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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Heir to the Shadows (Chapter 18)      Page
  • Heir to the Shadows(Black Jewels,Book 2)(18) by Anne Bishop
  • All her carefully made plans were beingruined because . . .

    Hekatah jerked to a stop.

    There was a silence within the night's silence.

    She glanced at the unlit torches on the walls and decided against lighting them. There was enough moonlight to see by.

    Not wanting to waste her strength on a sight shield, Hekatah slipped into a shadowy corner. Once he entered the Altar room, she would be behind him and could startle him with her presence.

    She waited. Just when she was sure she'd been mistaken, he was there, without warning, standing just outside the wrought-iron gate, staring at the Altar. But he didn't enter the room.

    Frowning, Hekatah turned her head slightly to look at the Altar. It was just as it should be. The candelabra was tarnished, and the wax from the black candles she'd burned so carefully so they wouldn't look new hung like stalactites from the silver arms.

    Fearing that he might actually leave, Hekatah stepped up to the wrought-iron gate. "I've been waiting for you, Prince."

    "Have you?" His voice sounded rusty, exhausted.

    Perfect.

    "Are you the one I should thank for the demons at the other Altars?" he asked.

    How could he know she was a demon? Did he know who she was? Suddenly, she didn't feel confident about dealing with this son who was too much like his father, but she shook her head sadly. "No, Prince. There's only one power in Hell that commands demons. I'm here because I had a young friend who was very special to me. A friend, I think, we had in common. That's why I've been waiting for you."

    Hell's fire! Couldn't there besome expression in his eyes to tell her if she was getting through to him?

    "Young is a relative term, don't you think?"

    He wasplaying with her! Hekatah gritted her teeth. "A child, Prince. A special child." She forced a pleading note into her voice. "I've waited here at great risk. If the High

    Lord finds out I've tried to tell her friends ..." She glanced at the wall behind the Altar.

    Still no reaction from the man on the other side of the gate.

    "She walks among thecildru dyathe," Hekatah said.

    A long silence. "That isn't possible," he finally said. His voice was flat, totally without emotion.

    "It'strue." Was she wrong about him? Was he only trying to escape Dorothea? No. He had cared for the girl. She sighed. "The High Lord is a jealous man, Prince. He doesn't share what he claims for himself—especially if what he claims is a female body. When he discovered the girl's affection for another male, he did nothing to prevent her from being raped. And he could have, Prince. Hecould have. The girl managed to escape afterward. In time, and with help, she would have healed. But the High Lord didn't want her to heal, so, under the pretense of helping her, he used another male to finish what was begun. It destroyed her completely. Her body died, and her mind was torn apart. Now she's a dead, blank-eyed pet he plays with."

    Hekatah looked up and wanted to scream with frustration. Had he heard any of it? "He should pay for what he's done," she said shrilly. "If you've courage enough to face him, I can open the Gate for you. Someone who remembers what she could have been should demand payment for what he did."

    He looked at her for a long time. Then he turned and walked away.

    Swearing, Hekatah began to pace. Why did he say nothing? It was a plausible story. Oh, she knew he'd been accused of the rape, but she also knew it wasn't true. And she wasn't completely convinced that hehad been at Cassandra's Altar that night. All the males who'd sworn they had seen him had come from Briarwood. They could have said that to keep the Chaillot Queens from looking too closely atthem. Surely—

    A scream shattered the night.

    Hekatah jumped, shaken by the awful sound. Bestial, animal, human. None and all. Whatever could make a sound like that . . .

    Hekatah quickly lit the black candles and waited impatiently for the wall to change to mist. Just before stepping through the Gate, she realized there was no one here to snuff out the candles and close the entrance to the other Realms. If that thing . . .

    Hekatah raised her hand and Red-locked the wrought-iron gate.

    Another scream tore the night.

    Hekatah bolted through the Gate. She might be a demon, but she didn't want whatever that was to follow her into the Dark Realm.

    Words swam round and round, slicing his mind, slicing his soul.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire