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  • Heir to the Shadows(Black Jewels,Book 2)(158) by Anne Bishop
  • "Among the Blood, rape is punishable by execution. At least it is in the rest of Kaeleer," Saetan said too softly.

    "It's punishable by execution in Little Terreille as well," Magstrom replied stiffly.

    "Then the little bastard got what he deserved."

    "But. . . they were newly married," Magstrom protested.

    "Even if that were true, which I doubt despite the damn signatures, a marriage contract doesn't excuse rape. Drugging a woman so that she's incapable of refusing doesn't mean she's agreed to anything. I'd say Jaenelle expressed her refusal quite eloquently, wouldn't you?" Saetan steepled his fingers and leaned back in his chair. "I've analyzed the two 'harmless substances' Jaenelle was given. Being a Black Widow, I have the training to reproduce them. If you choose to insist they had nothing to do with Jaenelle's behavior, why don't I make up another batch? We can test them on your granddaughter. She's Jaenelle's age."

    Clutching the arms of the chair, Lord Magstrom said nothing.

    Saetan rounded the desk and poured two glasses of brandy. Handing one to Lord Magstrom, he rested his hip on the corner of his desk. "Relax. I wouldn't do that to a child. Besides," he added quietly, "I may lose two of my children within the next few days. I wouldn't wish that on another man."


    Saetan looked away from the concern and sympathy in Magstrom's eyes. "The first brew they gave Jaenelle inhibits will. She would have said what she'd been told to say, done what she'd been told to do. Unfortunately, that particular brew also has the side effect of magnifying emotional distress. A large dose ofsafframate and a forced sexual encounter were just the kind of stimulants that would have pushed her to the killing edge. And she'll remain on the killing edge until the drugs totally wear off."

    Magstrom sipped his brandy. "Will she recover?"

    "I don't know. If the Darkness is merciful, she will." Saetan clenched his teeth. "Lucivar took her to Askavi to spend some time with the land, away from people."

    "Does he know about these violent tendencies?"

    "He knows."

    Magstrom hesitated. "You don't expect him to return, do you?"

    "No. Neither does he. And I don't know what that will do to her."

    "I like him," Magstrom said. "He has a rough kind of charm."

    "Yes, he does." Saetan drained his glass, fighting not to give in to grief before there was a need to. He tightened his control. "No matter what the outcome, Jaenelle will no longer visit Little Terreille without a full escort of my choosing."

    Magstrom pushed himself out of the chair and carefully set his glass on the desk. "I think that's for the best. I hope Prince Yaslana will be among them."

    Saetan held on until Lord Magstrom left the Hall. Then he threw the brandy glasses against the wall. It didn't make him feel better. The broken glass reminded him too much of a shattered crystal chalice and two sons who had paid dearly because he was their father.

    He sank to his knees. He'd already wept for one son. He wouldn't grieve for the other. Not yet. He wouldn't grieve for that foolish, arrogant Eyrien prick, that charming, temperamental pain in the ass.

    Ah, Lucivar.

    5 / Kaeleer

    "Damn it, Cat, I told you to wait." Lucivar threw an Ebon-gray shield across the game trail, half-wincing in anticipation of her running into it face first. She stopped inches away from the shield and spun

    Lucivar leaned against a tree, finding a little comfort in the rhythmicwhack whack whack coming from the clearing. At least destroying the abandoned shack with a sledgehammer gave Jaenelle an outlet for sexual rage and burning energy. Even more important, it was an outlet that would keep her in one place for a little while.

    around, her glazed eyes searching for a spot in the thick I undergrowth that she could push her way through.

    "Stay away from me," she panted.

    Lucivar held up the waterskin. "You ripped up your arm I on the thorns back there. Let me pour some water over I the cuts to clean them."

    Looking down at her bare arm, she seemed surprised at the blood flowing freely from half a dozen deep scratches.

    Lucivar gritted his teeth and waited. She'd stripped down to a sleeveless undershirt that offered her skin no protection in rough country, but right now sharp pain didn't hurt as much as the constant rub of cloth against oversensitive skin.

    "Come on, Cat," he coaxed. "Just stick your arm out so that I can pour some water over it."

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