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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Heir to the Shadows (Chapter 197)      Page
  • Heir to the Shadows(Black Jewels,Book 2)(197) by Anne Bishop
  • "An Offering is made between sunset and sunrise."

    Tersa tilted her head, considering. "That was true for the Prince of the Darkness. But for the Queen?" She shrugged.

    Cold whispered up Saetan's spine. What would Jaenelle be like when she was the Queen of the Darkness?

    He crouched opposite Tersa, the table between them. She paid no more attention to him than she did to Lucivar's silent approach.

    "Tersa," Saetan said quietly, trying to catch her attention. "Do you know something, see something?"

    Tersa's eyes glazed. "A voice in the Darkness. A howling, full of joy and pain, rage and celebration. The time is coming when the debts will be paid." Her eyes cleared. "Leash your fear, High Lord," she said with some asperity. "It will do her more harm now than anything else. Leash it, or lose her."

    Saetan's hand closed over her wrist. "I'm not afraidof her, I'm afraidfor her."

    Tersa shook her head. "She will be too tired to sense the difference. She will only sense the fear. Choose, High Lord, and live with what you choose." She looked at the closed door. "She is coming."

    Saetan tried to rise too quickly and winced. He'd overworked his bad leg again. Tugging down the sleeves of his tunic jacket and smoothing back his hair, he wished, futilely, that he'd bathed and changed into fresh clothes. He also wished, futilely, that his heart would stop pounding so hard.

    Then the door opened and Jaenelle stood on the threshold.

    In the seconds before rational thought fled, his mind registered her hesitation, her uncertainty. It also registered the amount of jewelry she was wearing.

    Lorn had gifted her with thirteen uncut Black Jewels. An uncut Jewel was large enough to be made into a pendant and a ring, as well as providing smaller chips that could be used for a variety of purposes. If he was estimating correctly, she'd taken the equivalent of six of those thirteen Jewels in with her when she made the Offering. Six Black Jewels that, somehow, had been transformed into more than Black.

    Into Ebony.

    No wonder it had taken her so long to make the descent to her full strength. He couldn't begin to estimate the power at her disposal now. Since the day he'd met her, he'd known it would come to this. She was traveling roads now the rest of them couldn't even imagine.

    What would it do to her?

    His choice.

    The thought shocked him with its clarity. It freed him to act.

    Stepping forward, he offered his right hand.

    Wild-shy, Jaenelle slipped into the room, hesitated a moment, then placed her hand in his.

    He pulled her into arms, burying his face against her neck. "I've been worried sick about you," he growled softly.

    Jaenelle stroked his back. "Why?" She sounded genuinely puzzled. "You've made the Offering. You know—"

    "It doesn't usually take three days!"

    "Three days!" She jerked back, stumbling into Lucivar, who had come up behind her. "Threedays?"

    "Do we have to observe Protocol from now on?" Lucivar asked.

    "Don't be daft," Jaenelle snapped.

    Grinning, Lucivar immediately wrapped his left arm around her, pinning her arms to her sides and holding her tight against his chest. "In that case, I propose dunking her in the nearest fountain."

    "You can't do that!" Jaenelle sputtered, squirming.

    "Why not?" Lucivar sounded mildly curious.

    The reason she gave was inventive but anatomically impossible.

    Since laughing wouldn't be diplomatic, even if it was prompted by the relief that wearing Ebony Jewels hadn't changed her, Saetan clenched his teeth and stayed silent.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire