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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Heir to the Shadows (Chapter 16)      Page
  • Heir to the Shadows(Black Jewels,Book 2)(16) by Anne Bishop
  • As she reached for it, she glanced at him, her hand frozen above the thick white envelope. There was something in the question, although courteously asked, that warned her it had better be enough.

    She forced herself to pick up the envelope and look inside. Then she leaned against the Altar for support. Gold thousand marks. At least ten times what the stranger with the maimed hands had offered.

    But she already had an agreement with the stranger, and there would be time to pocket the marks before the guards arrived.

    The Priestess carefully placed the envelope on the far corner of the Altar. "Most generous," she said, hoping she sounded unimpressed.

    Taking a deep breath, she lifted the silver cup high over her head, then placed it carefully in front of her. She broke the seal on the red-stoppered vial, poured the contents into the cup, and held it out to him. "The journey through a Gate is a difficult undertaking. This will assist you."

    He didn't take the cup.

    She made an impatient sound and took a sip, trying not to gag on the bitter taste, then held out the cup.

    He held it in his left hand, his nostrils flaring at the smell, but didn't drink.

    A minute passed. Two.

    With an imperceptible shrug, he gulped the contents of the cup.

    The Priestess held her breath. How soon before it worked? How soon before the guards came?

    His eyes changed. He swayed. Then he leaned across the Altar and looked at her the way a lover looks at his lady. She couldn't take her eyes off his lips. Soft. Sensual. She leaned toward him. One kiss. One sweet kiss.

    Just before her lips touched his, his right hand closed around her wrist. "Bitch," he snarled softly.

    Startled, she tried to pull away.

    As his hand tightened, she stared at the Black-Jeweled ring.

    His long nails pierced her skin. Then she felt the sharp needle prick of the snake tooth beneath his ring-finger nail, felt the venom chill her blood.

    She flailed at him with her other hand, trying to reach his face, trying to scream for help as her vision blurred and her lungs refused to fill with needed air.

    He broke both her wrists, snapping the bones as he thrust her away from him.

    "The venom in my snake tooth doesn't work as quickly as you may think," he said too quietly, too gently. "In the end, you'll be able to scream. You'll tear yourself apart doing it, but you'll scream."

    Then he was gone, and there was nothing but a silence within the night's silence, a shadow within the shadows.

    By the time the guards arrived, she was screaming.

    5 / Terreille

    The floor rolled beneath him, teasing legs that already shook from exhaustion and were cramped by the foul witch's brew.

    Behind that door was a safe place. As he reached for it, the floor rolled again, knocking his feet out from under him. His shoulder hit the door, cracking the old, rotting wood, and he fell into the room, landing heavily on his side.

    "Bitch," he snarled softly.

    Gray mist. A shattered crystal chalice. Black candles. Golden hair.

    Blood. So much blood.

    Words lie. Blood doesn't. •"Shut up, Prick," he rasped.

    The floor kept rolling under him. He dug his long nails into the wood, trying to keep his balance, trying to think.

    His fever was dangerously high, and he knew he needed food, water, and rest. Right now, he was prey to whoever might think to look for him in this abandoned house where he had spent his earliest years with Tersa, his real mother.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire