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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Heir to the Shadows (Chapter 182)      Page
  • Heir to the Shadows(Black Jewels,Book 2)(182) by Anne Bishop
  • "It will?" Jorval said faintly, trying to take shallow breaths.

    "I guarantee it," Hekatah replied just before her teeth sank into his throat.

    2 / Kaeleer

    The new two-wheeled buggy rolled smartly down the middle of the wide dirt road that ran northeast out of the village of Maghre.

    Saetan tried—again—to tell Daffodil that he should keep the buggy on the right-hand side of the road. And Daffodil replied—again—that if he did that, Yaslana and Sundance: wouldn't be able to trot alongside. He would move over if another wagon came down the road. He knew how to pull a buggy. The High Lord worried too much.

    Sitting beside him, Jaenelle glanced at his clenched hands and smiled with sympathetic amusement. "Being the passenger when you're used to having control isn't an easy adjustment to make. Khary thinks kindred-drawn conveyances should have a set of reins attached to the front of the buggy to give the passenger something to hold on to, just to feel more secure."

    "Sedatives would be more helpful," Saetan growled. He forced his hands open and pressed them firmly on his thighs, ignoring Lucivar's low chuckle and trying hard not to resent the reins attached to the headstall Sundancer wore.

    Much to the humans' chagrin, the kindred had insisted that reins be kept as part of the riding equipment because humans needed something to hold on to when kindred ran and jumped. Fortunately, after the initial shock three years ago when the Scelt people had learned how many Blood races inhabited their island, the humans there had enthusiastically embraced their kindred Brothers and Sisters.

    "Aren't we stopping at Morghann and Khary's house?" Jaenelle asked, clapping a hand on top of her head to keep the wide-brimmed straw hat from blowing away.

    "They wanted to show us something and said they'd meet us," Lucivar replied. "Sundancer and I will go on ahead and see if they're waiting." He and the Warlord Prince stallion took off cross-country.

    Daffodil made a wistful sound but kept trotting down the road. A few minutes later, he turned off the main road and trotted smartly down a long, tree-lined drive.

    Jaenelle's eyes lit up. "We're going to see Duana's country house? Oh, it's such a lovely place. Khary mentioned that someone had taken a lease on it and was fixing it up a bit."

    Saetan breathed a sigh of relief. Trust Khary to know just how much to say to pique her interest and still not give it away.

    It had taken her six months to heal after she went into the Twisted Kingdom to save Daemon two years ago. She had remained at the Keep for the first two months, too ill to be moved. After he and Lucivar brought her back to the Hall, it had taken her another four months to get her" physical strength back. During that time, her friends had once again taken up residence at the Hall, resigning from the courts they were serving in so that they could be with her. She had welcomed the coven's presence but had shied away from the boys seeing her—the first show of feminine vanity she had ever displayed.

    Bewildered by her refusal to see them, they had settled in to care from a distance and had channeled their energy into looking after the coven. During that time, under his watchful but blind eye, some friendships had bloomed into love: Morghann and Khardeen, Gabrielle and Chaosti, Grezande and Elan, Kalush and Aaron. He'd watched the girls and had wondered if Jaenelle's eyes would ever shine like that for a man. Even if that man was Daemon Sadi.

    When Daemon and Surreal didn't show up at the Terreille Keep, he had tried to locate them. After a few weeks, he stopped because there were indications that he wasn't the only one looking for them, and he had decided that failure was preferable to leading an enemy to a vulnerable man. Besides, Surreal was Titian's daughter. Wherever she had chosen to go to ground, she had hidden her tracks well.

    And there was another reason he didn't want to stir things up. Hekatah had never returned to the Dark Realm. He suspected she was well hidden in Hayll. As long as she stayed there, she and Dorothea could rot together, but she would also latch on to any sign of his renewed interest in Terreille and hunt down the cause.

    "Lucivar and Sundancer made better time than we did," Jaenelle noted as they pulled up in front of the well-proportioned sandstone manor house.

    Daffodil snorted.

    "No," Saetan said sternly as he helped Jaenelle out of the buggy. "Buggiesdo not go over fences."

    "Especially when the human riding in it doesn't know he's responsible for getting his half over," Jaenelle murmured. She shook out the folds of her sapphire skirt and straightened the matching jacket, too busy to look him in the eye.

    Which was just as well.

    Jaenelle looked up at the manor house and sighed. "I hope the new tenants will give this place the love it deserves. Oh, I know Duana's busy and prefers living in her country house near Tuathal, but this land needs to be sung awake. The gardens here could be so lovely."

    Acknowledging Lucivar's pleased smile, Saetan pulled a flat, rectangular box out of his pocket and handed it to Jaenelle. "Happy birthday, witch-child. From the whole family."

    Jaenelle accepted the box but didn't open it. "If it's from the whole family, shouldn't I wait until we're back home to open it?"

    Saetan shook his head. "We agreed you should open that here."

    Jaenelle opened the box and frowned at the large brass key.

    Letting out an exasperated growl, Lucivar turned her around until she was facing the front of the house. "It fits the front door."

    Jaenelle's eyes widened. "Mine?" She looked at the front door, then at the key, then back to the front door. "Mine?"

    "Well, the family purchased a ten-year lease on the house and land," Saetan replied, smiling. "Duaria said that, short of tearing the house down, you could do whatever you wanted with the place."

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