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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Heir to the Shadows (Chapter 17)      Page
  • Heir to the Shadows(Black Jewels,Book 2)(17) by Anne Bishop
  • Everything has a price.

    If he had given up outside that Sanctuary three days ago, if he had let the Hayllian guards find him, he might not have become so ill from the brew. But he had ruthlessly pushed his body to the point of collapse in order to reach the Gate near the ruins of SaDiablo Hall.

    And every time exhaustion crept in, every time his strength of will slipped a little, a gray mist began to cloud his mind, a mist he knew held something very, very terrible. Something he didn't want to see.

    You are my instrument.

    Words, like flickering black lightning, came out of that mist, threatening to sear his soul.

    Words lie. Blood doesn't.

    He was less than a mile from the Gate.

    "Lucivar," he whispered. But he didn't have the strength to feel angry at his brother's betrayal.

    You are my instrument.

    "No." He tried to stand up, but he couldn't do it. Still, something in him required defiance. "No. I am not your instrument. I ... am ... Daemon . . . Sadi."

    He closed his eyes, and the gray mist engulfed him.

    With a groan, Daemon rolled onto his back and slowly opened his eyes. Even that was almost too much effort. At first, he wondered if he had gone blind. Then he began to make out dim shapes in the darkness.

    Night. It was night.

    Breathing slowly, he began to assess the physical damage.

    He felt as dry as touchwood, as inflexible as stone. His muscles burned. His belly ached from hunger, and the craving for water was fierce. The fever had broken at some point, but . . .

    Something waswrong.

    Words lie. Blood doesn't.

    The words Lucivar had spoken swam round and round, growing larger, growing solid. They crashed against his mind, fragmenting it further.

    Daemon screamed.

    You are my instrument.

    As Saetan's words thundered inside him, there was more pain—and there was fear. Fear that the mist filling his mind might part and show him something terrible.

    Daemon.

    Holding on fiercely to the memory of Jaenelle saying his name like a soft, sighing caress, Daemon got to his feet. As long as he could remember that, he could hold the other voices at bay.

    His legs felt too heavy, but he managed to leave the house and follow the remnants of the drive that would take him to the Hall. Even though every movement was a fiery ache, by the time he reached the Hall, he was almost moving with his usual gliding stride.

    But there was still something very wrong. It was hard to hold on to the Warlord Prince called Daemon Sadi, hard to hold on to his sense of self. But he had to hold on for a little while longer. He had to.

    Gathering the last of his strength and will, Daemon cautiously approached the small building that held the Dark Altar.

    Hekatah prowled the small building that stood in the shadow of the ruins of SaDiablo Hall. She shook her fists in the air, frustrated beyond endurance by the past three days. Even so, every time she circled the Altar, she glanced at the wall behind it, fearful it would turn to mist and Saetan would step through the Gate to challenge her.

    But the High Lord was too preoccupied with his own concerns lately to pay attention to her.

    Her main problem now was Daemon Sadi.

    After drinking the brew she'd made, hecould not have walked away from that Dark Altar, despite what those idiot guards swore. But if he was actually making his way to this Gate ... By now the second part of her brew, the part that would make his mind receptive to her carefully rehearsed words, would be at its peak. She had planned to whisper all her poisoned words while she nursed him through the fever and the pain so that, when the fever broke, those words would solidify into a terrible truth he wouldn't be able to escape. Then all that strength, all that rage would become a dagger aimed right at Saetan's heart.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire