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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Heir to the Shadows (Chapter 177)      Page
  • Heir to the Shadows(Black Jewels,Book 2)(177) by Anne Bishop
  • Words lie. Blood doesn't.

    Another arrow sang a death song.

    Butchering who—

    The island and the last word shark sank together.

    Jaenelle vanished the bow, turned away from the sea, and walked into the twisted, shattered-crystal landscape.

    Her voice reached him, faint and fading. "Come, Daemon."

    Daemon rushed across the bridge, hit the shore running, and then swore in frustration as he searched for some sign of where she'd gone.

    He caught her psychic scent before he noticed the glittering trail. It was like a ribbon of star-sprinkled night sky that led him through the twisted landscape to where she perched on a rock far above him.

    She looked down ,at him, smiling with exasperated amusement. "Stubborn, snarly male."

    "Stubbornness is a much-maligned quality," he panted as he climbed toward her.

    Her silvery, velvet-coated laugh filled the land.

    Then he finally got a good look at her. He sank to his knees. "I owe you a debt, Lady."

    She shook her head. "The debt is mine, not yours."

    "I failed you," he said bitterly, looking at her wasted body.

    "No, Daemon," Jaenelle replied softly. "I failedyou. You asked me to heal the crystal chalice and return to the living world. And I did. But I don't think I ever forgave my body for being the instrument that was used to try to destroy me, and I became its cruelest torturer. For that I'm sorry because you treasured that part of me."

    "No, I treasuredall of you. I love you, Witch. I always will. You're everything I'd dreamed you would be."

    She smiled at him. "And I—" She shuddered, pressed her hand against her chest. "Come. There's little time left."

    She fled through the rocks, out of sight before he could move.

    He hurried after her, following the glittering trail, gasping as he felt a crushing weight descend on him.

    "Daemon." Her voice came back to him, faint and pain-filled. "If the body is going to survive, I can't stay any longer."

    He fought against the weight. " Jaenelle!"

    "You have to take this in slow stages. Rest there now. Rest, Daemon. I'll mark the trail for you. Please follow it. I'll be waiting for you at the end."

    "Jaenelle!"

    A wordless whisper. His name spoken like a caress. Then silence.

    Time meant nothing as he lay there, curled in a ball, fighting to hang on to the glittering trail that led upward while everything beneath him pulled at him, trying to drag him back down.

    He held on fiercely to the memory of her voice, to her promise that she would be waiting.

    Later—much later—the pulling eased, the crushing weight lessened.

    The glittering trail, the star-sprinkled ribbon still led upward.

    Daemon climbed.

    Surreal watched the sky lighten and listened to the guards shouting and cursing as the maze sizzled from the explosions of power against power. Throughout the long night, the guards had pounded their way toward the center of the maze as Jaenelle's shields broke piece by piece. If the screams were any indication, it had cost the guards dearly to break as much of her shields as they had.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire