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  • Heir to the Shadows(Black Jewels,Book 2)(185) by Anne Bishop
  • Consort's ring, he would have the privilege of savoring what the chalice held, but the sharp edges could wound any man who tried.

    However, a careful man . . .

    Yes, he decided as he studied the sharp-edged chips, a careful man who knew those edges existed and was willing to risk the wounds would be able to drink from that cup.

    Satisfied, he returned to the trail and continued climbing.

    4 / Kaeleer

    Saetan fell out of bed in his haste to find out why Lucivar was roaring so early in the morning.

    A part of his mind insisted that he couldn't go charging out of the room wearing nothing but his skin, so he grabbed the trousers he'd dropped over a chair when the birthday party finally wound down but didn't stop to put them on. He wrenched his arm when he tried to open the door that had swollen from last night's rain. Swearing, he gripped the doorknob and, using Craft, tore the door off its hinges.

    By then the hallway was stuffed with bodies in various stages of dress. He tried to push past Karla and got a sharp elbow in the belly.

    "What in the name of Hell is going on here?" he yelled. No one bothered to answer him because, at that moment, Lucivar stepped out of Jaenelle's bedroom and roared,"cat!"

    Apparently Lucivar didn't have any inhibitions about standing stark naked in front of a group of young men and women. Of course, a man in his prime with that kind of build had no reason to feel inhibited.

    And no one in their right mind would tease a man who vibrated with such intense fury.

    "Where are Ladvarian and Kaelas?" Lucivar demanded.

    "More to the point," Saetan said, pulling on his trousers, "where's Jaenelle?" He looked pointedly at the Ring of Honor that circled Lucivar's organ. "You can feel her through that, can't you?"

    Lucivar quivered with the effort to stay in control. "I can feel her, but I can'tfind her." His fist hammered down on a small table and split it in half. "Damn her, I'm going to whack her ass for this!"

    "Who are you to dare say that?" Chaosti snarled, pushing to the front of the group, his Gray Jewel glowing with his gathering power.

    Lucivar bared his teeth. "I'm the Warlord Prince who serves her, the warrior sworn to protect her.But I can't protect her if I don't know where she is. Her moon's blood started last night. Do I need to remind you how vulnerable a witch is during those days? Now she's upset—I can feel that much—and her only protection is two half-trained malesbecause she didn't tell me where she was going."

    "That's enough," Saetan said sharply. "Leash the anger.now!" While he waited, he called in his shoes and stuffed his feet into them. Then he froze Chaosti and Lucivar with a look.

    When no one moved, he stepped away from the group and pressed his back against the wall for support. He took a few deep breaths to calm his own temper, closed his eyes, and descended to the Black.

    While it was true that witches couldn't channel Jeweled strength during their moon time without pain, that wouldn't stop Jaenelle.

    Using himself as a center point, he cautiously pushed his Black-Jeweled strength outward in ever-widening circles, looking for some sense of her that would at least give him an idea of where she was. The circles widened farther and farther, beyond the village of Maghre, beyond the isle of Scelt, until . . .

    Kaetien!

    He felt fear and horror braiding with anger growing into rage.

    Black rage. Spiraling rage. Cold rage.

    He started to pull back to escape the psychic storm that was about to explode over Sceval. He strengthened his inner barriers, knowing that it wouldn't help much. Her rage would flood in under his barriers, where he had no protection from it. He just hoped he had enough time to warn the others.

    Kaetien!

    As she unleashed the strength of her Black Jewels, Jaenelle's anguished scream filled his head and paralyzed him. A rush of dark power smashed against him, tossing him around like a tidal wave tosses driftwood, at the same time a psychic shield snapped up around Sceval. Then, nothing.

    He floated just beyond that shield, scared but oddly comforted—like being safely indoors while a violent storm raged outside.

    He must have gotten caught between the conflicting uses of Black power when Jaenelle put up the shield to contain the storm. Clever little witch. And all that psychic lightning had a terrifying kind of beauty. He wouldn't mind just floating here for a while, but he had the nagging feeling there was something he should do. "High Lord."

    Damn troublesome voice. How was he supposed to think when ... "Father. "

    Father. Father. Hell's fire, Lucivar! Up. He had to go up, out of the Black. Had to get his head clear enough to tell Lucivar. . . . Which way was up? Someone grabbed him and dragged him out of the abyss. He sputtered and snarled. Did him as much good as a puppy snarling when it was picked up by the scruff.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire