamped down harder. Finally realizing she still held a weapon in her other hand, Surreal swung the knife, bringing it down hard on the woman's wrist.

    The knife went through as if there was nothing there and vanished.

    "What are you?" Surreal gasped.

    "An illusion that's called a shadow."

    "Who are you?"

    "Briarwood is the pretty poison. There is no cure for Briarwood." The woman smiled coldly. "Does that answer your question?"

    Surreal studied the woman, trying to find some trace of the child she remembered. After a minute, she said, "You really are Jaenelle, aren't you? Or some part of her?"

    Jaenelle smiled, but there was no humor in it. "I really am." A pause. Then, "We need to talk, Surreal. Privately."

    Oh, yes, they needed to talk. "I have to go to the market first."

    The hand with the dagger-sharp, black-tinted nails tightened for a moment before releasing her. "All right."

    Surreal hesitated. Snarls and crunching noises came out of the mist behind them. "Don't you have to finish the kill?"

    "I don't think that'll be a problem," Jaenelle said dryly. "Piles of Hound shit aren't much of a threat to anyone."

    Surreal paled.

    Jaenelle's lips tightened. "I apologize," she said after a minute. "We all have facets to our personalities. This has brought out the nastier ones in mine. No one will enter the alley and nothing will leave. The Harpies will arrive soon and take care of things."

    Surreal led the way to the market square, where she bought folded breads filled with chicken and vegetables from one vendor, small beef pies from another, and fresh fruit from a third.

    "I'll make you a healing brew," Jaenelle said when they finally returned to Surreal's rooms.

    Still wondering why Jaenelle had sought her out, Surreal nodded before retreating into the bathroom to get cleaned up. When she returned, there was a covered plate on the small kitchen table and a steaming cup filled with a witch's brew.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire