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  • Heir to the Shadows(Black Jewels,Book 2)(150) by Anne Bishop
  • "Daemon insisted that we leave immediately because Kartane would return after dark with guards. And he did.

    "Before Daemon and I caught the Wind and headed out, we had agreed on a city in another Territory. He was right behind me, riding close. And then he wasn't there anymore. I haven't seen him since."

    "And you've been running since then."

    "Yeah." She felt so tired. She wanted to lose herself in a book, in sleep. Too much of a risk now. The rest of the Hayllian guards would start wondering about those four men, would start looking soon.

    "Eat your food, Surreal."

    Surreal bit into the folded bread and finally wondered why she hadn't tested that brew—and wondered why "she didn't care.

    Jaenelle checked the bedroom, then studied the worn sofa in the living area. "Do you want to tuck up in bed or curl up here?"

    "Can't," Surreal mumbled, annoyed because she was going to cry.

    "Yes, you can." Taking comforters and pillows from the bedroom, Jaenelle turned the sofa into an inviting nest. "I can stay two more days. No one will disturb you while I'm here."

    "I'll help you search," Surreal said, snuggling into the sofa.

    "I know." Jaenelle smiled dryly. "You're Titian's daughter. You wouldn't do anything else."

    "Don't know if I like being that predictable," Surreal grumbled.

    Jaenelle made another cup of the healing brew, gave Surreal first choice of two new novels, and settled into a chair.

    Surreal drank her brew, read the first page of the novel twice, and gave up. Looking at Jaenelle, questions buzzed inside her head.

    She didn't want to hear the answers to any of them.

    For now, it was enough that, once they found Daemon, Jaenelle would bring him out of the Twisted Kingdom.

    For now, it was enough to feel safe.

    PART IV

    Chapter thirteen

    1 / Kaeleer

    Ccopring is the season of romance," Hekatah said, watching her companion. "And she's eighteen now. Old enough to enjoy a husband."

    "True." Lord Jorval traced little circles on the scarred table. "But selecting theright husband is important."

    "All he needs to be is young, handsome, and virile— and capable of obeying orders," Hekatah snapped. "The husband will merely be the sexual bait that will lure her away from that monster. Or do you want to live under the High Lord's thumb, once his 'daughter' sets up her court and begins her reign?"

    Jorval looked stubborn. "A husband could be much more than sexual bait. A mature man could guide his Queen wife, help her to make the right decisions, keep unhealthy influences away from her."

    Frustrated to the point of screaming, Hekatah sat back and curled her hands around the wooden arms of the chair so that she wouldn't reach across the table and rip half that fool's face off.

    Hell's fire, she missed Greer. He had understood subtlety. He had understood the sensible precaution of using intermediaries whenever possible to avoid being in the direct line of fire. As a member of the Dark Council, Jorval was extremely useful in keeping the Council's dislike and distrust of Saetan quietly simmering. But he lusted for Jaenelle Angelline and entertained fantasies of nightly bouts of masterful sex which made the pale bitch pliant and submissive to his every whim, in and out of the bed. Which was fine, but the fool couldn't seem to see past the sweaty sheets to consider what might be waiting to have a little chat with him.

    She was fairly sure that Saetan would grit his teeth and endure an unwelcome male his Queen was besotted with. He was too well trained and too committed to the old ways of the Blood to do otherwise. But the Eyrien half-breed-----

    Hewouldn't think twice about tearing his Lady out of her lover's arms—or tearing off her lover's arms—and keeping her isolated until she was clearheaded again.

    And she doubted either of them could be convinced that Jaenelle was panting and moaning for someone who looked like Lord Jorval.

    "He must be young," Hekatah insisted. "A pretty boy with enough experience between the sheets to be convincing, and charming enough for her family to believe, however doubtfully, that she's wildly in love."

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire