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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Heir to the Shadows (Chapter 173)      Page
  • Heir to the Shadows(Black Jewels,Book 2)(173) by Anne Bishop
  • In contrast, Jaenelle looked painfully real. The short black nightgown revealed too much of the body sacrificed to the power that had burned within her while she'd done the healing in the landen village a week ago. If cared for, the flesh wouldn't suffer that way, not even when it was the instrument of the Black Jewels.

    Seeing the results of her careless attitude toward her body, seeing the hand that held the Eyrien hunting knife shake because she was too weak to hold a blade that, a month ago, she had handled easily, he gave in to the anger rising within him. "Lady," he said sharply.

    Jaenelle spun to face him, weaving a little as she struggled to stay on her feet. Her eyes blazed with battle-fire, too.

    "Daemon's been found."

    Saetan crossed his arms, leaned against the wall, and ignored the challenge in her voice. "So you intend to channel your strength through an already weakened body, create the shadow you've been using to search Terreille, send it to wherever his body is, travel through the Twisted Kingdom until you find him, and then lead him back."

    "Yes," she said too softly. "That's exactly what I'm going to do."

    Lucivar slammed the side of his fist against the wall. "It's too much. You haven't even begun to recover from the healings you did. Let this friend of yours keep him for a couple of weeks."

    "You can't 'keep' someone who's lost in the Twisted Kingdom," Jaenelle snapped. "They don't see or live in the tangible world the way everyone else does. If something spooks him and he slips away from her, it could be weeks, even months before she finds him again. By then it may be too late.He's running out of time."

    "So have her bring him to the Keep in Terreille," Lucivar argued. "We can hold him there until you're strong enough to do the healing."

    '"He's insane, not broken. He still wears the Black. If someone tried to 'hold' you, what sort of memories would that stir up?"

    "She's right, Lucivar," Saetan said calmly. "If he thinks this friend is leading him into a trap, no matter what her real intentions, what little trust he has in her will shatter, and that will be the last time she finds him. At least, while there's anything worth finding."

    Lucivar thumped the wall with his fist. He kept thumping the wall while he swore, long and low. Finally, he rubbed the side of his hand against the other palm. "Then I'll go back to Terreille and get him."

    "Why should he trust you?" Jaenelle said bitterly.

    Pain flared in Lucivar's eyes.

    Saetan felt Jaenelle's inner barriers open just a crack. He didn't stop to think. At the moment when she was torn between anger at and distress for Lucivar, he swept in and out of that crack, tasting the emotional undercurrents.

    So their little witch thought she could force them to yield. Thought she had an emotional weapon they wouldn't challenge.

    She was right. She did.

    But now, so did he.

    "Let her go, Lucivar," Saetan crooned, his voice a purring, soft thunder. Still leaning against the wall with his arms crossed, he tilted his upper body in a mocking bow. "The Lady has us by the balls, and she knows it."

    He felt bitterly pleased to see the wariness in Jaenelle's eyes.

    She looked quickly at both of them. "You're not going to stop me?"

    "No, we're not going to stop you." Saetan smiled malevolently. "Unless, of course, you don't agree to pay the price for our submission. If you refuse, the only way you'll walk out of here is by destroying both of us."

    Such a neat trap. Such sweet bait.

    He confused her, had finally managed to unnerve her.

    She was about to find out how neatly he could spin her into a web.

    "What's your price?" Jaenelle asked reluctantly.

    One casual, flicking glance took in everything from her head to her feet. "Your body."

    She dropped the knife.

    It probably would have cut off a couple of toes if Lucivar hadn't vanished it in midair.

    "Your body, my Lady," Saetan crooned. "The body you treat with such contempt. Since you obviously don't want it, I'll take it in trust for the one who already has a claim to it."

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire