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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Heir to the Shadows (Chapter 55)      Page
  • Heir to the Shadows(Black Jewels,Book 2)(55) by Anne Bishop
  • "Daemon, wait." Surreal leaped between him and the door. Panic flashed in his eyes. "Mother had to go away for a few days with . . . with Tersa. I'd ... I'd feel safer if you stayed."

    Daemon tensed. "Has anyone tried to hurt you, Surreal?"

    Hell's fire, notthat tone of voice. Not with that Warlord coming up the stairs any minute with the basket.

    "No," she said, hoping she sounded young but convincing. "But you and Tersa are as close as we have to family and I'm . . . lonely."

    Daemon stared at the carpet.

    "Besides," she added, wrinkling her nose, "you need a bath."

    His head snapped up. He stared at her with such transparent hope and hunger it scared her. "Lady?" he whispered, reaching for her. "Lady?" He studied the hair entwined around his fingers and shook his head. "Black. It's not supposed to be black."

    If she lied, would it help him? Would he know the difference? She closed her eyes, not sure she could stand the anguish she felt in him. "Daemon," she said gently, "I'm Surreal."

    He stepped away from her, keening softly.

    She led him to a chair, unable to think of anything else to do.

    "So. You're a friend."

    Surreal spun toward the door, feet braced in a fighting stance, the hunting knife back in her hand.

    The Warlord stood in the doorway, the carry-basket at his feet.

    "I'm a friend," Surreal said. "What are you?"

    "Not an enemy." The Warlord eyed the knife. "Don't suppose you could put that away."

    "Don't suppose I could."

    He sighed. "He healed me and helped me get here."

    "Are you going to complain about services rendered?"

    "Hell's fire, no," the Warlord snapped. "He told me before he started that he wasn't sure he knew enough healing Craft to mend the damage. But I wasn't going to survive without help, and a Healer would have turned me in." He ran a hand through his short brown hair. "And even if he killed me, it would have been better than what my Lady would have done to me for leaving her service so abruptly." He gestured toward Daemon, who was curled in the chair, still keening softly. "I didn't realize he was . . ."

    Surreal vanished the knife. The Warlord immediately picked up the basket, pressing his left hand to his side and grimacing.

    "Asshole," Surreal snapped, hurrying to take the basket. "You shouldn't carry something this heavy while you're still healing."

    She tugged. When he wouldn't let go of the basket, she snarled at him. "Idiot. Fool. At least use Craft to lighten the weight."

    "Don't be a bitch." Clenching his teeth, the Warlord carried the basket to the table in the kitchen area. He turned to leave, then hesitated. "The story going around is that he killed a child."

    Blood. So much blood. "He didn't."

    "He thinks he did."

    She couldn't see Daemon, but she could still hear him. "Damn."

    "Do you think he'll ever come out of the Twisted Kingdom?"

    Surreal stared at the basket. "No one ever has."

    "Daemon." When she got no response, Surreal chewed her lower lip. Maybe she should let him sleep, if he was actually sleeping. No, the potatoes were baking, the steaks ready to broil, the salad made. He needed food as much as rest. Touch him? There was no telling what he might be seeing in the Twisted Kingdom, how he might interpret a gentle shake. She tried again, putting some snap in her voice. "Daemon."

    Daemon opened his eyes. After a long minute, he reached for her. "Surreal," he said hoarsely.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire