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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Heir to the Shadows (Chapter 190)      Page
  • Heir to the Shadows(Black Jewels,Book 2)(190) by Anne Bishop
  • "This time swallow it," Lucivar said. "This stuff does less harm to your stomach than it does to your lungs."

    "This stuff will melt your teeth," Jaenelle wheezed.

    "What did you give her?" Saetan demanded when she suddenly sagged in his arms.

    "A healthy dose of Khary's home brew. Hey!"

    Saetan found himself braced against Lucivar's chest. He concentrated on breathing for a minute. "Lucivar. You asked if I was strong enough for this. I'm not."

    A strong, warm hand stroked his head. "Hang on. Sun-dancer's coming. We'll get you to the camp. The girls will take care of Cat. A few minutes more and you can rest."

    Rest. Yes, he needed rest. The headache that was threatening to tear his skull apart was gaining in intensity with" every breath.

    Someone took Jaenelle out of his arms. Someone half carried him to where Sundancer waited. Strong hands kept him on the stallion's back.

    The next thing he knew, he was sitting in the camp wrapped in blankets with Karla kneeling beside him, urging him to drink the witch's brew she'd made for him.

    After drinking a second cup, he submitted to being pushed, plumped, and rearranged in a sleeping bag. He snarled a bit at being fussed over until Karla tartly asked how he expected them to get Jaenelle to rest when he was setting such a bad example?

    Not having an answer for that, he surrendered to the brew-dulled headache and slept.

    Lucivar sipped laced coffee and watched Gabrielle and Morghann lead Jaenelle to a sleeping bag. She stopped, ignoring their coaxing to lie down and rest. Her eyes lost their dull, half-dazed look as her attention focused on Mistral hovering at the edge of the camp, still favoring his wounded left foreleg.

    Lucivar felt very thankful that the cold, dangerous fire in her eyes wasn't directed at him.

    "Why hasn't that leg been tended?" Jaenelle asked in her midnight voice as she stared at the young stallion.

    Mistral snorted and fidgeted. He obviously didn't want to admit he hadn't allowed anyone to touch him.

    Lucivar didn't blame him.

    "You know how males get," Gabrielle said soothingly. " 'I'm fine, I'm fine, tend the others first.' We were just about to take care of him when you and Uncle Saetan came in."

    "I see," Jaenelle said softly, her eyes still pinning Mistral to the ground. "I thought, perhaps, because they were human, you were insulting my Sisters by refusing to let them heal you."

    "Nonsense," Morghann said. "Now, come on, set a good example."

    Once they got her tucked in, they descended on Mistral.

    It would be all right, Lucivar thought dully. It had to be all right. The unicorns and the other kindred wouldn't lose all their trust in humans and retreat again behind the veils of power that had closed them off from the rest of Kaeleer. Cat would see to that. And Saetan . . .

    Hell's fire. Until today, he hadn't given much thought to the differences between a Guardian and the living. At the Hall, those differences seemed so subtle.

    He hadn't realized strong sun would cause so much pain, hadn't fully appreciated how many years the High Lord had walked the Realms. Oh, heknew how old Saetan was, but today was the first time his father had seemedold.

    Of course, the rest of them were feeling pretty beaten physically and emotionally, so it wasn't much of a yardstick to measure by.

    Khary squatted beside him and splashed some of the home brew into the already heavily laced coffee. "There's something bothering our four-footed Brothers," he said quietly. "Something more than that." He waved a hand at the still, white bodies lying within sight.

    The unicorns hadn't cared what happened to the human bodies—except to insist that the intruders not remain in their land—but they had been vehement about not moving the dead unicorns. The Lady would sing them to the land, they had said. Whatever that meant.

    But as the wounded mares and foals had been led to this side of the landing hill, the surviving stallions had become more and more upset.

    "Ladvarian might know," Lucivar said, sipping his coffee. He sent out a quiet summons. A few minutes later, the Sceltie trotted wearily into the camp.

    "Moonshadow's missing," Ladvarian said when Lucivar asked him. "Starcloud was getting old. Moonshadow was going to be the next Queen. She wears an Opal Jewel. One of the mares said she saw humans throw ropes and nets around Moonshadow, but she didn't see where they went." Lucivar closed his eyes. From what he could tell, all of the Blood males who had invaded Sceval had worn lighter Jewels, but enough of them with spelled nets and ropes. could control an Opal-Jeweled Queen. Were the spelled nets preventing her from calling to the others, or had she been taken off the island altogether?

    "I'll be back before twilight," he said, handing the cup to Khary.

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