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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Heir to the Shadows (Chapter 29)      Page
  • Heir to the Shadows(Black Jewels,Book 2)(29) by Anne Bishop
  • Saetan closed the door and limped toward her. While she'd been away from her body, there had still been just enough of a link so that she could eat and could be led on gentle walks that had kept her muscles from atrophying. There had still been enough of a link for her body to slowly answer the rhythm of its own seasons.

    Blood females tended to reach puberty later than landens, and witches' bodies required even more time to prepare for the physical changes that separated a girl from a woman. Inhibited by her absence, Jaenelle's body hadn't started changing until after her fourteenth birthday. But while her body was still in the early stages of transformation, it no longer looked like a twelve-year-old's.

    Saetan stopped a few feet behind her. Her sapphire eyes met his in the mirror, and he had to work to keep his expression neutral.

    Those eyes. Clear and feral and dangerous before she slipped on the mask of humanity. And it was a mask. It wasn't like the dissembling she used to do as a child to keep the fact that she was Witch a secret. This was a deliberate effort simply to behuman. And that scared him.

    "I should have told you," he said quietly. "I should have prepared you. But you've slept through most of the past four days, and I ..." His voice trailed off.

    "How long?" she asked in a voice full of caverns and midnight.

    He had to clear his throat before he could answer. "Two years. Actually, a little more than that. You'll be fifteen in a few weeks."

    She said nothing, and he didn't know how to fill the silence.

    Then she turned around to face him. "Do you want to have sex with this body?"

    Blood. So much blood.

    His gorge rose. Her mask fell away. And no matter how hard he looked, he couldn't find Jaenelle in those sapphire eyes.

    He had to give her an answer. He had to give her theright answer.

    He took a deep breath and let it out slowly. "I'm your legal guardian now. Your adopted father, if you will. And fathers do not have sex with their daughters."

    "Don't they?" she asked in a midnight whisper.

    The floor disappeared under his feet. The room spun. He would have fallen if Jaenelle hadn't thrown her arms around his waist.

    "Don't use Craft," he muttered through gritted teeth.

    Too late. Jaenelle was already floating him to the couch. As he sank into it, she sat beside him and brushed her shoulder-length hair away from her neck. "You need fresh blood."

    "No, I don't. I'm just a little dizzy." Besides, he'd been drinking a cup of fresh human blood twice a day for the past four days—almost as much as he usually consumed in a year.

    "You need fresh blood." There was a definite edge in her voice.

    What he needed was to find the bastard who had raped her and tear him apart inch by inch. "I don't need your blood, witch-child."

    Her eyes flashed with anger. She bared her teeth. "There's nothing wrong with my blood, High Lord," she hissed. "It isn't tainted."

    "Of course it isn't tainted," he snapped back.

    "Then why won't you accept the gift? You never refused before."

    There were clouds and shadows now in her sapphire eyes. It seemed that, for her, the price of humanity was vulnerability and insecurity.

    Lifting her hand, he kissed her knuckles and wondered if he could delicately suggest that she put on a robe without her taking offense.One thing at a time, SaDiablo. "There are three reasons I don't want your blood right now. First, until you're stronger, you need every drop of it for yourself. Second, your body is changing from child to woman, and the potency of the blood changes, too. So let's test it before I find myself drinking liquid lightning."

    That made her giggle.

    "And third, Draca has also decided that I need fresh blood."

    Jaenelle's eyes widened. "Oh, dear. Poor Papa." She bit her lip. "Is it all right if I call you that?" she asked in a small voice.

    He put his arms around her and held her close. "I would be honored to be called 'Papa.' " He brushed his lips against her forehead. "The room is a little chilly, witch-child. Do you think you could put on a robe? And slippers?"

    "You sound like a parent already," Jaenelle grumbled.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire