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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Heir to the Shadows (Chapter 24)      Page
  • Heir to the Shadows(Black Jewels,Book 2)(24) by Anne Bishop
  • Morton nodded and rose to leave.

    "Tell Karla one other thing. If she needs it, I'll grant her sanctuary at the Hall and give her my protection. And you as well."

    "Thank you," Morton said. Bowing to Saetan and Andulvar, he left.

    Saetan grabbed his silver-headed cane and limped toward the door.

    Andulvar got there first and pressed his hand against the door to keep it closed. "The Dark Council will be screaming for your blood if you give another girl your protection."

    Saetan didn't speak for a long time. Then he gave Andulvar a purely malevolent smile. "If the Dark Council is so misguided they believe Hobart is a better guardian than I am, then they deserve to see some of Hell's more unusual landmarks, don't you think?"

    3 / The Twisted Kingdom

    There was no physical pain, but the agony was relentless.

    Words lie. Blood doesn't.

    You are my instrument.

    Butchering whore.

    He wandered through a mist-filled landscape full of shattered memories, shattered crystal chalices, shattered dreams.

    Sometimes he heard a scream of despair.

    Sometimes he even recognized his own voice.

    Sometimes he caught a glimpse of a girl with long golden hair running away from him. He always followed, desperate to catch up with her, desperate to explain . . .

    He couldn't remember what he needed to explain.

    Don't be afraid, he called to her. Please, don't be afraid.

    But she continued to run, and he continued to follow her through a landscape filled with twisting roads that ended nowhere and caverns that were strewn with bones and splashed with blood.

    Down, always down.

    He followed her, always begging her to wait, always pleading with her not to be afraid, always hoping to hear the sound of her voice, always yearning to hear her say his name.

    If he could only remember what it was.

    4 / Hell

    Hekatah carefully arranged the folds of her full-length cloak while she waited for her demon guards to bring her thecildru dyathe boy. She sighed with satisfaction as her hands stroked the cloak's fur lining. Arcerian fur. A Warlord's fur. She could feel the rage and pain locked in his pelt.

    The kindred. The four-footed Blood. Compared to humans, they had simple minds that couldn't conceive of greatness or ambition, but they were fiercely protective when they gave someone their loyalty—and equally fierce when they felt that loyalty was betrayed.

    She had made a few little mistakes the last time she had tried to become the High Priestess of all the Realms, mistakes that had cost her the war between Terreille and Kaeleer 50,000 years ago. One mistake had been underestimating the strength of the Blood who lived in the Shadow Realm. The other mistake had been underestimating the kindred.

    One of the first things she had done after she'd recovered from the shock of being demon-dead was to exterminate the kindred in Terreille. Some went into hiding and survived, but not enough of them. They would have had to breed with landen animals, and over time the interbreeding had probably produced a few creatures who were almost Blood, but never anything strong enough to wear a Jewel.

    The wilder kindred in Kaeleer, however, had withdrawn to their own Territories after the war and had woven countless spells to protect their borders. By the time those fierce defences had faded enough for anyone to survive passing through them, the kindred had become little more than myths.

    Hekatah began to pace. Hell's fire! How long could it take for two grown males to catch a boy?

    After a minute, she stopped pacing and once again arranged the folds of her cloak. She couldn't allow the boy to see any hint of her impatience. It might make him perversely stubborn. She stroked the cloak's fur lining, letting the feel of it soothe her.

    During the centuries while she had waited for Terreille to ripen again into a worthy prize, she had helped the Territory of Little Terreille maintain a thread of contact with the Realm of Terreille. But it was only in the past few years that she'd established a foothold in Glacia via Lord Hobart's ambition.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire