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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Heir to the Shadows (Chapter 174)      Page
  • Heir to the Shadows(Black Jewels,Book 2)(174) by Anne Bishop
  • Jaenelle stared at him, her eyes wide and blank. "You want me to leave this body? Like I did before?"

    "Leave?" His voice sounded silky and dangerous. "No, you don't have to leave. I'm sure the claimant would be perfectly willing to give you a permanent loan. But it would be a loan, you understand, and you would be expected to give the body the same kind of care you'd give any object lent to you by a friend."

    She studied him for a long time. "And if I don't take care of it? What will you do?"

    Saetan pushed away from the wall.

    Jaenelle flinched, but her eyes never left his.

    "Nothing," he said too softly. "I won't fight with you. I won't use physical strength or Craft to force you. I'll do nothing except keep a record of the transgressions. I'll never ask you for an explanation, and I'll never explain for you.You can try to justify abusing part of what Daemon paid for with dear coin."

    Jaenelle's face turned dead white. Saetan caught her as she swayed and held her against his chest.

    "Heartless bastard," she whispered.

    "Perhaps," he replied. "So what is your answer, Lady?"

    " Jaenelle! You promised!"

    Jaenelle jumped out of his arms, back-pedaled to try to keep her balance, and ended up with her back smacking against the wall.

    Saetan studied Jaenelle's guilty expression and began to feel maliciously cheerful. Noting that Lucivar had come up on her blind side, he turned his attention toward the annoyed, half-grown Sceltie and the silent, but equally annoyed, Arcerian kitten who now weighed as much as Lucivar and still had five more years to grow. "What did the Lady promise?" he asked Ladvarian. "You promised to eat and sleep and read books and take easy walkies until you healed," Ladvarian said accusingly, staring at Jaenelle.

    "I am," Jaenelle stammered. "I did." " You've been playing with Lucivar." Lucivar stepped away from the wall so that they could see his left arm. "She was playing rough, too." Ladvarian and Kaelas snarled at Jaenelle. "This is different," Jaenelle snapped. "This is important. And I wasn't playing with Lucivar. I was fighting with him."

    "Yes," Lucivar agreed mournfully. "And all because I thought she should be resting instead of pushing herself until she collapsed." Ladvarian and Kaelas snarled louder. "For shame, Lady," Saetan said, using a Black thread to keep the conversation private. "Breaking a promise to your little Brothers. Care to agree to my terms now, or shall we all snarl a bit longer?"

    Her venomous look was not only an answer but a good indication of how often she lost these kinds of "discussions" once Ladvarian and, therefore, Kaelas made up their furry little minds about something.

    "My Brothers." Saetan tipped his head courteously toward Ladvarian and Kaelas. "The Lady would never break a promise without good reason. Despite the risks to her own well-being, she has pledged herself to a delicate task, one that cannot be delayed. Since this promise was made before the one she made to you, we must yield to the Lady's wishes. As she said, this is important."

    "What's more important than the Lady?" Ladvarian demanded.

    Saetan didn't answer. Jaenelle squirmed. "My . . . mate ... is trapped in the

    Twisted Kingdom. If I don't show him the way out, he'll be destroyed."

    "Mate?" Ladvarian's ears perked up. His white-tipped tail waved once, twice. He looked at Saetan. " Jaenelle has a mate?"

    Interesting that the Sceltie looked to him for confirmation. Something to keep in mind in the future.

    "Yes," Saetan said. "Jaenelle has a mate."

    "She won't have if she's delayed much longer," Jaenelle warned.

    They all politely stepped aside and watched her painfully slow journey down the corridor.

    Saetan had no doubt that she would use Craft to float her body as soon as she was out of their sight, which would put more strain on her physically but would also speed her journey to the Dark Altar that stood within Ebon Askavi. And except for being carried, that was the only way she was going to reach the Gate that would take her to the Keep in Terreille.

    After Ladvarian and Kaelas had trotted off to tell Draca about the Lady's mate, Saetan turned to Lucivar. "Come into the healing workroom. I'll take care of that arm."

    Lucivar shrugged. "It's not bleeding anymore."

    "Boyo, I know the Eyrien drill as well as you do. Wounds are cleansed and healed." "And I want to talk to you in a shielded room away from furry ears."

    "Do you think she'll make it?" Lucivar asked a few minutes later as he watched Saetan clean the shallow knife wound.

    "She has the strength, the knowledge, and the desire. She'll bring him out of the Twisted Kingdom."

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire