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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Heir to the Shadows (Chapter 39)      Page
  • Heir to the Shadows(Black Jewels,Book 2)(39) by Anne Bishop
  • Chapter four

    1 / Hell

    "That gutter son of a whore is up to something. I can feel it."

    Deciding it was better to say nothing, Greer sat back in the patched chair and watched Hekatah pace.

    "For two glorious years he's barely been felt, let alone seen in Hell or Kaeleer. His strength was waning. Iknow it was. Now he's back, residing at the Hall in Kaeleer.Residing. Do you know how long it's been since he's made his presence felt in one of the living Realms?"

    "Seventeen hundred years?" Greer replied.

    Hekatah stopped pacing and nodded. "Seventeen hundred years. Ever since Daemon Sadi and Lucivar Yaslana were taken away from him." She closed her gold eyes and smiled maliciously. "How he must have howled when Dorothea denied him paternity at Sadi's Birthright Ceremony, but there was nothing he could do without sacrificing his precious honor. So he slunk away like a whipped dog, consoling himself that he still had the child Hayll's Black Widows couldn't claim." She opened her eyes and hugged herself. "But Prythian had already gotten to the boy's mother and told her all those wonderful half-truths one can tell the ignorant about Guardians. It was one of the few things that winged sow has ever done right." Her pleasure faded. "So why is he back?"

    "Could—" Greer considered, shook his head.

    Hekatah tapped her fingertips against her chin. "Has he

    found another darling to replace his little pet? Or has he finally decided to turn Dhemlan into a feeding ground? Or is it something else?"

    She walked toward him, her swaying hips and coquettish smile making him wish he'd known her when he could have done more than just appreciate what her movements implied.

    "Greer," she crooned as she slipped her arms around his neck and pressed her br**sts against him. "I want a little favor."

    Greer waited, wary.

    Hekatah's coquettish smile hardened. "Have your balls shrivelled up so quickly, darling?"

    Anger flashed in Greer's eyes. He hid it quickly. "You want me to go to the Hall in Kaeleer?"

    "And risk losing you?" Hekatah pouted. "No, darling, there's no need for you to go to that nasty Hall. We have a loyal ally living in Halaway. He's wonderful at sifting out tidbits of information. Talk to him." Balancing on her toes, she lightly kissed Greer's lips. "I think you'll like him. You're two of a kind."

    2 / Kaeleer

    Beale opened the study door. "Lady Sylvia," he announced as he respectfully stepped aside for Halaway's Queen.

    Meeting her in the middle of the room, Saetan offered both hands, palms down. "Lady."

    "High Lord," she replied, placing her hands beneath his, palms up in formal greeting, leaving wrists vulnerable to nails.

    Saetan kept his expression neutral, but he approved of the slight pressure pushing his hands upward, the subtle reminder of a Queen's strength. There were some Queens who deeply resented having to live with the bargain that the Dhemlan Queens in Terreilleand Kaeleer had made with him thousands of years ago in order to protect the Dhemlan Territory in Terreille from Hayll's encroachment, who deeply resented being ruled by a male. There were

    some who had never understood that, in his own way, he had always served a Queen, that he had always served Witch.

    Fortunately, Sylvia wasn't one of them.

    She was the first Queen bora in Halaway since her great-grandmother had ruled, and she was the pride of the village. The day after she had formed her court, she had come to the Hall and had informed him with forceful politeness that, while Halaway might exist to serve the Hall, it was her territory and they were her people, and if there was anything he wanted from her village she would do her utmost to honor his request—provided it was reasonable.

    Saetan now offered her a warm but cautious smile as he led her to the half of his study that was furnished for less formal discussions.

    After watching her perch on the edge of one of the overstuffed chairs, he took a seat on the black leather couch, putting the width of the low blackwood table between them. He picked up the decanter of yarbarah, filled one of the raven glass goblets, and warmed it slowly over a tongue of witch fire before offering it to her.

    As soon as she took the glass, he busily prepared one for himself so that he wouldn't insult her by laughing at her expression. She probably had the same look when one of her sons tried to hand her a large, ugly bug that only a small boy could find delightful.

    "It's lamb's blood," he said mildly as he leaned back and crossed his legs at the knee.

    "Oh." She smiled weakly. "Is that good?"

    Her voice got husky when she was nervous, he noted with amusement.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire